Andrew Wyeth’s approach to watercolor is so distinctive that often one can spot one of his paintings from across the room, and Cutler Cove, Study for Sandspit is no exception. Fashioned by layering watercolor washes and drybrush, along with a few dark passages in the shadows of the trees, the artist transformed a deceptively simple subject of trees on a hillside into an image permeated with depth and feeling.
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In 1963, the Reverend John B. Coburn inquired of his friend Wyeth if he would create a cover image for his book, Anne and the Sand Dobbies, a story about death and mourning meant for children and parents. The following Christmas, Wyeth sent the original painting to the Coburn family, amazingly rolled up in a tube and without added insurance. The theme of the book was very personal for Coburn, who lost his youngest child to a sudden illness nearly ten years earlier and through this tragedy hoped to bring comfort to those in similar circumstances.
By gift to the Rt. Reverend John B. Coburn, 1964
By descent to his children, 2009 to present
Coburn, John B. Anne and the Sand Dobbies. (New York: Seabury Press, 1964), cover image.