August 6, 2008

Workshop at the Norman Rockwell Museum (Part 1)

This week I am teaching a workshop in oil painting at the Norman Rockwell Museum. I taught my first workshop here two years ago, and they were kind enough to ask me back. I could not resist.

It’s such an honor to walk in these doors and feel the respect everyone has here for the illustration field. I always feel so welcome. I’m like a kid who’s been asked to explain his theory of the universe.

Yesterday was the first class. We’re a little tight on room to paint as the class has maxed out at 17. But the atmosphere is one of discovery as once again I find that when I’m completely honest about the process of painting, teaching a non-complicated point of view, students get excited and suddenly realize they can get results. No matter what their age.

New Kids in the Neighborhood by Norman Rockwell

I was honored again today when our first model turned out to be one of Norman Rockwell’s models! Yes, 13 year old Wray Gunn was the young, black boy on the left of the painting, “New Kids In The Neighborhood,” which appeared on the cover of LOOK Magazine’s May 16th issue of 1967. His sister stands next to him. I remember studying that cover, and here he was, modeling for our class. Thanks again, Wray!

I’m looking forward to a week of teaching, but I return every night to being the student myself, when I go upstairs to study the masterful paintings of Rockwell. If you are a painter and you’ve never seen his originals, you cannot understand the depth of his skills. Treat yourself and make a trip here.

painting Wray Gunn at the Norman Rockwell Museum

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