Thursday, March 11, 2010

Billy Graham

I did this portrait of Billy Graham a long time ago. I enjoyed listening to him preach, and read a few of his books. At the time I had entertained hopes of doing covers for the Saturday Evening Post. They were using oil portraits of various people as covers at that time. I even made the trip to the Post in Indiana to show the art editor my work. When you enter the lobby you are amazed by the framed charcoal drawing Norman Rockwell did for his Saying Grace cover. I honestly felt like genuflecting before it! It's huge!!

My second surprise was seeing the art editor: he was a young guy about my age at that time, and he had spiked hair! Not my image of the Saturday Evening Post. He was very gracious, looked at my work and showed me around the place. Original artwork was abundant. Very nice Rockwells, Mead Schaeffers (!) He showed me an original Rockwell painting that was used as a cover in the 20's for a rival magazine. He said some workers were renovating a room and found it!! (I wanted to ask him if I could rummage around that room for a bit, but fought the urge.)

Needless to say, like a lot of magazines the Post opted for photography for their covers, ending a long tradition of using painted art. Just shows you where society's headed.

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