Thursday 24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Norman Rockwell’s was an American illustrator he worked predominantly for the Saturday Evening Post creating works for the front cover that expressed America’s visual identity.
His works have become iconic of this period in American history and hugely influential for advertising, they still have an impact today.
They largely speak of tradition and the workings of everyday life, with a huge kitsch appeal, although some have a political bent particularly his later work and those that coincided with the war.
Many of his paintings focus upon Thanksgiving.

                                                    Norman Rockwell Saving Grace 1951
Saying Grace as the name suggests shows a family saying their prayers around a rather unusual thanksgiving table. It was produced and published for the Thanksgiving edition of the post in 1951. It is a poignant scene in which the family sit in a diner saying grace while other figures look on incredulously. It reminds the viewer that Thanksgiving is not just about turkey but is a testament of faith and tradition.
                                               Norman Rockwell Freedom from Want 1943
On the other end of the spectrum we find Freedom from Want, which is a self proclaimed celebration of plenty. The MASSIVE turkey about to be carved completes the table which includes a variety of other sumptuously painted food. The table is surrounded by smiling faces leaning in as if smelling the turkey and laughing and joking with each other.
However the painting also sits within a political dialogue, it is one of the four freedoms referred to in a speech by Roosevelt, they included Speech, Want, Fear and Worship and were intended as a reminder of the reasons for the World War.
Regardless of the political statement behind the painting it is primarily a painting of a family including a variety of generations being united in celebration.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving full of food fun family and friendship!!

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Ice Skating in Style

The Somerset House Ice Rink opened to the public today and is in my opinion a really magical experience. As you pass through the three arched entrance from the strand you enter a small oasis of Christmas, with a large and colourfully decorated Christmas tree set against the magnificent building of Somerset House built in the classical style. I always find the atmosphere of this enclosed square truly surreal especially when juxtaposed with the frenetic pace of the strand on which it stands.
Sponsored by Tiffany’s expect to find lots of egg shell blue, you might even fancy a quick visit to their pop up shop, (far left of photo).
There is also a cafe for those all important warming drinks once you have fallen over one to many times.
Get arty with it!
If you wanted to make a day of it why not visit the Courtauld Gallery where you can escape to other equally atmospheric venues and places:
The vibrant Parisian Folies-Bergere
The idealised Egypt of Bruegel
Or the sun soaked Tahiti of Gauguin

Regardless of how you choose to spend the rest of your day a trip to the Somerset House ice rink should be in the diary, there are even some special events going on that are worth taking a look at.
 All the details about the skating are on:
For any more information about the Gallery go to

P.S Pippa Middleton even attended the opening evening!!