Influences: Andrew Wyeth

The influence of painter Andrew Wyeth on the work of fine art photographer Keith Dotson

I became captivated with the work of Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) not long after graduating from art school, when his entire secret body of work known as "The Helga Pictures," became public. I bought the book and poured over Wyeth's remarkable paintings and drawings.

The Helga pictures were my entrée into Wyeth's out-of-fashion — but oh-so-lovely — landscape representations of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. To me his work seemed quiet, contemplative, maybe a little sad. Even though I have long been a fan of Wyeth's spare and lonesome landscape images, I only recently realized how much my own photographs have in common with his work.

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show"
—Andrew Wyeth

I would never compare my work to the genius of someone like Wyeth, but as can be seen in the samples below, his influence is clear and our sensibilities are very similar. Keep in mind, none of these photographs were intended to replicate a work by Wyeth.

The Ax by Andrew Wyeth

Above: The Ax by Andrew Wyeth (1)

Above: Old tree at McFadden Cemetery, by Keith Dotson

Sycamore by Andrew Wyeth, 1982

Sycamore by Andrew Wyeth, 1982 (1)


Big, Broken Tree, a black and white photograph by Keith Dotson

Christina's Teapot, by Andrew Wyeth 

Christina's Teapot, by Andrew Wyeth (2)

White Pitcher with Craquelure Finish, by Keith Dotson

Antique White Pitcher with Craquelure Finish, by Keith Dotson

Andrew Wyeth (3)

Two Trees and Swollen Earth, black and white photograph by Keith Dotson

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this indulgence.


1. The Art Room

2. Pinterest

3. Lines and Colors: Andrew Wyeth's Windows



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