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.