The Heart of Art

As part of our celebration of my 50th birthday the other day my wife and I visited the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Frist Center in Nashville and loved it. According to the exhibit, Rockwell was hailed as a “contemporary Currier and Ives” and “Dickens with a paintbrush” and was heralded for the realism and idealism of his portrayals of simple, small town life in America.

One of my favorite Rockwell paintings, which was not part of the exhibit but hangs at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is the painting of his adopted hometown at Christmastime, which is pictured above. It speaks to me of the beauty of New England, the Christmas holiday, and small town living in general. Rockwell’s ability to capture the essence of any setting was unparalleled, but home even more so.

Rockwell was a master of his craft and as an artist he inspires me to create with heart the type of art that uplifts people and moves them toward their better selves. To me the artist’s legacy is so much more than the impressive quantity of his artwork; it is also the quality of the art he created with such attention to detail. Some may criticize Rockwell’s work as crass commercialism, but I think he preferred people to products and it showed in his portrayal of them.

Winter Wonderland

I am happy to report that since my last post Nantucket received the snowfall my wife and I had hoped for, with about five inches of fabulous white flakes covering the ground and creating a winter wonderland of serene scenery. According to our best recollections, it had been more than two decades since my wife and I last saw that much snow and we learned that it is relatively uncommon for here also.

And it could not have been more picture perfect. We awoke on a Saturday morning to a steady stream of snowflakes and it continued to gather virtually all day as wooly blankets of white fleece. We got dressed in our winter gear, headed down Main Street to the island wharf and photographed the breathtaking beauty of it all before heading home to share our excitement with Florida friends and family.

There is something special about the simple beauty of a winter snowfall that blends manmade structures like buildings and boats with the natural presence of flora and fauna to create a landscape that is theatre for the senses. And we loved our front row seats to the spectacular show that the picturesque snow presented our fellow residents and us on this dreamsicle of an island thirty miles out to sea.