Last weekend myself and a couple fellow illustrators, Leyland and Antoin, had a mini road trip. We drove down to Akron, OH, near Cleveland, to see the amazing Norman Rockwell exhibit that is currently there. All I can say is it was INCREDIBLE. I never realized the textures he used. He coated his canvases with such think gesso, and must have used very bristly brushes then probably sanded it... it was crazy. Also what was surprising is how he painted. We're all so use to the print version of his paintings that one doesn't know how loosely and simply he painted the faces, also how much drawing he left showing through the paint and he also drew with pencil on top to get fine line details. One painting that struck me was the painting “The Problem We All Live With”. On the ground he had actual pebbles in the paint to give more texture, the tomato splat is actually paint thrown against the canvas, the ledge on the wall was really thick... meaning it was "wow"
What irritates me is that so many artists are so quick to write him off, calling him kitschy. But his paintings were so loose, the colors were crazy. His 323 Saturday Evening Post covers were so impressive, he was able to keep the same basic layout yet make every painting different, not many are able to accomplish that.
People who don't look at his ability of layout, his painting skills, and his ability to portray emotion through the look of a character, need to get off their high horse. He is an incredible painter who lived his dream, so he then painted other peoples dreams. There is nothing wrong with painting what could be.
My favorite out of everything, "A Family Tree", in person this was huge and crazy... in a good way.
I got a book that was for the exhibit, which was great because it has all the text from the show in it. The reproduction is good but nothing can ever compare to the original.
I was blown away.