Realist - Norman Rockwell

by Carol

Having recently been introduced to Norman Rockwell, I have to admit I am smitten.

I find that Rockwell's drawings have a timelessness about them and could have been painted yesterday, even though he was born at the end of the 19th Century and painted throughout the first half of the 20th .

He was a Realist and it is said he had trouble understanding modern art. In fact one of his paintings, The Connoisseur, shows a back view of a man looking at a red and yellow splatter painting. It is not immediately obvious that the man is actually a self portrait of the artist himself. The modern art piece suggests energy, the opposite of the stillness of Rockwell standing in front of it.

Many of his pieces are self portraits, including one picture which featured the artist three times. He also included local models in his work. Friends of mine visited the Rockwell Museum and were able to meet with some of the models and hear their stories, which they enjoyed tremendously.

Rockwell was prolific, with over 4000 paintings to his name! If he started painting at age 20, that would work out at 63 paintings a year! With each being very detailed, it must have taken a long time for each one. In addition to his paintings, he also illustrated over 40 books. Apparently he was a workaholic, and even painted while on his annual vacation with the family, and on Christmas Day!

His works seem to be a mirror of everyday life, especially those pieces created for front covers of The Saturday Evening Post magazine for more than 40 years. I guess it is not surprising that his paintings had broad appeal in America.

Although not considered a “serious artist” by many, I am enjoying getting to know his art.

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