Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Norman Rockwell

I use Google for my business constantly.  I love how those clever Google folks change up the Google logo for various holidays or events.  And they're kind of random, too, and I do love random!

Did you use Google today?  Today Google celebrates the birthday of one of my favorite artists, Norman Rockwell.

Norman Rockwell celebrates all things family, old-fashioned, patriotic, and quietly humorous.  One of my favorite paintings is one called "Breakiing Home Ties."  I assembled a huge puzzle of this painting many years ago.  We put together the puzzle over several days, so it gave me a lot of opportunity to contemplate it as I looked at the box for clues to find the right piece.  In the end, it taught me how to view all art.

Norman Rockwell's work always tells a story and the story is often more than initiually meets the eye.  All art is like this, but Rockwell's particularly so.  "Breaking Home Ties" is the story of a farmer and his son, as the son prepares to leave for college.  But look closer.   

The father is weary and careworn, but the boy is eagerly looking for the train.  Even his socks are in colleage colors.  He is anxious to succeed.  If you look very closely, his new school books have been read halfway through, with the bookmarks in place.  He was reading them over the summer.

Rockwell was also a social commentator and didn't sugar coat evil.  His painting, "The Problem We All Live With" needs no explanation and holds nothing back. Look carefully toward the second group of men to see the aftermath of the tomatoes which racists have thrown at the little girl.  Note also how carefully she is dressed and that she is clothed entirely in white, the color of innocence.

I"m off to have coffee with my old-timey friend, Hester.  She is 96 years old and full of life in every way.  I am proud that I gave her a Starbucks habit when she was 91.  It is our special pleasure that we share together.  My morning will be filled with stories of her youth in Wales, living through the depression and World War II, and a lifetime of wisdom gained by knowing the Lord.  She is a treasure.


Debra said...

I love Norman Rockwell, too--always have. I'm so glad we still have his paintings in our modern world today. And your friend sounds amazing! Wow. Blessings, Debra

Judy said...

I have a modest collection of Norman Rockwell Mother's Day plates. The detail in the ones with the grandma baking with the grandkids still influence me on a daily basis.

One of the plates has a bit of lace on a shelf. Now I cannot abide a shelf without a bit of lace adorning it!

Someday, my grandkids will probably think that Norman stole this idea from me!

I hope you and your friend get to lift those Starbucks together for many years to come!