08 July 2012

Country Artists

There are a few artists that I particularly enjoy in their depictions of Americana, Country Art, and Western art.  Please indulge me as I list them and a few of their works.

First, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) is right at the top of the list.  He is as American as apple pie, known for his countless depictions of American life.  His work has appeared just about everywhere, including on hundreds of covers of the Saturday Evening Post.  I simply cannot pick a favorite Norman Rockwell painting, there are too many!  Below is a good representation of his work:

This Rockwell painting typifies his depictions of American life.  He often painted himself into his works.  Look in the lower right corner.

This next photo depicts the local County Agricultural Agent visiting a farm to check up on a 4-H cow being raised for the County Fair by a young farm girl.

A visit from the County Agent.

Next on my list is another artist of Americana, Eric Sloane (1905-1985).  He not only painted and drew hundreds of accurate illustrations of colonial and early American life, he wrote volumes of text to go along with it.  He did much to preserve information that would otherwise likely have been lost.

Sloane's accurate illustrations came from his own exhaustive research and have preserved the details of many parts of early American life.

Sloane was particularly fond of old tools, their identification and uses.

Another favorite is western artist Frank C. McCarthy (1924-2002).  I first noticed his work on the covers of Western Horseman magazine many years ago.  I enjoy his realistic recreation of the natural world and landscape of the American West and of the early cowboys, mountain men, and Indians.  McCarthy's paintings put you in the middle of things, whether it was a lightning storm on the high plains, or an Indian attack.  Good stuff.  Here is an example of a Frank C. McCarthy work:

"Spooked" by Frank C. McCarthy

The fourth artist is one that I 'discovered' a couple of years ago.  Robert Duncan (born in 1952) paints country life with a western touch, in a way that is realistic and unexaggerated.  His detailed paintings depict daily country life that many of us would like to emulate.  Here is a representative sample of his work:

Isn't this a fun and peaceful painting?
I hope these samples might pique your interest in artists of our country and in their works.  You can find all kinds of information about any of these painters on the web.  Let me know which you like best and which are your favorite paintings.


  1. i love the mccarthy and duncan paintings too...and for the very same reasons you have given. i could literally place my face in the duncan paintings and call myself being at home. the mccarthy westerns-yes, you feel like you are right in the middle of the portrayed adventure.

  2. My mother gave me an Eric Sloane book in high school. The history taught and recorded in those simple line drawing still inspire me.

  3. Eric Sloane is a favorite. I have collected most of his books over the years. As you state, his drawings have helped provide a valuable record of many old tools and devices that would likely otherwise be lost. By the way, Dover Press has republished many of his formerly out of print titles. Thanks for checking in!