I found a gem yesterday on YouTube. It's a video of two iconic figures of twentieth century art in America. Andrew Wyeth painting Thomas Hoving in watercolour in Wyeth's father's studio at Chadds Ford in Pennsylvania. It's unique because, as Hoving says in the video, he believes it to be the only time that Wyeth was captured painting on video.
At the time of the video (2003), Wyeth is 86 years old and Hoving is 72. Wyeth had achieved the status of being one of the USA's most popular and celebrated artists. Hoving was the Director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1967 to 1977 and during his tenure focused on the acquistion of some "world class" pieces which would enhance the Met's reputation. He was described as a "showman" and something of his character comes through in the video - which includes him telling stories about art, artists and exhibitions.
I think it's delightful. It has all the weaknesses of a home movie and all the behaviour which you get from people being captured on film at home! I found it fascinating to see how Wyeth painted his watercolour portrait. One can also see how he was attracted by the patrician profile of Hoving.
Both of them died in 2009 - Wyeth age 91 in the January to a blizzard of obituaries from all over the world. Hoving in December to a similar number (but not quite as many!). That's as it should be!
If you've not seen Wyeth's paintings before try this video which is a lecture which looks at the use of value in Wyeth's paintings. It provides lots of pointers for all those who would like to improve the composition and design through the use of values in their painting.