Color Reflections of America’s Past
Wit and nostalgia from great new Creative Haven coloring books
The illustrated covers of the old Saturday Evening Post seem like everybody’s memories. Milkmen clothed in white uniforms still deliver gallons of fresh milk. Boys swim in the old swimming hole. Public servants, like police and fire fighters, are relaxed and friendly. They also show images of a time long gone when there was such a thing as penny candy and a kid had some agonizing decisions to make, like in the picture above.
One of the artist we associate with the Saturday Evening Post was Norman Rockwell. His pictures were wry and tender all at the same time, with a sense of humor that guaranteed the images would be more than just sentimental. Besides, every has a favorite Norman Rockwell picture that always makes them smile.
Rockwell was a master of facial expressions and his skill in rendering human emotion was unsurpassed. The people inhabiting his canvasses are happy, wistful, unsure, hopeful, curious, and ecstatic. You can see it in the glitter of the eye and the slump of a shoulder. He didn’t spare himself, either, when he depicted himself at the canvas. Notice the self-portraits he included for reference, tacked to the right side of the self-portrait-in-progress.
This year, Dover has published two Creative Haven Coloring Books. Both bring back the glory days of the Saturday Evening Post covers.
The Saturday Evening Post Americana coloring book benefits from the creative chops of Dover artist Marty Noble. Marty has rendered these wonderful images into great coloring-friendly pictures. Each of the 31 pictures is labeled on the back with the name of the artist and the original publication date. The Norman Rockwell book has images rendered by Dover artist Sara Jackson. Each of these pictures also includes the original publication date.
These coloring books would make fantastic gifts for anyone who wants to color lively and engaging pictures, or for folks who remember when some of these were first published. But you don’t have to depend on your own nostalgia to appreciate a once-popular style of drawing from the twentieth century. Anyone can love the soda jerks, snoozing workingmen, and fun-loving kids that romp across these pages.