Thursday, August 1, 2013

Conversations with Norman Rockwell

 A while back I went to see a Norman Rockwell exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum. 

As I was expecting, there was a bit of a line, so I sketched the crowd while I was waiting. It kept me entertained. The guy standing behind me kept peeking over my shoulder to see what I was drawing. 

Once I made it into the exhibition, I made a quick sweep around the room to check out the art work. 

What I did see of Norman Rockwell's work was inspiring. From what I can tell, he worked very quickly. But then you would have to if you are going to be as prolific as he was. It looked as though he started by covering the whole canvas in a background color and then filled in the painting with large blocks of solid colors adding a few touches here and there but generally keeping it pretty simple. He then put a lot of attention into the main section of the painting. There is no doubting where the focal point should be. Every line is drawing the eye to the most important part of the painting. Looking at Norman Rockwell's paintings in person felt like I was having a conversation with the man himself. I wish there had been fewer people at the museum so could have looked at the work more closely. 

But seeing as the room was so packed full of people, I didn't really have the space to fully examine the art work very much so I sat down to draw...

I got in trouble for using a pen. 
One of the museum workers gave me a dirty look 
and handed me a tiny pencil to draw with. 

I was unintentionally attracting attention. People kept asking me if I worked at the museum. I didn't think my drawing here would be considered such a novelty. Apparently, not very many people sketch at this museum.  In the museums I visited in London, there were lots of people with sketchbooks.

I found it interesting how people flocked together in little groups
 slowly migrating around in groups listening to audio tour guides.  

I've been trying to work on observational drawing of people. I tried sketching at the mall but people are in too much of a hurry and I literally have to chase some people to finish a sketch. But people walk slower at the museum, making them easier to draw...and follow around. I will have to sketch in the museum more often. 

1 comment:

  1. The mental picture of you chasing people around in the mall to finish a sketch is pretty hilarious.

    I'm impressed at your ability to get these down on paper, even with people moving "slower" in a museum. Especially like the last two. They give a good sense of atmosphere to me.