Thursday, November 13, 2014
What Does Your Rockwell Look Like?
I love Norman Rockwell paintings. I think they’re probably some of the best artwork out there, in my opinion. I’m by no means an art expert, but his work NEVER ceases to make me stop, pause, ponder, and feel. Isn’t that the purpose of an artist? I’m an artist too – I paint with words. Sometimes I produce masterpieces, sometimes garbage, most of the time it’s something in between.
How we see the world, how we see truth, how we see each other, how we see nature, science, faith, justice… all these various views stem from who we are, where we are, and what we have, are, or will experience in this life. How I see things today is not how I saw them at 5, or any age in between. The pictures have been colored in more, the lines have become more defined, delicate and broad brush strokes have been added, techniques have been developed and experience has happened. Also, time has moved – aging the older paint, making the fresh paint even more prominent.
I think about death and life. I step back and look at the picture I’ve painted. There are a lot of black and white, sharp images, dark images, but there’s also vibrant colors, soft strokes, and beautiful pastels. But what does the big picture show?
The way Rockwell is able to capture a time, place, feeling, and ideal in his art, you can clearly see the story he’s trying to tell – and it’s a beautiful story. It’s an ideal story, one that I’ve longed for most of my life. In my crazy, mixed up, violent world – I’ve always dreamed of a Rockwell existence. I almost had that kind of world, once. I had all the appearance – the look, the sound, the image, the right job, the right family, the right standing in the community. The only thing missing was real passion and love.
Why are we such cowards? We cling so tightly to our ideals, we miss moments of adding a beautiful stroke of brilliant color to our pictures by being afraid to love one another. We think love makes us weak, but it’s our greatest strength. Love is what makes all the difference. Love is what colors our pictures. I may not live to see tomorrow. Every day is a gift. I don’t want to die alone and unloved, or having missed an opportunity to love someone else. We only get one life. There is no do-over. Paint your life with lots and lots of love – and throw all that other garbage (expectations, philosophies, religion, tradition, rules) out. What does your Rockwell look like?