Happy Thanksgiving 2011

As I’ve done over the past few Thanksgivings, I am happy to present a look at some excellent art. Now in the image to the right, Norman Rockwell gives us a look at his famous Thanksgiving meal. This painting was created way back in 1943. That’s nearly 70 years ago. Yet it seems as though this painting is even more beloved now than it was back then – but I’m guessing about that. I only know that I loved it when I first saw it – and still do. Actually – this is encore showing on my site of the painting.

Rockwell died a little more than 33 years ago in 1978 but this image has long been associated with the American holiday, a day when we can remember back to our younger days, and a day when we can give thanks to all of those who came before us and pushed their way across this country when the way west was uncharted, as well as unknown, or those who came even before the settlers of what would become our western states. Those folks would be the Pilgrims.

A newer work of art, albeit from a period that even predates the Rockwell, but one that is similar in nature and theme is a Thanksgiving Dinner memorialized by artist Alfredo Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s style is classic realism and his art is rich in details, so much so, that any of his works are immediately identifiable as his, and unforgettable.

Rodriguez’s Thanksgiving Dinner (above) lacks the background depth that we usually associate with his works. But as it can bring up thoughts of Thanksgiving holidays with a large family gathered at a table, we can just imagine our own holiday dinners, or we can feel the nostalgia of knowing that all across the country today, and all across the country going back a few hundred or more years – similar scenes were to be found in millions of homes.

This year, I was fortunate enough to find an advertisement in the November/December issue of Art of the West magazine. The painting below was the focus of the ad for the artist . The painting is called Fishin’ at the Bridge, and it was created by Robert Duncan, whose gorgeous paintings are at once all about families, nature, and of gentler times. This advertisement led me to look up the artist on Google.

Robert Duncan, on his website has said,

 “I decided years ago to paint the things that I cared most about. That decision has brought me a lot of joy and satisfaction and I’m especially grateful that my family has been such an important part of all of this.

I grew up in the suburbs, but every chance I got, I would sneak out to nearby fields to watch the birds or play in the creek, and the summers I spent on my granddad’s ranch really taught me how much we all need Nature in our lives. But change is all around us. The family farm is disappearing at an alarming rate. Development and sprawl cover fertile fields by the minute. I want my grandchildren to be able to walk through a field and hear a meadowlark call. We don’t all have to live on a farm, but to pass by and see the cows grazing or just to know that there are wild places being kept wild makes our lives better. In a way, my paintings are a call to think about the things that have touched our lives and hope that we might all be willing to do our part to save these things for future generations.”

So to honor Thanksgiving 2011, have a look at the video below which displays the glorious art of Mr. Duncan.. Thanks to Mr. Duncan for his brilliant, wonderful, and nostalgic art, which is presented via a video accompanied by the classic and nostalgic music of Sunshine on My Shoulder  co-written and recorded by John Denver. The song was released as a single in 1973. The second video, also featuring Mr. Duncan’s art is the song, Grandpa, Tell Me About the Good Old Days, recorded and sung by The Judds, and written by Jamie O’Hara in 1986.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


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