The earliest inspirations of Maine-based painter Bo Bartlett, who recently lent his name to an arts center in his native Georgia, were magazines featuring artists like Andrew Wyeth, writes Bob Keyes for the Portland (Maine) Press Herald.
“If you were not on the cover of Life or Look or the Saturday Evening Post, I didn’t know who you were,” said Bartlett.
When he graduated high school, Bartlett decided to travel abroad to Florence to learn how to draw. Upon returning, he moved to Philadelphia in the hopes of meeting Wyeth.
He nearly got his wish in 1975, when he found Wyeth’s phone number and bravely called him. Wyeth answered and invited the young artist to Chadds Ford for a visit. However, Bartlett made the mistake of going to Wyeth’s house rather than to his studio, and was politely asked to leave by Betsy Wyeth.
Several years later, Bartlett finally managed to connect with Wyeth, who became his mentor and friend.