Thursday, November 26, 2009


Norman Rockwell image from

Above is "Freedom from Want", painted in 1943. The world was in flames. In January of 1943 The battle of Stalingrad ended with the surrender of the German sixth army. Stalingrad was the bloodiest battle in the history of the world, leaving two million dead. America fought the battle of Guadalcanal earlier that year. Sicily and then Italy were invaded by allied forces .We know now how the Second World War would end, but in 1943 the outcome was, of course, not known. All over the globe men fought and died to stop totalitarian Germany and Japan from enslaving the world. Seventy million lives were sacrificed to the Moloch of Nazi ambition.
Many who saw this painting must have wondered if they would ever see their familys again, and many of them didn't. Those at home wondered when they would see their husbands and sons at a happy Thanksgiving table again too.

This must be Grandma and Grandpa at the head of the table with the turkey she has cooked, after setting it on the table Grandpa would have proudly led the family in a prayer of thanksgiving for all that they had. I think he would have prayed for victory overseas and a safe return of their family and neighbors from battle. He would have prayed for an economic recovery as the nation had been in the great depression for over a decade.

We are in a war overseas again today, the casulties are numbered in the hundreds and not by the millions, and our nations economy is weakened, but it isn't nearly as damaged as it was in the thirties. Our food is not rationed as that families certainly was, and while we are concerned about the future, it has never looked as bleak in my lifetime as it must have in 1943.

I suggest that we try to feel the hope and thankfulness that Americans did when this painted prayer of thankfulness shone like a candle in the darkness. This Thanksgiving I will thank God for my family, and ask his blessing upon my friends, and my comrades in art, for you who are reading this, and for our nation.

Happy Thanksgiving and God bless you................Stape


Todd Bonita said...

Rockwell was my earliest influence in the art world..I still regard him as one of the greatest American painters despite what critics have said about his sacharine sweet idealistic vision of America. What a powerful painting this is, particularly when coupled with the sentiments youve laid out...wish those critics could read your post, so well said. God bless you too..I hope you and your family have a happy thanksgiving. Thanks for your posting and wisdom.

barbara b. land of boz said...

Dear Stapleton,
Thank you once again for the wonderful post. It truly is a time to be thankfull for all that we have. As we never know what the morning sun may bring. I thank you, for I feel I have grown not only as an artist but as a person because of your blog.
May God bless you and yours on this day. of boz

susanjane said...

I found your blog because I have a google alert for anything Sicily, 1943. My Dad was there. Can't wait to show Mom the Rockwell painting, later this morning. She will appreciate what you wrote, I am sure. I am following my Dad's path in WW2 by following his company. Blessed Thanksgiving. Gobble, gobble.

Unknown said...

Beautifully said, Stape. God's blessings on you and yours too.
This was a lovely post to end my day...

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Rockwell - One of the best.

Blessings to you, Stape, and everyone today.

willek said...

Amen to all that, Stape. Many happy returns to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving your knowledge to help others. You have helped me! I look forward to each post. Happy Thanksgiving Stape! and may you and your family be blessed in return!

Sandra Galda said...

Thanks Stapelton! Great post, many blessings, Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Robert J. Simone said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Stape, to you and yours. I loved the post but the your phrase "comrades in art" scared me a little. Let's also thank God for Freedom and Liberty in the greatest country on earth!

Billy Guffey said...

Great post, Stape. I think it's important, essential really, to remember that through all the hard times, past and present, that God will not put us in a situation that we cannot handle. The human nature is one of perserverance.

Happy Thanksgiving, Stape.

Deborah Paris said...

Great post Stape. A little perspective is a good thing. My dad was a WWII vet (Siege of Bastogne, Battle of the Bulge). Although I miss my parents every day, I am so grateful for the life they gave me and my memories of them. Have a wonderful holiday with your family!

Mary Brewster said...

Thank you for your thoughts! Remembering what we do have is immensely balancing and filled with hope.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

Christine Walker said...

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you all

Bob Carter said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Stape, to you and your family. Keep up the good work.

Unknown said...

Well said! Thank you.

billspaintingmn said...

This is truely a time of Thankfulness.
I'm Thankful to our God for so much.
The comfort and joy you share is
much needed, and much eppreciated.
We are a Blessed nation, I pray
thanks for all this.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for takiung the time each day to do this blog, I begin each morning by reading it! It educates, inspires, makes me laugh, gives me great company and gives me pause. Thank you for enriching my life!

Judy P. said...

Perfect post to read on this day, Stapleton.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Richard J. Luschek II said...

Great post Stapleton.
I am thankful for this blog.
As usual, uplifting stuff.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Rockwell is having the last laugh and some.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving

Stapleton Kearns said...

Susan Jane ; Thanks. Are you actually traveling through Italy?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you, goodnight

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you, are you in Arizona?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Happy Thanksgiving. Turkey is my favorite bird.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you too. Happy Thanksgiving down there in Ky.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Stapleton Kearns said...

omrades seemed like the right word at the time, brothers seemed odd and some of you are women, dudes was
too.............Comrades had a feeling of mutual participation to it. Happy Thanksgiving

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.The Pilgrims persevered didn't they?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you,Happy Thanksgiving out there in the west!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you down there in the Island.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks , hello to birds.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you down there on the Cape.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you, Happy Thanksgiving and congratulations again on your new family.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Bill: Thankyou. Happy Thanksgiving.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you.Gee that's nice of you. I like knowing that people enjoy what I am doing.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you Happy Thanksgiving.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you congrats on new web site.Happy Thanksgiving down there in Cincinnati!