June 12 ~  A Bag of Lemon Drops 332 Magazine Covers

"My ability was just something I had, like a bag of lemon drops." ~ Norman Rockwell

Norman RockwellAnd what a bag of lemon drops they were...

Born in a "shabby brownstone" in New York City, beloved artist Norman Perceval Rockwell (1894-1978) recognized he had "natural artistic ability" and enrolled in art classes at age 14.

"The poorer the picture, the better the frame," he once said.

In 1916, with creative longing and youthful courage, he approached The Saturday Evening Post with a drawing for their cover and was immediately accepted. "In those days," he said, "the cover of the Post was... the greatest show window in America for an illustrator. If you did a cover for the Post you had arrived."

Rockwell continued to create covers for the magazine for the next 55 years, drawing about seven a year. The covers celebrated the sentimental and universal way Americans lived. 

With inspiration that he described as "lighting up the inside of [his] head like a flash of lightening in a dark sky, he illustrated Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

"Without thinking too much about it in specific terms, I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed," Rockwell said and explained that an illustrator "can show what has become some familiar that it is no longer noticed."

Recognize and use your talents.