The Zenith Family Radio
BY JOHN AND MATT McCARTY
Longtime collector and A.R.C. subscriber John McCarty thought that his artist son Matt's drawing might be suitable for an A.R.C. cover. He, of course, was right, and here is the story behind our 26th anniversary cover illustration. (Editor)
From John McCarty: The Zenith console that Matt used as a model for his drawing has been in our front room since before he was born. I would guess that somewhere around here there's a picture of Matt and his brother and sisters sitting on the floor listening to it.
My wife Sherry and I bought the radio at Montana Charlie's flea market in Bolingbrook, Illinois, before we were married, and if I remember correctly, we paid the princely sum of $12 for it. The radio has been recapped and the power transformer has been replaced. My father-in-law Dan Scheiern, an amateur furniture builder, refinished the cabinet for us. It has become a family heirloom and the center piece of our front room.
From Matt McCarty: The inspiration for this drawing has been around me my whole life. My father, being the radio enthusiast that he is, spends his free time (when he actually gets some) repairing classic radios inside and out, and he does some beautiful work. He is currently working on radios for all of us children as we move out.
The radio featured in this drawing is a 1937 Zenith Model 6-S-152 console and has always been the main piece in my parents' living room. The dog is my parents' fifth child, Puddles, one of the most lovingdogs I've ever known. The big-eared, innocent child in a striped shirt does not actually exist, but he reminds us of simpler times.
The drawing is done with pen and ink, ink washes, and gouache on watercolor paper. I was going for a Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post feel. Some of my other inspirations are artists Bruce Timm, Alex Ross and Frank Frazetta.
I graduated from the American Academy in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Illustration. Since my graduation, I have been picking up freelance work ranging from card games to website illustrations, while also working on personal projects. Both can be seen at my website: www.mccartyillustrations.com.