In his art, Wyeth's favorite subjects were the land and people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine. Wyeth often noted: "I paint my life."
Wyeth was heavily influenced by King Vidor's silent movie, The Big Parade. It influenced Winter 1946, Snow Flurries, Portrait of Ralph Kline andAfternoon Flight of a Boy up a Tree
He worked predominantly in a regionalist style. In his art, Wyeth's favorite subjects were the land and people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford,Pennsylvania, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine.
He typically created dozens of studies on a subject in pencil or loosely brushed watercolor before executing a finished painting, either in watercolor, drybrush (a watercolor style in which the water is squeezed from the brush), or eggtempera.
In 1986, extensive coverage was given to the revelation of a series of 247 studies of the German-born Helga Testorf, whom Wyeth met while she was attending to Karl Kuerner at his farm. Wyeth painted her over the period 1971–85 without the knowledge of either his wife or Helga's husband, John Testorf. This extensive study of one subject in differing contexts and emotional states is unique in American art.
In the early 1930s, Wyeth began painting Anna and Karl Kuerner, his neighbors in Chadds Ford. Like the Olsons, the Kuerners and their farm were one of Wyeth's most important subjects for nearly 50 years.
- After N.C. Wyeth's death, his work began to take on a melancholic tone. Wyeth painted Winter 1946 (1946, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 1946), which depicts a neighbor boy, Allan Lynch, running aimlessly down a bleak hill, his hand reaching out. The location of the work was the other side of the hillwhere his father had died and represented the unsettling, free-falling sense of loss.
- Brown Swiss (1957, private collection) is one of many paintings that he made from the 1950s to the 1970s of Karl and Anna Kuerner's farm in Chadds Ford. While the painting is named after the Brown Swiss cows Karl Kuerner owned, it shows the Kuerner farmhouse and the reflection of the house in the farm pond. However, Wyeth ultimately decided not to include any cows in the painting; only their tracks in the grass remain.
- In 1958, Andrew and Betsy Wyeth purchased and restored "The Mill", a group of 18th-century buildings that appeared often in his work, including Night Sleeper(1979, private collection). Brinton's Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
- Garret Room, (1962, private collection) was begun in watercolor and finished with the drybrush technique.
- Wyeth began to add portraits in the 1960s, such as Up in the Studio (1965), a drybrush portrait of his sister Carolyn.
- In works such as The Patriot, a portrait of Ralph Cline, Wyeth looked beyond the surface to understand who he was painting. Cline was an interesting gentleman 71 years of age, of Native American heritage and Maine humor. He wore a big hat and overalls and chewed tobacco. It was through painting him, though, that Wyeth understood that, beneath his humor and hard countenance, Cline was a warm-hearted veteran of great dignity and intellect.
- When Christina Olson died in the winter of 1969, Wyeth refocused his artistic attention upon Siri Erickson, capturing her naked innocence in The Sauna. It was a prelude to the Helga paintings.
- Ring Road (1985) reflects the earth tones that Wyeth used throughout his career.
- Raven's Grove (1985) is a prime example of Wyeth's mastery of egg tempera, connecting him to long history of sacred imagery. His precise mark-making coupled with his ability to create depth through the use of finely considered details is especially palpable in this piece.
- The Sauna