Andrew Wyeth's painting of Helga conveys weight, and not just physical weight; I think it is supremely sensual. It stays in the memory and compels you to revisit it.
However, it is not just the portraits, but his landscapes and still-life studies: there is an atmosphere to them, a feeling of being present, that is very unusual. The choice of palette, the naturalness of his subjects and compositions, his precision in depicting rural life , people and places. Maybe too we feel like we've got to know Helga, ourselves neighbours.
i. ( painting )
The chevron shadow beneath her chin,
lush ravine of her groin,
parabola shade beneath her breast,
he exposes these like an archaeologist
dusting a stone’s markings
into the light of day.
ii. (one year later)
The weight of her breasts,
the flesh-fold across her belly,
boniness of her knees,
the muscles down her calves,
knuckles of that wrist
angled over the back of the chair:
much more than seeing,
the feeling impressed into my hands.