Coby Whitmore is my favorite painter of the sophisticated romantic scene. He painted the "Good Life". As he described it his interests were “racing cars, illustrating, and smart clothes on good looking women.”
Born in Dayton Ohio in 1913 Whitmore decided to become an illustrator when he observed the dapper dress and lifestyle of McClelland Barclay, a premiere illustrator of the early 30’s. It was the Depression, and the juxtaposition of Barclay against the poverty of the time convinced him that this was indeed the way to live.
(Bob McGinnis once told me that Coby was one of his idols.
You can certainly see the influence in this illustration.)
Coby worked mostly in oils, but was adept with a number of mediums. Like his contemporary Al Parker, Whitmore started his career using the painterly style popular between the wars. But like Parker, he didn’t stop there but created a graphic approach to his picturemaking, using a combination of his painting techniques with a stunning use of negative space.
Quote from Joe Bowler, another of America’s great illustrators and former assistant to Coby Whitmore.
For more images of Coby Whitmore, check out my Flickr set: