The Master Artist

2015-09-20 Norman Rockwell

His paintings and illustrations gifted countless hours of entertainment to my youth. Recently I had the pleasure of perusing a book of his art. It was the same kind of giant coffee table edition that I could hardly manage to hold when I was a child. He was a master of color, texture and detail, who painted with humor and a thoughtful compassion for life. I got lost in it again.

I remember being regarded with vein aloofness by a girl in high school and thinking she belonged in a Rockwell. I was glad that I’d witnessed that piece of living many times in his paintings. Somehow it made the coldness seem less personal. It was just a way that girls could be. I don’t know how he managed it, but Rockwell could also express the noble emotions, like dedication, honor and resolve. Gazing up in respect at my father while he gazed respectfully at the raising of our nation’s flag … it was the kind of moment Rockwell so skillfully mastered. His greatest art was freezing the human face at moments when it reflected the human soul.

There is another artful volume that has captivated, not just moments, but my life. It is one grand canvas, covered by the Master Artist through a company of illustrators. Each under-artist communicates with the texture and words appropriate to his personality, but it is always the Master’s intent and story that is infallibly revealed. It’s stunning portrayals of what is really in the soul of man, draws my gaze again and again. We can be fooled by the face, but this grand Masterwork never errors in its assessment of the heart. It gives me the full spectrum of why someone might seem aloof … from pride to pain.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21 (see also 2 Timothy 3:16)