Picture Perfect

Posted: Friday, April 4, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
Comment | Trackback Bookmark and Share

 
This is one of my favorite Normal Rockwell illustrations.
It shows that even the greats can occasionally run out of ideas.
I’m certainly not comparing myself to Rockwell, but it’s good to know that he’d get stumped once in a while too when faced with a deadline…real or self made.
As I was looking at that and other works of art by him, I got to thinking about what a wonderful observer of people Rockwell was; how he could speak volumes about us on canvas without ever having to saying a word.
Be it humorous, patriotic or poignant, I’ve never looked at a Rockwell painting without feeling some kind of emotion;  laughter, pride or a lump in the throat.
Saying Grace, Norman RockwellIn my years at Keloland, I interviewed hundreds of artists. Nearly every one of them was talented but only a few possessed that special ability to tell a story that went beyond the work itself.
Jim Savage immediately comes to mind. A couple of Jim’s comical cowpokes I’m proud to own.
Jim was a soft spoken gentle man who discovered a skill for wood carving rather late in life but oh, what a gift he had.  Whether it was one of his comical cowboy carvings or the magnificent reality in his series of Indian Chief busts, Jim, like Rockwell, managed to bring his creations to life.
 
Greg Latza is another artist who looks for more than meets the eye.
Greg is a photographer who not only takes the pictures, he has built a business around his photography; publishing several coffee table books filled with his amazing images, mostly of people and places in South Dakota.I am particulary fond of this shot. You can sense the anxiety of the little girl as she sizes up the competition while nervously awaiting her turn to show her lamb at the fair.
To the casual observer, it would seem that Greg just has a knack for being in the right place at the right time to capture the perfect moment on film. The truth is, he, like all really good photographers, has an enormous amount of patience and will go to great lengths to make his own luck and get the shot he wants.
 
Another favorite..small town Saturday night haircut. Sort of looks like a Rockwell painting doesn’t it?Our daughter gave me a digital camera for Christmas and I’ve been trying to learn how to use it properly so I could include a few pictures here from time to time.
I’m afraid, though, it’s going to take a while.
The gift of a keen eye like a Rockwell, Savage or Latza wasn’t included in the instructional manual.

Leave a Reply