"I was in Chadds Ford when Andrew finished this painting. For several years in the early 1990s I was there every day and into the evenings as I worked on a film about Wyeth’s life and art entitled Snow Hill. I remember clearly the evening he brought the painting home and had it hung in their living room for viewing in the Mill. We spent several evenings looking at it over dinner and drinks... discussing its implications. There was a game that unfolded almost organically where his wife, Betsy, would start to implore us for possible titles. The act of painting had been a wordless and an unconscious conceptual-less process. Andy had wandered into the Sipala’s house, the fabled Painters Folly, which had once been the home of his father’s teacher, Howard Pyle. Painters Folly can be seen in the distance from atop Snow Hill. The Sipalas, a married couple, being fans of Andrew’s, allowed him, like many other neighbors did in those years, to roam around their homes inside and out in search for the desired angle or perspective to tap into his psyche and find the illusive thing that ignited him. It was under these circumstances, as the story goes, that Andy wound up observing the Sipalas in their bed early one morning. That Andy was a peeping tom was understood and accepted. The voyeurism channeled and legitimatized with the creation of a painting... his finished paintings were often just byproducts of his process of search and discovery. He had done the same thing in the black community of Little Africa and with Helga at the Kuerner’s Farm... just as he had years earlier at Olson’s during summers in Maine.
Andy and I began to throw out titles like a game of ring-toss... knowing that the only way to arrive at the goal was to get the game started. I recall one or the other of us throwing out the titles like 'Morning Star,' based on the planet viewed through half-opened eyes, setting out the window to the west at dawn over distant Kuerner’s Hill. Innocuous titles abounded in this game and no one cared... the more mundane or far flung the better… there was a moment of pause still etched in my memory when Andy and I had run out of title options and stood silently in front of the painting... Betsy emerged stoically from the kitchen, dishrag in hand, having overheard all of our inane options... and won the game with one word... 'Marriage,' she proclaimed definitively. As she uttered this title, the air in the room changed... the painting itself seemed to react with a renewed luminosity... the word hit the target with concise perfection... suddenly a painting of an old couple lying half-asleep in bed... took on an archetypal symbolic meaning... this was how the magic was created... through a perfect marriage of the visual and the verbal.. Andy, a painter... Betsy, a writer. The painting became in that moment a representation of what it feels like to survive through the rugged turmoil and years of struggle in a married relationship. It didn’t lampoon it... it didn’t present it with irony... it handed the totality of life to us with the dignity that all the participants embodied. I had never experienced a painting come to life like that just by naming it. It was magical."
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