Today’s post comes from some trial work I was doing this week on my day off. It is a simple illustration using my new wild pen and some text from a possible story.  

I was reminiscing about some of the books I read many years ago as a child. There were large, full-page illustrations in chapter books. Each usually had a snippet of text from the story underneath. They gave a hint of what the story was about and created interest without giving away the plot of the whole book.

In the more expensive books, these would be found on full-color pages printed on special paper and inserted into the book. You could easily spot them because the paper was smoother and stood out against the rougher text pages. And if you wanted to, which I did, you could look at each of those pictures and read each piece of text to get an idea of what the book might be about.

And if those pages convinced me to check a book out of the library, they became “reading goal markers” for me. I would eagerly read to get to the next beautifully illustrated special page. 

Somewhere in my garage, I have a box of books with some reprints of children’s classics illustrated by N.C. Wyeth which I purchased as an adult. “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson was perhaps my favorite. The illustration of “One more step, Mr. Hands, said I, and I’ll blow your brains out” was one of my favorites then and now. Who could resist discovering more about those words or the illustration that went with them?

It is doubtful that my work will every be as good as the classic illustrators I admire so much, but hopefully this little illustration will capture your imagination and cause you to wonder what “Peep. Cheep?” might mean. Of course, if you are a regular reader, you have probably already guessed from the pose and the innocently hopeful expression.

You know, I really do need to build those bookcases I’ve been saying I’m going to build!

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated! 

20 thoughts on ““Peep. Cheep?”

  1. I did that exact thing as a young reader, and remember vividly the Robert Louis Stevenson illustration. Your own recollections invited back the feelings of curiosity and imagination a new book always brought me. The feeling of anticipation those smooth picture pages gave, sandwiched between the rougher edges of book paper, is a happy memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My bookcases as a child were filled with those classics- I even got to alphabetizing my collection when I got a bit older- a way of honoring how much they meant to me.I still can close my eyes and see some of my favorite illustrations of so long ago. Those memories do not fade. I believe your hearftful skill as an artist will also inspire others, John. Your pictures will always evoke your kind loving stories via your sweetly feathered, peeping girls.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Ruth. It’s on my list to do as soon as the weather turns nice enough to get out in the garage and do some work. Hope you and your family there in Texas are doing okay. The news reports on television are really something else!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s really bad. We in our house are ok so far. We have electricity and water, but nearby family does not, so we decided to not “worry” about COVID and have them come over. We are wearing masks and staying distanced as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I believe your work will be even better than your favorite classic illustrators you admire, because they are from “your” heart, John. The purpose, the stories, the characters God laid on your heart to write. Just like those other illustrators!

    Liked by 2 people

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