After the completion of my painting, “Astaire Way to Heaven,” a tribute to dancing legend and film star Fred Astaire, I wanted a companion piece to it. I wanted another mixed media piece that celebrated a celebrity and represented old Hollywood.
The obvious choice was Ginger Rogers, who I had the privilege of meeting back in 1993. But a composition never came together for her. Instead I chose Jean Harlow, who represented Hollywood in a golden era and who was my neighbor for many years.
Well, kinda, sorta my neighbor. When I worked for the studios in Hollywood as a writer and producer, my home was in a quiet neighborhood in Glendale, California. Quiet because it backed up to Glendale Forest Lawn, a cemetery renowned for the celebrities buried there. Jean Harlow is buried there, along with Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy and many, many others.
Although Jean Harlow was a big star during the 1930s, her sudden death at the age of 26 robbed the world of her beauty and talent. What I love about art is that it gives the world an opportunity to see and celebrate the beauty of those who were on this planet, and the art lives longer than those represented on canvas. Chances are good that this painting of Jean Harlow will be around for more than 26 years. It will give the world a chance to see and celebrate her beauty. It will be as vibrant 26 years from now as it is today.