Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Birthday America.

As the Independence Day weekend is upon us, I was wondering what artist I could feature that would represent America. I don't much like Jackson Pollock or Andy Worhol's work, and Sargent is wonderful but rather patrician. I like Georgia O'Keeffe and recently saw an exhibition of her work, along with Andrew Wyeth. I love N.C.Wyeth, the illustrator of so many beloved classics of my youth.

I was nearly set on A.Wyeth - such a genius -yet his work seems to always contain a bit of sadness, longing, controlled emotion and is often pretty bleak. I've been fascinated by the control and level of detail in his work. But I guess the bleakness is too close to what I've been feeling about my country right now and it isn't very festive.

Then I hit upon Norman Rockwell, an illustrator and painter. I've been pondering my attempt to transition from illustration to painting, so his work is an interesting study for me. Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post cover art is all about life in an ideal USA and, with the world the way it is, I could really use a touch of Utopia right now. (Besides, the Norman Rockwell museum is near where I live in Vermont.)

Rockwell was genius at capturing caricature and painting narrative. For example, this painting captures the essence of what I was as a girl...

But I wish I had had more of this:

Most of all, here is what I wish we all could become...

Happy Birthday America.

It's never too late to become the country you could have been.

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