The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida on September 11, 1960 · Page 74
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The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida · Page 74

Orlando, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 11, 1960
Page 74
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Rockwell at work Modest Success Artist Norman Rockwell is famous, yet he still worlds hard at his craft. NORMAN ROCKWELL, the prolific illustrator who has turned out more than 300 Saturday Evening Post covers, 34 Boy Scout calendars, has illustrated scores of books and magazines and hundreds of advertisements, is physically unable to draw an unpleasant picture. Rockwell was born in New York City in 1894. His mother's father was an artist, though not a NORMAN ROCKWELL: My Adventures as an Illustrator by Norman Rockwell, as told to Thomas Rockwell. Preface by Ben Hibbs. Illustrated. 436 pp. (Doubleday $4.95). very successful one. Rockwell attended city schools and the National Academy, and at 16 entered the Art Students League, where he studied under the great George Bridgman. 1 HIS CITY LIFE was fairly exciting. Among the odd jobs he took as a teenager was the part of an extra, or spear-carrier, at the J? 4 - v?',.Jwns.-'K'.;w;.. - Metropolitan Opera House. He couldn't bear the filthy, -ill-fitting costumes he had to wear. He didn't like the brutality of the city streets, either. And, in a life which has not been free of troubles, when he found that he was in a slump and couldn't turn out the work he loved, he decided to move to the country and get away from the city's distractions. Norman Rockwell had learned to love the country in boyhood summer vacations in upstate farms. IN SOME WAYS, Rockwell has not lived the simple life at all. He is no country bumpkin. He has been married and divorced. He has lived in Paris. He has had consistent, popular, financial success, despite periods when his drawing wouldn't work. He moved from the city first to Arlington, Vt., and presently lives in Stockbridge, Mass. The models he draws live about him, wholesome, everyday Americans. He likes it that way. This book does not attempt to tell readers how to draw as he does. It is not an art book. He 7T a Kjr lev 4 jr. does have a good many anecdotes about models, whether they be modest income neighbors or the president of the U. S. THERE'S A WHOLE interesting field he explores in telling of the animals he draws dogs, chickens, turkeys and ducks. You tack down the web of the duck's foot to keep him posed. And Rockwell uses the camera to take pictures of his scenes and models in various poses, which he uses later to make his paintings. He likes this better than painting directly from live models. Rockwell heard a lot of Dickens in his youth. His father was a Dickens reader, and Norman Rockwell acquired this literary taste, which is reflected in his painted characters. 1 Norman Rockwell models for his models in these photographs from his autobiography. He has painted more than 300 covers for Saturday Evening Post, now makes his home in Stockbridge, Mass. 14 F Mil MM:J; fjmmm'fr - - i' . ill ' .. ii 1 - i mfHmsavfmm, HE IS SATISFIED with his New England surroundings. "I was getting to be a snob," he confesses, about the period when he lived in Westchester. He finds his present neighbors genuine and worthwhile. He continues to regard himself as having to work hard for success, even though he is probably as successful an artist as this country has produced. He is always apprehensive that the drawing he has submitted will not be accepted. Ben Hibbs, editor of the Saturday Evening Post, calls Norman Rockwell "one of the best raconteurs I have ever known." "THE ANECDOTE usually ends with Norman as the butt of all the fun. Norman is the naive little painter who is awed by famous people and never does quite the right thing in their presence. All of which, of course, is nonsense. Norman himself is as famous as most of the people he finds so awesome, and he is about as naive as Nikita Khrushchev in a nicer way, thank God." This book was told to Norman Rockwell's son, Tom, who has caught the infectious, informal flavor of the subject, and the easy, unassuming grace which is so characteristic of Norman Rockwell. This autobiography is as refreshing as Norman Rockwell's paintings, and as heart-warming as his Saturday Evening Post covers. The covers are evocative in that they include a life-time of funny adventures which have befallen a modest, first-class illustrator who still works hard at his craft. By RUTH SMITH Florida Magazine Books Editor (Drlanta &rntiurl - FLORIDA MAGAZINE

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