I'll never have enough time to paint all the pictures I want to - Norman Rockwell (American painter, illustrator, author)
Norman Rockwell reflected American culture in an approachable way.His work seemed relatable, even to a little black girl in Texas in the 70's. I think he was the first artist I knew by name and recognized his work when my interest in art was just developing. I don't remember who introduced him to me or how I was exposed to his work and didn't know it at the time, but I connected with his depictions of Americana. I had no idea he graced covers of some of the most important magazines and organizations of the era: Boy Scouts of America, Life, Saturday Evening Post, Literary Digest, to name a few, I just knew there was something about it I liked and enjoyed looking at his work.
I was drawing back then, copying things out of books we had around the house. I still thought I could be an artist, because no one had yet told me I couldn't. The pic of the boy and girl on the bench was one I tried to copy, albeit not very successfully, but hey, I gave it my best shot. In sixth grade art class we had a sculpture project and I remember attempting to mimic his style, making a boy in a dentist chair with the doctor peering into his mouth. It was terrible, in addition to the teacher forgetting to turn off the kiln and everyone's work burned. I kept it anyway, and sometimes wonder what happened to that awful thing.
The images included here are just a few my favorites of his work, each hold importance for different reasons.
Over the years I've collected a few of his books, they're in the bookshelf in my home office amongst the others on art history, appreciation, photography, theory, design, etc. I've given a few away, loaned some never returned, donated, or simply tired of others. But, never the Rockwell collections. Sometimes I'll pull one out and look through it just to reminisce with that little black girl in Texas who thought anything was possible.