Masterpiece Conversations: Norman Rockwell


Adventures Between Adventures by Norman Rockwell 1894-1978

Anyone who knows me, knows one of my all-time favorite artist is Norman Rockwell. His paintings and drawings capture a place in my heart. They are patriotic, funny, loving, and warm. They show the world in a way I like to remember it. Good times with good friends and family.

Norman Rockwell was famous for his paintings and drawings of American life. His art was used for magazines and newspapers, posters and advertisements, and he even illustrated calendars. One of his most beloved calendars was called the “Four Seasons”. In it he had pictures of people enjoying life in autumn, winter, spring, and summer. I loved them all but summer may have been my favorite!

When I think of summer, I think of my childhood. I think of being outside, playing games, and going on adventures with my good friend, Timmy. Timmy and I didn’t really travel very far or do anything too dangerous. We mostly walked to a pond in our neighborhood and caught catfish. Here’s a secret though, we weren’t very good at catching them. We sat in the grass, fed ducks, and daydreamed. I thought lying next to the pond with a fishing pole in my hand (a piece of bread squeezed onto the hook for bait) was the most relaxed a boy could be. I was right.

Is it any wonder that one of my favorite Norman Rockwell illustrations came from his “Four Seasons” calendar? It’s called “Adventures Between Adventures”, and in it you’ll see a boy, next to a dog, sleeping in the grass, with a fishing pole. I love it! Can you imagine a better summer day?

When I look at this picture I can’t help but think of questions. What is the dog looking at? Is the boy skipping out on his chores? Is the boy really asleep or just pretending? Here are some fun questions for you to think about when you look at “Adventures Between Adventures”.


Reflection Questions:

What do you think the dog is looking at?

How long do you think the boy has been there?

What do you think the boy is dreaming?


You might also notice that the picture doesn’t have a background… It’s blank! Norman Rockwell would sometimes leave a picture empty like this. It leaves room for your imagination.

What color do you think the sky is?

What time of day is it?

What type of body of water is the boy fishing in? Is it a river, a lake, maybe a pond?

What is the dog’s name?


It’s a lot of fun to look at a painting and think of a story to go with it. What is this painting’s story? Look for more Norman Rockwell pictures and think of their stories. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Stay tuned for a fun art project based on this masterpiece coming later this week!

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Ponder It!


Kevin Bartle

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