Norman Rockwell was born February 3, 1894 in New York City and passed away November 8, 1978 in Massachusetts. In his lifetime, he created more than 4,000 pieces. He has plenty to display his success and passion in his career as an artist.
Norman Rockwell has always been an inspiration for both myself and my artwork. His almost perfect depictions of the American Dream in the 20th Century is unparalleled to many. Spotlighting the aspects of American life, he envisioned and created pieces that incite nostalgia in its viewers.
My favorite pieces from his collection are those on the covers of Boy’s Life Magazine. Once being a member of the Boy Scouts of America, I have experienced the traditions practiced and lessons taught that are depicted in his illustrations. The majority of older gentlemen who have reminisced about their Scouting days, have brought up Norman Rockwell and explained how his covers perfectly display the experiences that they had lived through.
One piece in particular is A Guiding Hand. This painting depicts the passing down of skills and knowledge from an Boy Scout to a young Cub Scout. The facial expressions are wonderfully done, showing the determination to both teach and learn. Rockwell’s flawless placement of the figures and objects create a calming composition that is very balanced.
The piece encompasses important aspects of Scouting, including leadership, responsibility, and helping those in need. Utilizing skills that were taught to the leader are passed down to the younger generation and the cycle will repeat.
His pieces have a timeless quality to them; meaning that despite it being created years ago, it’s aspects are entirely applicable to somebody today. This is important because it demonstrates how the illustrations encompass lessons and traditions that stand the test of time. This concept is a perfect goal for Illustrators today.
What purpose as an artist do you want to achieve in your work?
Do you want your work to apply and connect with the viewer in the years to come?
Although unique, Rockwell set a bar for Illustrators to reach and strive towards.
When you look at a Norman Rockwell piece, you are traveling through a portal, stepping into a time long gone, but not forgotten. All of Norman’s works are an enjoyable experience and a great display of talent. One can learn quite a lot by studying his works, which are not only illustrations, but memories.
Featured Image: https://muscarelle.org/norman-rockwells-boy-scouts/