Sunday, November 20, 2011

Scott & Zelda, at the Plaza

After losing the original file to an unfortunate glitch in the iCloud, I've finally finished my iPad painting of F. Scott Fitzgerald--the second in my series of iPad paintings of famous New York artists and authors (the first, of Woody Allen, is available for your viewing pleasure here).

With this illustration, I wanted to showcase the lighter, more exuberant side of Fitzgerald that often gets lost under the darker, more alcoholic side of the great Jazz Age author. People tend to forget that Scott and his wife Zelda had a very lively streak together in the midst of the roaring '20s, reveling in such antics as a fully-clothed plunge into the grand Plaza fountain. This gleeful rhythm is exactly what I wanted to capture when I decided to take on Fitzgerald, and so I ended up with the painting above. A happy, successful couple skyrocketed to the height of celebrity, caught up in a moment of spontaneous reverie. But as the painting's sunset suggests, moments can only ever be moments. For the Fitzgeralds--and the rest of America--darker days were on their way.

I've included some of the initial sketches for this illustration below. 

Be sure to look out for the next painting in the series, involving a certain New York poet of the late 19th century, whose name may or may not rhyme with Malt Hitman.

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