In His Eyes

I was asked to make a portrait of Andy Wyeth for the cover of his authorized biography, Secret Life. For this, I wanted to capture that fleeting moment of intense concentration I had witnessed many times over the years, the moment when Andy would spot something that fully caught his attention. When he had that squinting look, it had the intensity of a sniper about to fire, or of a surgeon about to make an especially important incision…absolute attention and focus. 

Andy and I agreed to a sitting at their island home, a long-time familiar and comfortable setting for both of us. I asked him to sit in an old ladder-back chair in the doorway of the woodshed. I stood, he sat and I made a few exposures before noticing that a certain “colorful” fisherman was running his boat through the gut between the two islands there.

I pointed this out to Andy who was well aware of the man’s history and suddenly, just for a second, there was “The Look,” and I managed to record it. And that became the cover of the book. 

After the boat passed we stayed outside for a little while, just talking as I kept shooting intermittently. We had slipped into an intimate place that afternoon and then, suddenly, Andy gave me the look you see here and it’s this "outtake" image that I love from that day. I knew we were done, and in we went for a drink before dinner.

If you look carefully, you can see me, standing there, in his eyes. The moment lingers. So does he.....

In His Eyes
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Meredith Ralston