Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Four Freedoms

Beach Scene © 2012, R.L. Delight

I am working in the studio but am not to a point in any of the projects I am working on at the moment where I am ready to post about them. So today, I thought I would talk a little bit about one of the art books I am reading. I am reading Norman Rockwell, Illustrator by Arthur L. Guptill.
My father first showed me Norman Rockwell's illustrations when I was a child. It was love at first sight. This particular book was mentioned on another artist's blog and I checked it out of our local library. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious about Norman Rockwell, the artist, and his thoughts and methods behind the work he did.
Of the many stories and paintings mentioned in the book, I was most moved by Rockwell's Four Freedoms paintings based on Franklin Roosevelt's speech of the same name. The paintings are beautiful and given what is happening in the U.S. and around the world to our basic rights and freedoms, they are hauntingly still appropriate today. In fact, I would say that these freedoms are disappearing which is rather frightening. 

Basically the Four Freedoms are:
-Freedom of Speech
-Freedom of Worship (in whatever way)
-Freedom from Want
-Freedom from Fear

The link to a bit of background on the illustrations and to see images of the paintings themselves is here.
I would love to post the pictures of the Four Freedoms myself but I have not found any good images that are easy to use under the copyright rules. 
I think it would be an interesting artist challenge for all those so inclined to paint, draw, weave, or create in some manner new interpretations of the Four Freedoms. They are so badly needed in this world today and I fear they are greatly endangered. 
What do you think?


Theresa said...

Great post. As was your previous one Courage, now get that painting to a point to show us! :)
As an aside. My mother, knew many of the folks Rockwell pulled to be in some of his works. He was a fixture in her area of southern Vermont when she was growing up. Every time she's here she pours over a collection of Rockwell prints in a tome of his work down at a local used bookstore. I suppose I should buy it and surprise her with it.
As to freedoms, simply taken in their simplest forms yes, they are evolving. They were as is said, different times. People have changed and frankly a certain sense of pride in our country has changed making these freedoms as they were related in that time and place different. I think in many respects we have more freedom in certain areas and less in others. I think the 4 freedoms are worthless without a collective sense of community and responsibility on how to abide by them in spirit. So if they are endangered we have in a sense done it to ourselves.

R. Delight said...

Thanks for your thoughts Theresa. I think the key to much of our problems these days lies in one of your points, precisely that the freedoms are worthless without a collective sense of community and responsibility. I have wandered far enough down the paths of the Transition movement and other community building movements to believe that this is our societies' only way to get gracefully and healthily out of the mess we are in and even then it probably won't be pretty! Thanks again for your thoughts.

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