Andrew Wyeth on Painting His Father's Death, the Beginning of Purpose

Andrew Wyeth is one of my favorite painters. I leave a Wyeth book open on one of my tables in my study so that I can peruse it occasionally, seeking understanding behind his voluble yet silent expressions. In an interview, he comments on the first painting he created after his father's death, the creative act, a spark that lit a passionate purpose, resulting in a lifetime dedicated to his art:  

The first tempera I did after that [his father's death] is called Winter 1946. It's of a boy running, almost tumbling down a hill across a strong winter light, with his hand flung wide and a black shadow racing behind him, and bits of snow, and my feeling of being disconnected from everything. It was me at a loss - that hand drifting in the air was my free soul, groping. Over on the other side of that hill was where my father was killed, and I was sick I'd never painted him. The hill finally became a portrait of him. I spent the whole winter on the painting -it was just the one way I could free this horrible feeling that was in me- and yet there was a great excitement. For the first time in my life, I was painting with a real reason to do it. - The Art of Andrew Wyeth