Ted Kennedy
posted: August 28, 2009
Yesterday was Kennedy Day here in our household. While I was working on a portrait of the late senator (not the piece above), my wife was on TV all day yesterday doing live coverage of the wake, which was more of a tour. (At this point I am resisting making any comments about the possibility of a certain punk band reunion). She had the opportunity to go to Kennedy's home a couple of years ago to interview him, and I'm including her recent blog post below.

Good luck out there Ted!


-From Maria's blog:

I know I'm a public person, but the truth is, I'm very private. I tell you all that because I want to share some of my private notes I jotted down right after I interviewed Senator Ted Kennedy in Hyannisport. It's rough, but just a stream of consciousness that I thought you might find interesting. Here it is. Excuse the typos! I wrote it the minute I got back to the station...

Finally drove past the signs that say stay out. we pulled around and it took my breath away... the water was so blue.. the house was so white, and there was Vicki standing on the porch just chatting and mike Barnicle. I walked in and was hit with a musty smell and I was instantly overtaken by the history that surrounded me. Everything in there meant something. Everything in there was history. Pcitures of his family.. Jack ,Joe, Dad, Rose... Caroline Kennedy with her daughter so beautiful... the chairs were antique and beautfiul. He came out.. looked disshevled... out of sorts... but with kind big blue eyes. I miked him up and we just started. I asked him to show me around... he was so proud of his paintings... showed me one and made a joke about paint by numbers. He told me he painted it after he was in a plane crash then showed me the table that the Kennedy family sat down and ate their meals at. I was most impressed and overwhelmed when he talked of his mother saying she loved to take walks and everybody wanted to walk with her. When they walked as children she would grill them, ask them questions... 2x2 ?. She would always keep their minds sharp. I flash to my kids and all the crazy things I grill them about. In all the years of doing this crazy job, all the interviews, all the time I stood outside the Kennedy compound I was in.. and it lived up to what it stands for. So moving to sit in the place where there a preisdent once lived, to speak to a man who cares so deeply about what he does.He told me the story about the woman wtih a baby in her arms asking him about nuclear freeze. He hated his answer and made sure, SURE he changed that and got it done. reached out.. made a difference. I learned so much today from a man I have sometimes judged, but a man who has moved me. He is flawed. We all are... but he's also the person who has picked up the phone and personally called every victim of September 11th. He looked at pictures of Jack and Joe his brothers and tears filled his eyes... that has impact. I tried to imagine the family there, talking politics, talking issues... incredible.He told me about the painting that hangs in the dining room and was frustrated with the way a house came out... so he painted over it with trees!!! He was very proud of his paintings.. but told me his legacy will be his family, not the 44 years in Senate, but his family. his children. his grandchildren.

Here's the sketch, which I actually prefer to the final....
Wishawna August 28, 2009
A great portrait of a burdened man.
Laura Levine August 28, 2009
Dale, how did you make his hair glow like that? I love it. Hi Maria! Loved reading your notes. I had no idea he called every victim (survivor?) of September 11th - that's something.
Steve Wacksman August 28, 2009
That's a fantastic portrait, Dale. Love the hint of clouds from behind the curtains and Kennedy's thoughtful expression. Enjoyed reading Maria's notes as well. I'm sure she must be busier than ever in light of recent events.
nwright August 28, 2009
simply AWESOME
Tim OBrien August 28, 2009
I liked Kennedy very much. I even identified with his evolution. Beset with faults and personal issues, he redefined himself as a serious career senator. Realizing one's strengths and weaknesses took him half a lifetime. Love the color Dale. Now you have your weekends back.
Jim Paillot August 28, 2009
Love his pensive expression and overall color scheme. Great portrait.
PEter cusack August 28, 2009
Wow i didn't know he painted. Very interesting notes . . . yes personal. Your piece is really great. Kudos.
Walter Vasconcelos August 28, 2009
Great portrait Dale, I like very much the color and light.
Victor Juhasz August 28, 2009
Dale, That's a very strong portrait. The drawing, the colors, the mood, the expression you capture here that is very intense and focused. The eyes remarkably expressive. Excellent painting.
Kyle T Webster August 28, 2009
Nice, Dale! Is there a preliminary drawing for this piece that you could share?
Drew Friedman August 29, 2009
That's really powerful. Also love the lighting. I'm about to do a Teddy and this was inspirational.
Yuko Shimizu August 29, 2009
I love both the sketch and the final, but if I were to choose one, I prefer the sketch too. There is something about pencil sketches that are so spontaneous, beauty of which is almost never possible in time-consuming process of painting.