The enchanted season of the ‘wondrous strange’
“Wondrous strange” is how Andrew Wyeth and his family describe the Maine coastal villages and upland haunts they paint in landscapes familiar to generations of Americans. The new exhibit at the Farnsworth Museum in nearby Rockland showcases some of those strange and wonderful things. “Every Picture Tells a Story” features the illustrations of N.C. Wyeth, the patriarch of the clan, who painted pirates and prisoners, Native Americans like the Wabanaki who knew the shores and woodlands of the dawnland long before Spruce Point ever got its name and an assortment of characters ideally suited for ghost stories on an October evening.
We like to think of the memories created here much in the same flickering firelight of enchantment, especially at this time of year. It is one of the most magical, with the fog of the night disturbed only by a sweeping lighthouse beacon or the sounds of waves on the shore. As the Indian Summer sun illuminates the brilliant foliage from within, all the flavors, scents and sensations of the season well up in one last exquisite, dazzling – painterly -- moment.
The Wyeths understand what turns the ordinary into a touchstone of the extraordinary. Sometimes the secret is just taking the time to notice the details.