Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Norman Rockwell Gets Unveiled Into The Players' Club Hall of Fame

I am excited that this weekend my portrait of Norman Rockwell gets unveiled into The Players' Club permanent collection in New York City. The head and shoulders portrait, 16 x20,  will join other portrait paintings done by terrific artists such as Michael Shane Neal (, Dawn Whitelaw ( , Loryn Brazier (www.brazierfineart), Holly Metzger, Ian Factor, Peter Cox, Ed Jonas, Gordon Wetmore, and Lynda Kyser Smith. The paintings are part of a Hall of Fame of individuals who have contributed to the history of this marvelous historic club founded in 1888. These legends include the likes of John Barrymore, Tony Bennett, Carol Burnett, James Cagney ,Laurence Olivier Noel Coward, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sargent and Mark Twain.

The series of paintings has been organized by The Players' Art Committee Chair, the country's foremost portraitist, Mr. Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., painter of five American presidents and a who's who of American life over the last 60 years. His website is a must-see for any artist at It is obvious this great man always does his artistic homework!

It was a great honor for me to be asked by Mr. Kinstler to paint Mr. Norman Rockwell, to be in such great company with these other artists I so admire.  I was also asked last year to paint "My Fair Lady's" Rex Harrision for the same collection. Both paintings presented challenges with these two great men unfortunately no longer being with us. But it was important for me to get into their heads so to speak. I believe an artist must always do his homework, before any assignment, whether it be researching your portrait client's history before you arrive for the sitting or doing preparatory sketches, etc.  So I spent many HOURS researching both Harrison and Rockwell, watching old film and TV footage to SEE how their faces moved, reading their autobiographies so I could HEAR their own words. And then of course watching My Fair Lady. Wow. Talk about a defining role for Mr Harrison. I devoured books by Rockwell going over his work. What a joy that was!  How humbling too. By the time I was ready to paint, I had a real sense of what I WANTED to paint, how I wished to represent these two great men. How I personally saw them though my homework.  I hope they would both be happy and give me a passing grade at least!