Friday, November 24, 2017

Andrew Wyeth painted Christina’s World in 1948 and it was quickly snapped up by MOMA where it received little critical attention because of the momentum of abstract expressionism, but became one of the most well loved paintings of the mid-twentieth century. It’s been said almost everyone in the U.S. knew someone who had a print of this painting hanging in their home.

Wyeth never considered himself to be the quintessential American painter, as he was often labeled.”I’m no more that than the man in the moon. I’ve created my own world the way I want it. I can’t even tell you why I painted Christina’s World. That’s how elusive it is in my mind.”

The painting was inspired when Wyeth watched from a window as his neighbor, Christina Olson, who had suffered from polio, pulled herself across a field. At the time, she was 55, so the actual drawing/torso of the body was based on Wyeth’s wife Betsy. According to Wyeth, every blade of grass was separately painted because, “I wanted “to make the grass come toward you, a surge of earth, like the whole planet. I was building the planet that she was finally going to exist in – a living being there on a hill whose grass was really growing.

I can honestly say that being crippled was not the part that made Christina remarkable to me. I didn’t realize her arms were thin until I began painting her. Dignity is the thing. The dignity of Christina Olson. One of the strongest personalities I’ve ever known. When you get next to something as mammoth as Christina, all the dirt and grime and slight things evaporate. I never had a feeling of decay. I felt centuries in the past. You see before you the power of the queen of Sweden sitting there. Just being there she rules Cushing from that house, everything subordinated to her.”

TAMMY FENDER OR DATE CREAM
Inspired by the mystery of Christina’s World and the question of what makes something beautiful, I had to include Tammy Fender’s ridiculously amazing all-in-one cream/serum/fusion that’s been called ‘the most powerful product ever put on the skin’, otherwise known as Spontaneous Recover Cream. One hundred percent organic like all of Tammy Fender’s products, I call this heavenly concoction “date cream” because it should really be reserved for special occasions–that’s how good it is (although I wear it every day and prefer it to dozens of other fabulous creams in my cabinet). Scented with therapeutic grade lavender essential oil, it smells heavenly, has the perfect consistency and this little jar of miracles makes your skin look and feel dewey and wonderful!

THE BRETT BROW COLLECTION
Right up there with acquiring a to-die-for face cream is mastering the perfect brow. Ladies, if you’ve ever tried to do this then you know it can be more elusive than understanding the true meaning of Christina’s World. Fortunately Brett Freedman, the man behind many famed brows, including Brooke Shields, Jane Fonda, Reba McEntire and a whole slew of Hollywood beauties, has created a kit that makes his motto of ‘kicking some arch’ a reality. His new collection of brow shaping products just launched this month at Sephora and I can’t say enough good things about his double-sided products.

DV’s LIGHT UP MASCARA
I find myself mesmerized in the mornings as I watch women deftly applying mascara on the subway. I really like DV Mascara because it’s a luscious black mascara that lengthens and isn’t clumpy. DV Mascara has a mirror on the side of the tube and a light up mechanism in the wand so you can apply your makeup in the dark (or the subway) if you need more lighting to see your lashes.

PURMINERALS POUT PEN
Another lovely lip gem I’ve come across recently is purminerals Pout Pen Lips Stain and Hydrating Balm These great 2-in-one double sided lip pens (one side saturated lip pen for a flawless pout, the other a light lip balm) come in some great colors like Cosmo, MaiTai, Fuzzy Navel and Sangria.

PURMINERALS DOUBLE EGO DUAL ENDED EYELINER
Another great 2-in-one product, the purmineral Double Ego Eyeliner dry mineral tip gives you the option of an everyday or smoky look, while the liquid liner glides on for a bold, intense color.

SLIP SILK PILLOWCASE
Andrew Wyeth talked about the faded pink dress that Christina posed in for him as reminding him of a faded lobster shell you’d find on the beach. I love this description and felt inspired to try out a pillowcase in a similar color from Slip, an Australian company that is now available in the U.S. Unlike cotton, Slip’s silk pillow cases can hold up to 27x its own weight in water, which means it helps keep skin and hair hydrated throughout the night so you wake up looking refreshed. If you want to avoid bedhead and/or extend the life of your blowout, a silk pillowcase is the way to go.

HOW TO GET THE CLASSIC BUN LOOK
I can’t think of a more perfect inspiration for this season’s Big Bun look than Christina’s World. There are many on-trend kinds of buns from soft heart buns to Japanese-inspired sumo knots, but my favorite is the full and classic bun like the ones Edun and Erin Fetherston showed for spring.

TrustYourStyle’s CHRISTINA’S WORLD BUN TUTORIAL

Using a 1″ curling iron curl your hair under–you don’t need to be precise–the quicker, the better

Flip your hair over and gather into a high ponytail using an elastic ponytail holder.

Using your smoothing brush (I’m partial to my Wet Brush Earth which also gives your scalp a nice gentle massage) lightly tease your hair for a bit of volume

Twist hair and wrap around the base to create your bun shape. (Alternatively skip curling and just braid your hair and wrap it (either loose or tight braiding will look great).

Insert bobby pins along the base of your bun and spray all over with a good firm holding hairspray and smooth down any flyaways. Orlando Pita used Phyto Professional Workable Holding Spray at the Derek Lam show to help achieve the classic American New York Woman look, and I think that pretty much fits the bill as a perfect spray to chose for the Christina’s World look.


So tell me, does Christina’s World speak to you?
And what are your favorite spring finds? 

* All quotes are from Andrew Wyeth, A Spoken Self-Portrait by Richard Meryman. If you’re at all interested in Andrew Wyeth, I highly recommend this beautiful slim book that cuts right to the heart of Andrew Wyeth’s personality, work and life. Composed of skillfully edited conversations Meryman had with Wyeth and some of his close family and friends, it’s by far one of the best biographies I’ve ever read.

23 Comments

Catherine Robinson July 3, 2017 at 18:17

Hello…thanks for popping over always lovely to hear from you…I adore this painting, I haven’t seen it before…I could look at it forever! xx

Pamela July 4, 2017 at 08:12

I can see that her arms are so thin. This is a fascinating painting. The white floral dress is so pretty. Your drawings that you share in IG Mary Jo are amazing.

little luxury list July 5, 2017 at 00:31

I only remembered this painting after looking at it for a while. I never noticed details like the thin arms and the individual blades of grass before. She really is so strong and the pillow cases also exude quiet elegance too!

Marcela July 5, 2017 at 21:24

Lovely painting!!! nice inspiration!!!
Have a good week!!!!!:)))

design elements July 6, 2017 at 01:43

your art-inspired posts are simpley my fave of all your posts.
Big hugs Maria

Diana Mieczan July 6, 2017 at 03:35

Oh boy, the back story is so fascinating, sweetie! Btw: I think I need the DV Mascara now:) Have a great morning.

Marika Odoardi July 6, 2017 at 06:08

That’s a great painting!

Ann July 6, 2017 at 10:34

What a lovely painting and an equally lovely story behind it.
Nice post.

Suz July 6, 2017 at 12:43

I love the stories behind the art. Thanks. You have a beautiful blog which is a pleasure to visit.

Denise July 6, 2017 at 18:12

I never saw that one hanging in any of My Grandparents home’s,it is new to Me. I do like it though.Thank You for dropping by to say hello and leading Me to Your blog,where I always learn something new. Hugs to You and blessings Your way-Denise

Couture Carrie July 7, 2017 at 04:48

Amazing post!
Must try that mascara!

xoxox,
CC

FASHION TALES July 7, 2017 at 06:07

This was so interesting and I’m so glad to know more about this painting. I’ve loved the colours and always wondered more about it. Welcome back, and thanks very much for your comments and visit. Hope you’re enjoying your spring so far <3

June July 7, 2017 at 08:49

Glad you to see that you’re back! Love the story!!
Keep in touch

xx

Style Diary Of A Fashion Fanatic July 7, 2017 at 15:57

Hi!!!!!
How have you been?
I love that painting!!!!!!
Hope you have a great day,
Shannon

La Contessa July 8, 2017 at 03:09

Thank YOU for the story BEHIND This painting!I had not known any of that………..love how you created a blog POST around this LADY.55…….that will be my age in July!How on earth did that occur………
Hugs to You……..Looks like you are blooming in NEW YORK CITY!Keep it up!!XX

Kim July 8, 2017 at 04:05

Hi! Glad you’re back! Thanks for popping by today to let me know! I have seen that painting (well, reproductions) and I never knew the backstory. Amazing. You can feel her determination come off the canvas!

Zara July 9, 2017 at 00:12

Never seen this painting before… such a touching story behind!
Thanks for the cosmetics tips too! Btw, I’ve never used an eye-liner as a pencil yet.. just wonder if it dries up quickly?
take care!
be back!

XO

Audrey Allure July 9, 2017 at 05:27

For the Figment Art Festival, one of my friends participated in an “Art Comes to Life” piece, and she posed as this painting! Funny enough, I recently visited this at the MoMa – such beautiful work.

Rowena July 9, 2017 at 20:35

I love the back stories you always provide for the art work you feature Mary Jo. They’re always so fascinating! I should really look into a silk pillowcase 🙂

Alicia Mackin July 9, 2017 at 21:42

Wow I never knew the story behind this painting. But I remember this painting as a kid and how haunting it was. Yes so many people in our society think they have problems but they don’t, they just have issues. Thanks for the info!

Kizzy Von Doll July 9, 2017 at 22:48

This is really wonderful..such a gorgeous painting x

cat eyes & skinny jeans July 10, 2017 at 00:07

This has always been one of my favorite paintings – it’s so serene and peaceful. I love the set you created inspired from it – especially the nifty makeup subsection!

Karena Albert July 10, 2017 at 18:42

This is such a poignant post Mary Jo! The Wyeths are an incredible family of artists And Andrew’s Christina is unforgettable. This Spring I am enjoying the wondrous weather and getting out to walk! ! Thanks for the super tips!

Xoxo

Leave a Comment

Subscribe With Us