Andrew Wyeth (American, 1917-2009) loved painting trees in winter. It's actually difficult to find paintings by him of trees in full leaf, although he did paint the occasional mournful evergreen. In almost all of Wyeth's work, whether figures, interiors, landscapes or dormant trees, there is an intimation of death in the midst of life, or, as in "Spring Beauty", of the abrupt appearance of life in the midst of death.
Pennsylvania Landscape tempera on panel 35"x47" 1942
Sycamore Tree and Hunter 1943
Spring Beauty 1943
Here is a time I used pencil and Higgins' ink, too, to make the silver gray of the bark, for the texture of that bark was fascinating to me. Now this is far from the colorful "impressionism" of my earlier works. Here I'm slowly changing. I'm seeing things in a clearer way.
- Andrew Wyeth
Long Limb tempera on panel 48" x 72" 1998