Thursday, October 1, 2009

Before I Went Bananas I Went Carrots

I was happy with this first cover painting for my book, The Magic Rabbit. But my editor wanted it a good bit brighter, with more room for the type. O.K., no problemo. Big SIGH. A litany of invectives usually stomp around in my wee little head canister when I have to re-do a piece of art. Especially when I am (like I said) happy with the thing. Giddy. Galopy, galopy pretend I'm a horse and canter around the room because I finished a book. Or so I thought. Nope. Re-do the cover. Go back to your studio, dog. Paint it again, Sam.

Ahem. Well on my next book, The Boy Who Went Ape, I was still kind of in rabbit world. The image above shows the ape in Benjamin's clothes at the library. Notice that the librarian, Miss Hush, is reading to the children. What's she reading? Gasp! What do you know? I could have put someone else's book. But I didn't. What can I say. Nancy Willard says that your last book lays its shadow across your next book. Especially if you painstakingly paint the shadow across it.

This is Benjamin (hey, he hasn't blogged in a while... what the heck, Ben??) back at the zoo finally making friends after some harrowing escapes.

Check out these two kind blog-o-rama reviews of TMR and TBWWA. First, a rabbit reviewed both books, (I kid you not) at The Adventures of Freckles and Deb, Bunny Bloggers. Thank you both. Heart, heart.

Next, Boy's Read reviewed Ben's and my book, The Boy Who Went Ape. Thanks a bunch!

8 comments:

Martha Brockenbrough said...

I'm happy with that cover, too! When your only talent is writing, the reject pile isn't anywhere near as cool, Richard. Just a heap of semicolons, sentence fragments, and boring stuff. Sigh...

storyqueen said...

The expression on the rabbit's face in the first cover is adorable....I love him.

shelley

Jennifer Mann said...

I am just curious Richard: How long does it take you to create one of your beautiful detailed illustrations? You must have to summon real courage to re-do such lovingly rendered artwork.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Whoah! Hold those horses, Martha. It is flat screen plasma clear that you are multitalented. And that reject pile or word graveyard is merely the evidence of editors who are slow to realize your genius.

Thanks, Shelly. I thought he had just the right expression too. Vulnerable but mysterious.

Jennifer, Jennifer, you ask questions that cut me to the quick. I am on the fruit loop side of painters who get lost in their pictures. That first cover painting took about a week. But that does not count the preliminary sketches, or roasting coffee in my popcorn popper, then brewing it fresh. The more detailed my pictures, the longer it takes. Some have taken a *lot* longer. As in ask me next time I see you, and I will tell you in Pig Latin with sun glasses on.

Julia Kelly said...

I think it is perfect too- and think there is a lot of room for type- go figure

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thank you Julia. I think your picture of the gal on a bicycle riding past the field of sunflowers is pure genius. I really do. I remember driving in Spain for hours past fields of sunflowers, and their bright heads followed the sun on its arc across the sky.

BJW said...

Best of luck with your open house. Wish we could be there to check out the new deck and the art goodies. Or help for that matter.

Good luck!

PS don't go stab yourself or anything getting ready for it. Wait, to late.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

We'll miss you Benj, have fun with J&M and kiddos this weekend. No worries here, that's what band-aids and stitches are for.