Artists working with the face and figure…. Norman Rockwell…..


For sure this is one of America’s most beloved artists. He was a highly productive painter and and produced more than four thousand works over his lifetime.

From a design stand point I enjoy the interaction of the figures he paints. Be it a young child whose face is red from playing tag or an old person in a barber’s chair getting a haircut the artist was great at portraying expression. Most interesting for me are his self portraits and in fact in one painting he portrayed himself three times in the picture.

Some works by the artist and the last picture is the image where the artist has portrayed himself three times in the painting.

A museum piece made in 2007 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts where the artist lived from 1953 until his death in 1978.

Part two of the Stockbridge, MA museum interview.

Part three of the interview.

The artist was born in 1894 in New York City.

He painted his first commission at sixteen years of age.  Illustrated his first book  only one year later at seventeen years of age.  He created many illustrations and some of his most famous work was done as the lead illustrator of the Saturday Evening Post. He worked at this position for more than forty years. He also did illustrations for Boy Scouts of America and Boys’ Life. Illustrated forty books in his lifetime.

As an illustrator he designed calenders, greeting cards, posters, books, sheet music, stamps, and even painted murals. The artist was well schooled in a variety of mediums working in charcoal, watercolor, gouache, and oils.

low price range: many lithograph prints sell in the hundreds of dollars. Sometimes great prints can be found for five hundred dollars.

high price range: $15. 4 million for a painting titled Breaking Home Ties.

Many art critics didn’t take the artist seriously as a fine artist for all his illustration work. Some critics thought the work was too sweet or had too much kitsch, the same problem that plagued Thomas Kinkade. For me Rockwell was far better at designing and painting than Kinkade. At least with Rockwell you don’t have paintings with light coming from all directions.

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg each own some of the artist’s work. Spielberg owns a sketch of the triple portrait work.  Both men have the artist’s work in their offices and where they work daily. Norman Rockwell is even a character in the Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones.

Attended college at the National Academy of Design as well as the Art Students League of New York.

Passed away in 1978 aged 84 years old.

I encourage you to look at the many great figurative works made by the artist. Check out or purchase a book of his art, its fantastic!







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