Norman Rockwell & Dawbis of Lovely Paper


Happy New Year! Let me begin by saying 2011 has started by totally bamboozling me with snow. I've never been one who likes snow, partially because I am always cold and I hate having wet feet. Snow pretty much rots and snow in Queens pretty much uber rots. For the last 3 weeks I've been driving around my hood with a shovel in my backseat, looking for a spot to dig out and park my car. After a hellish 7 hours of work each day, let me tell you that's the last thing I want to do. Despite my negativity towards my current situation (shocking, I know), I have been working on some art during these cold, frigid nights.

But onto to Norman Rockwell. Many of us are familiar with Rockwell's depictions of every day life - Thanksgiving around the table, trips to the dentist and doctor's offices, and his paintings for the Boy Scouts of America. But did you know that he tried to enlist in the U.S. Navy during World War I and was denied because he was underweight? In a dire attempt, he spent one night devouring bananas and doughnuts and made weight. Despite enlisting, Rockwell was given the role of military artist and never saw any action during the war.

Dawbis (or Dawn) is a self-taught paper artist based out of Texas. I came across her blog one day and was smitten with her crazy illustrations. [You can check out her work at Lovely Paper Blog or by clicking here.] I love how she creates a scene with her little paper people - each one tells its own story through expressions and actions, and sometimes even the paper she uses to create them. Let me tell you - after making a few paper people of my own, this is one tedious process!

For this mashup, I took Norman Rockwell's theme of every day life - in my case, it's the types of people I see on a given day at the bus stop - and depicted them in Dawbis' style. I'm already anticipating some reactions along the line of: "Beth, these characters are awfully stereotypical." The fact is, I'm not exaggerating in any way. This IS what I see. To be trite, NYC is the melting pot of ethnicities, and many of them never assimilated into "American" culture. When I first move here, that realization was a little overwhelming. Living here for almost two years, I can safely say I appreciate the ownership of one's culture that much more now.

I know my mashup is a little small on the screen, so feel free to click on the photo for a larger view.