Cover Art -The American Spectator Magazine October 2013 Issue.

First…

———— An update ————

(for the regular readers, others please skip.)

For the last two months, I’ve been working on something very different and something really detailed…something that has kept me away from creating caricatures for this blog (ok…I did Merkel’s caricature, but other than hers, all the other caricatures that I’ve been doing are for that other project…and oh, that project really has nothing to do with caricatures.) Confused? You should’ve heeded my warning.

———— Update ends ———–

Now let me tell you about my recent work for The American Spectator magazine. I painted the cover page of the October issue of the magazine, which features three of the most admired Presidents of the United States. The forever young and handsome John F. Kennedy, the White House Cowboy Ronald Reagan, and the silent but strong Calvin Coolidge.

My copies arrived two days ago, and just before I finished work last night, I took this picture of it.

The American Spectator Magazine Issue October 2013 on my Desk.

The American Spectator Magazine Issue October 2013 on my Desk. The Cover Features Three Past US Presidents – John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Calvin Coolidge. (Click to enlarge.)

The Story of the Cover’s Creation

When I learned that The American Spectator would like to me to paint the three Presidents together, I felt really happy. I love to paint caricatures with stories, and painting three well-known faces in the same picture along with a story that made them look like they were friends-forever, was something that made me want to drop everything else and work on it.

I sent in the sketch. While everything else in the sketch remained the same as what you see here, I had an open window behind President Reagan and you could see the earth through it. My idea was that these guys could get together only in heaven – and this would add to the effect. This of course, didn’t make to the final painting – nor did Reagan’s hat on a peg – because that would have me add a wall behind them, and a wall would make their environment appear claustrophobic. I am sure that even in heaven, the American Presidents would be given beautiful, spacious quarters… so I decided to add those French Windows looking out into a haze of clouds.

Painting the Caricatures of the Three Presidents

Painting John F. Kennedy’s Caricature

I had drawn President Kennedy‘s face before, so I knew his face well. What I didn’t know was the exact color of his hair. I checked out a lot of pictures of his, and his hair looked different in every one of them. It varied from black, to dark brown, to light brown, to reddish-brown, to golden.  I still don’t know. But he looks like himself and that’s good enough for me 🙂

(President Kennedy’s Black and White Caricature done a couple of years ago.)

Painting Ronald Reagan’s Caricature

President Reagan’s face is tough to caricature. If a caricature-artist wants to challenge himself  (or herself – excuse the stereotyping, but truth be told, most of our kind are men,) he should try caricaturing Reagan’s face. I had to do a lot of research to figure out what he liked to wear as casuals. (In fact, I came across a picture in which he was wearing checks in a meeting with Margaret Thatcher.) I realized that he loved horses and I thought that his cowboy getup in denims would be just right for the occasion. He could’ve returned from a pegasus-ride, or could be going for one. (Fellow Artists, note that according to the light outside of the windows, it could be late morning or early afternoon)

Painting Calvin Coolidge’s Caricature

President Calvin Coolidge was a visual enigma. I had sketched him on the right side of the page, which meant that I should show his left profile. After hours of research, I came to the conclusion that because President Coolidge had little hair on the left side of his head, he always got his portraits painted/photographs taken to show the right side of his head.  I had absolutely no idea what his left profile looked like, until I came upon a 1924 video of one of his public addresses (after he had fixed the Great Depression?) and in that video he twice turned to show his left profile to the camera. I know that he must’ve berated himself for it later, but what was done was done – and a happy caricaturist returned to her drawing board – knowing exactly what to paint.

And the Concept…

…that their topic of discussion is this specific article about JFK actually being a conservative (and this is why JFK’s got the magazine in his hand,) was super awesome – it came from the super-creative Managing Editor of the magazine! It just made the picture-puzzle fit. Speaking of picture-puzzles, I am reminded of the project…I need to go back to work.

Meanwhile, here’s the image closer up.

Cover Art for the October 2013 Issue of the American Spectator Magazine Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Calvin Coolidge.

Two other Interesting facts:

More later…

And oh,

do you want to know how “really” Newton happened to discover gravity? I have the inside scoop…return if you are interested 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon – John F. Kennedy – The 35th President of the United States.

I am writing this post from the past. It’s the year 1962 and John F. Kennedy is still alive and making merry with Marilyn Monroe. America is completed bowled over by this boyishly handsome young President and his pretty, petite, and stylish wife Jacqueline Kennedy. They love the couple – ( the men secretly admire John F. Kennedy’s exploits while the women sympathize with the First Lady?) In other words, everything appears to be in order, and exactly as this caricaturist would like it to be – happy, romantic, mushy, and adulterous!

Here’s the caricature of this tragedy-stricken, handsome child of destiny. Presenting John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy the 35th President of the United States.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Drawing, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, the Handsome 35th President of the United States who was assassinated by  Harvey Oswald in the third year of his presidency.

Tradition demands that I share JFK’s short and cute biography here. So here I go.

John F. Kennedy – A Quick Biographical Sketch

JFK or John F. Kennedy or “Jack” Kennedy was born in a politically active family on May 29, 1917. John suffered from various health issues from a very early age. The effect of his health on his attitude was compounded by his elder brother Joe’s achievements overshadowing his own. All this (and possibly more) made John something of a rebel when he was at school. After school he spent a mysterious month at the London School of Economics, later returning to study at Princeton University. (Note that the well-to-do, rich and connected Americans of those times, preferred to educate their kids abroad! There’s some glamor to this education abroad thing – isn’t there?) Anyway, JFK was a good student and he ended up at Harvard, where he completed his thesis as the age of 23, published it as a book, which quickly became a best seller.

After completing his education, JFK wanted to join the Army but couldn’t because he had some serious issues with his lower-back. Instead, he ended up joining the US Navy. (Wikipedia says that the “influence” (also called push or jugaad) of a senior Military guy was used to get him in the Navy – but then the ends are always more important than the means – and I am sure that Nixon’s election intelligence team must’ve gone into the nitty-grity of this whole affair and everything must’ve been found in order…so, I’ll not dig deeper into it. John married Jacqueline in 1952. The next few years were fraught with back problems and he had to undergo a few surgeries to have them corrected. It was in 1957 that he received the Pulitzer prize for a collection of biographies that he wrote and published about those US senators who risked their careers for their personal believes.

Anyway, one thing led to another, and JFK’s bravery made him save quite a few lives despite his back problems. Lives saved leads to medals earned (at least in the US they do.) (When I open my third eye (the one that belongs to the caricaturist in me) I see the entire Kennedy family moving in the living room to make room for his medals.) All this and more, including his brother’s untimely death, steered him towards the president-ship, and he became the 35th President of the US in 1961.

JFK finds an ally in Television:

In 1960 he stood for the Presidential elections again Richard Nixon, the Republican candidate (who later became the 37th President of the US). Theirs was the first presidential debate to have every been televised and, it is said that had it not been televised, history would’ve been different. People who hadn’t yet bought the idiot-box were happily listening to the debate on radio, and they favored Nixon, but those who watched the tv telecast of the debates found Kennedy a lot more charming and confident. (Who says looks don’t matter?)

Read more about the post-election politics here.

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy:

JFK’s assassination is possibly the most widely remembered event of his presidency. Three years into his term JFK was on a political trip to Texas, when a man called Lee Harvey Oswald shot him in the neck and the back. Oswald was killed by Ruby two days after the assassination. The crime remains unsolved to date.

John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe:

It is said the JFK was quite keen on the Hollywood Glamor Queen, the inimitable skirt-swirling, drug-doing Marilyn Monroe. However, his close friends, confidantes, and others at the White House chose to stay quiet about his affairs (possibly to spare the pain such knowledge would cause his wife and to avoid the damage that it could do to his image in public…and of course, they didn’t want to scare away the future Presidents – notably Bill Clinton.)

John F. Kennedy Quotes:

  • Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names
  • The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
  • We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.
  • For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.Find more JFK quotes at Brainy Quotes.

At his inaugural address on 20th January, 1961, Kennedy challenged the people of the United States with the statement: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country.” Guess it’s time for everyone around the world to be asking the same question…isn’t it?