While continuing my journey towards art ministry, I was drawn towards representations of Thanksgiving. Historically this autumn harvest feast was celebrated to signify religious freedom. Over centuries this holiday has lost some of it's religious intent and was replaced by a focus on family and home. During this time of the year many of us look back at all we have to be thankful for. I feel absolutely blessed to have my two girls and loving husband and am extremely thankful for that. My goals for my children is to teach them truly what it means to be thankful for what they have.
During my research, I came across a quote that intrigued me:
"The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." - H.U. Westermayer
What a powerful message! Those early Americans, possibly your ancestors, had none of our modern conveniences. They buried more of their own than we can even imagine. Yet, they still were grateful to God for providing food, shelter and the ability to worship the way they wanted. Today a lot of us might consider these to be very simple basic needs and often times take them for granted. Reading this quote really had the wheels in my mind turning. Too many of us (I will admit, myself included) have become focused on being the best and having the best. I really started to think about this and realized that when your time comes to take your place in Heaven - it will not matter one bit that you owned a Louis Vuitton or drove a BMW. It's crazy to think how materialistic we have actually become.
Now - while these thoughts were going through my head, I was still searching for my Thanksgiving art ministry reference. An image of a Norman Rockwell painting came to mind and turned out to be perfect!
Norman Rockwell is such an iconic artist who simply painted what he saw. He enjoyed showing the America that he knew and observed. Most of us are familiar with his Saturday Evening Post covers. I love that the majority of his art showcases "down home" America and ordinary people in everyday life. His paintings depict such a vivid narrative one almost feels as if they are a part of the scene.
I am completely encouraged by his work and am inspired to take my first step in art ministry. My plan is to create some paintings that display my interpretation of God's glory and donate them to local shelters and hospitals. I feel this will be my way to share God's love to those less fortunate.
Please enjoy the following Norman Rockwell paintings which show his interpretation of Thanksgiving.