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My Cousin Norman Rockwell

Jessica Rockwell's portraits are inspired cousin Norman Rockwell

My client, Morgan Williams, had orchestrated a huge wedding on Long Island, for her daughter, including grand niece Vivi as flower girl. Morgan made sure that the little girl, who flew in with her parents from California, was greeted at their hotel with a princess dress, tiara and gloves laid out on her bed. Later at the wedding, the photographer happened to capture the moment as proudly-attired Vivi was introduced to her grand aunt. “Is she going to like me? Am I going to like her?” is written all over her face.

My cousin Norman Rockwell was a constant source of inspiration for me as an artist throughout my life. For example, when I was young and learned of him, saw his Saturday Evening Post Covers and had an interest in art, because he was my cousin, it made it seem very possible that I could be an artist too if I wanted. I grew up in Savannah, Georgia, of course—a long way from Vermont and Massachusetts where he lived and worked. To my knowledge my parents never even considered the idea that a little Southern cousin who liked to draw horses’ heads could impose upon this great celebrity, even if he were in our family. It wasn’t until he passed away in 1978, that I realized, now as an adult, that I could and should have made a pilgrimage to meet him myself once I had decided to major in art in college. Years later, after my father saw that I had truly made art my life’s work, he too regretted that we hadn’t made a concerted effort to meet our great Norman Rockwell.

However, he left an indelible mark on me in terms of my own choices and even identity as an artist. I knew that his products had a significant effect on brightening the outlooks of millions of people. I decided that the art that I wanted to create would also elevate people’s spirits so that they would leave feeling better and then be nicer to other people who would then be more agreeable to the next … creating a wave of positive effects. In my own way and with my own style, I wanted to associate myself as a “Rockwell” Artist too. Now, with years of work and hundreds of paintings under my belt, I created this blog with the idea of “The Adventures of the Rockwell Portrait Artist”.

For real live portraits, please do call me at 727-442-5553, or email me at info101@rockwellportraits.com, or contact me from my website. I will paint your portrait in oil or draw it in charcoal—of you, your spouse, your children, family, dogs, cats, horses… or even an ancestor deserving to be remembered. The Rockwell Portrait Artist paints on!

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•  Norman Rockwell’s Legacy