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Cover of Rolling Stone

MARCH 6, 2008
My first cover of Rolling Stone
Several weeks ago I was commissioned to paint Barack Obama for Rolling Stone. Under a tight deadline, I offered a version that was a warm and sturdy view of this new political force. In the weeks that followed, Obama has surged and gained a delegate lead that may not be overcome. As we all know, he is in a real dogfight with Hillary Clinton. I was called last week to take another look at my portrait and see if I could alter it for a possible cover. After many versions where I changed the key, adjusted the hue of the figure, and finally fixed his collar, I got a green light. After the Ohio and Texas primaries, I assumed it was going by the wayside. Rolling Stone stood by their choice, and for the first time in it's history,endorsed a presidential candidate in a primary. I voted for Obama in the New York primary. I see him as more electable and believe he has a manner and a presence to be an effective inspirational leader. For too long we've suffered under a Yale graduate proud of his inarticulate transplanted Texas drawl. The Decider is gone. I hope this nation's next leader gives his or HER fellow Americans the feeling that we are one, that we are in this together. We are the deciders. ~~~~~ 20 years ago I had a Rolling Stone cover taped to my easel. A portrait of John Belushi by Gottrfried Helnwein. I studied it and dreamed that one day I might get to do one. It took 20 years. Performed by Dr. Hook AND The Medicine Show AND written by Shel Silverstein(Thanks to Carl and Kron): "...Now its all designed to blow our minds but our minds wont really be blown like the blow thatll getcha when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone- wanna see our pictures on the cover- Stone- wanna buy 5 copies for our mothers- Stone- wanna see my smilin face on the cover of the Rolling Stone. ROCK AND ROLL! (Aw, thats just beautiful) We got a lotta little teenage blue-eyed groupies who do anything we say. We got a genuine Indian guru whos teachin us a better way. We got all the friends that money can buy so we never have to be alone. And we keep getting richer but we cant get our picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone Rolling Stone- wanna see my picture on the cover- Stone- wanna buy 5 copies for my mother- Stone- wanna see my smilin face on the cover of the Rolling Stone. On the cover of the Rolling Wanna see my picture on the cover- wanna buy 5 copies for my mother- wanna see my smilin face on the cover of the Rolling Stone." ~~~~~~
Forgot to add some details. The hard part about shifting a color palette in a painting is that it's not just a matter of using a slider. Change the sky, Obama turns green. Everything needs to be reconsidered and in the end it is so different. Still, a computer makes these changes so fun.
The AD caught a goof I TOTALLY missed. In my world, a wobbly line is a mistake. In this instance, under a fast deadline, I saw the break in the collar seam and painted that in. The place I connected it was to the wrong corner of the 'V' in his collar. It then appeared to oddly cut into his neck. I wonder how many more mistakes I make...perhaps it's my personal 'Nina'.
Stephen Colbert indicating where the wings should be.
Edel, Drawger's media advisor, alerted me of The Colbert Report's Stephen Colbert showing the cover last night on his show. Colbert felt they (me) forgot to put on angel wings. Funny I thought.
This is for the Stephens: Kroninger and Colbert.