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AND I PAINT IT by Beth Kephart


Henriette Wyeth’s World

by Beth Kephart ; illustrated by Amy June Bates

Pub Date: April 20th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-951836-04-7
Publisher: Cameron + Company

An artist awakens into her dreams.

The oldest girl in the Wyeth family, Henriette, daughter of illustrator N.C. and sister of painters Andrew and Carolyn, was a recognized and talented artist (landscapes and portraiture) in her own right. This lyrical selection offers a vivid portrayal of an imagined day in which the young girl and her father drift across the land around their home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, painting, thinking, and musing on some technical and more ethereal aspects of art as they go. Warm, glowing images depict the painters at work as well as the rolling landscapes and sky that some may recognize from N.C.’s and Andrew’s paintings while the poetic text delves deep into Henriette’s imagination and includes ideas and descriptions from the writings of Henriette and her father. The fact that her experiences and successes were unusual for a woman of her time goes unmentioned. Nevertheless, this quiet yet joyful selection is both inviting and inspiring, and it will resonate with budding artists. Dreamlike and sparkling stream-of-consciousness writing brings to mind Virginia Woolf—and for Henriette, the outdoors clearly provided a room of her own. There is a lone photo of Henriette and a reproduction of a still life in the endnotes along with notes from both author and illustrator. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-23-inch double-page spreads viewed at 58.6% of actual size.)

Evocative description intertwines with joyful illustration in an imagined day in the life of a young artist.

(Picture book. 5-9)