JUNE 19, 2006
What a week or two I've had. I worked like a dog in the days leading up to my annual vacation to Martha's Vineyard. It was a tight schedule and if all worked out as planned would end with me going to Carnegie Hall to see my postage stamp unveiled. After finishing my last piece, a large illustration for the New York Times, I went out to dinner with Elizabeth and relaxed with a bottle of wine. I came home to a message on my answering machine. Could I do a rush job for Time? IT was 11:30 on Friday night. I called back, go a machine, and said that I could not do it, citing the rushed schedule and the pending vacation. A few minutes later, in my 'Swingers' moment, I called back and said I could do it, maybe. Not satisfied I e-mailed and explained that I could do it. At 12:30 AM I finally talked to the Art Director and was asked if I could paint Zarqawi for the cover. I said I could do it if I could skip the sketch and go right to finish. The source image was the black and white Zarqawi image that has been circulating as of late. I go the 'GO' and went to work. Bye the morning I had a soft image of Zarqawi and for the next few hours painted hairs, knitted portions of his cap and skin texture. At noon I shot it and sent it to Time. I then packed for vacation and got ready for Carnegie Hall.
Zarqawi Cover, June 12th 2006
First day, Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall was fantastic. The presentation was fabulous, with video of Judy Garland both on film and on stage. It was a star studded event that I was thrilled to be a part of.
Tim on the stage at Carnegie Hall
Joey and Lorna Luft flank the USPS New York-area operations VP David Solomon and stamp artist Tim O'Brien. To the right of Anita Bizzotto and Judy Garland's grandchildren Jesse and Vanessa Richards are the stamp's art director Ethel Kessler and ceremony host Robert Osborne.
Backstage with Dick Cavett. Funny, cool guy.
Tim being a jackass in Rufus Wainwright and Michael Feinstein's dressing room.
After leaving via the stage door, I ran into the fans. After seeing this photo, I was reminded that they were GARLAND fans, not mine.
Last year I was on Martha's Vineyard feeling a bit glum. I had a slow May and June and was taking a break from painting my house to take a break. Not exactly the way I like to unwind. This year I was on the cliff of the house we stay in, pinching myself. Monday, June 12 and I had my Judy Garland stamp released nationwide, a half page illo in the New York Times, and the cover of Time. What a difference a year makes.
New York Times illustration OR the O'Brien Curse (both players bombed)
As the days went by I heard from family and friends about the cover, the best part of a big assignment. Someone clued me in on the discussion going on of my painting on the Huffington Post. A guy named Michael Shaw said TIME was a pawn of the Bush administration and used my illustration to tick off the ways 'they' manipulated the image of Zarqawi. I wrote back and now I was hooked, logging in every few hours to see how the discussion was going. A parallel discussion was going on over at THEISPOT. I chimed in once and a while but by weeks end FINALLY relaxed and did little drawings and searched for starfish. Big week. This week is bound to be a letdown. I need another vacation and will leave the laptop home!
A lovely rainbow over the cliffs, Martha's Vineyard 2006