By Kate Bradley 12 December 2014, 9:50 AM
When I was a little girl, I used to pour over a book of Norman Rockwell paintings my grandparents had. I adored Norman Rockwell. His talent was mind-boggling, but was really drew me to his work were the touching scenes of everyday life he created. From little girls watching their moms getting dressed to go out, to a marine coming home from war, to a little boy doctoring a sick puppy, I loved the warmth and tenderness of each painting. He honors tradition, love, and family in a way that is funny and charming.
In today's culture, there is a cynicism that makes work likes his seem quaint and cheesy. I'm guilty of it like everyone else. A lot of people would say it's unrealistic to show perfect, Leave-It-to-Beaver families with a mom, dad, and two kids. But I would argue that Norman Rockwell paints life as it should be. It appeals to our higher ideals.
Rockwell’s work portrays an innocence and simplicity that is almost absent from today’s world of business. The people in it aren't frantic, distracted or rushed. They are savoring life. When I look at it, I feel a since of longing for a simpler time.
The people in his paintings are engaged and connected; they depend on each other. Sometimes I have to force myself to put down my cell phone when I’m eating with my family. Why would I want to “connect” with people through a screen when my real, exciting, flesh-and-blood loved ones are sitting in front of me?
In my own work, I am hoping to remind others of what’s important in life. I want to help them feel more connected to their families through my work. I guess you could say I’m carrying the torch for Norman.