Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tag Sale



























So, here's my latest cover, which I must confess, I have mixed feelings about. I wish I could say it was a victory, but I'm afraid the painting got away from me. I fussed with it longer than I should have and made the mistake of taking my reference too seriously. "Brownstone steps are red," I observed, "therefore I shall paint these brownstone steps red". I broke the cardinal rule, "Take what you need and throw out the rest." If I'd just placed the objects the dog is selling on a lighter, more neutral color, the result would not be the chaotic, hodge-podge you see before you. At my request, Françoise Mouly the art director at the New Yorker, did her best to finesse the color digitally, but alas, it couldn't change my feelings about the piece. I am looking forward to my next cover being my best cover.

All that said, it is still a nice way to introduce you to our newish dog, who, to my shame, has not appeared in a drawing or on this blog for the two years we have owned him. Meet, Henry Biscuit, a labrador mix who is a terrified neurotic on the streets of Brooklyn, but is a normal, happy puppy in the rolling hills of the countryside.

Aren't we all, though?



47 comments:

  1. Rookie!

    Cute dog. Glad he's found a happy home.

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  2. i agree, its a beautiful piece!
    love his expression.
    thanks for sharing :)

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  3. I really love the Cover, Henry Biscuit remembers me of my hometown's stray dogs :).

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  4. It's the best issue I've read in years.

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  5. I wish I would fail this well...

    And Henry Biscuit, it's a pleasure to meet you!

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  6. Replies
    1. How could it not be, intentionally or otherwise?

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    2. I am newer to your art and it truly amazes me. I have only recently got bitten by the art bug and looking everywhere to get my fill. I got my new New Yorker in the mail today and all I can say is, it's a beautiful cover. I have been investigating your stuff and I'm overwhelmed by it's beauty. I've known who you were for awhile, but glad the Sherlock Holmes in me made me even more excited about your art. Thank you for inspiring me and making my day. I hope to get an autographed doodle one day!!
      Your Fan,
      STewart Patton

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  7. Wonderful attitude in that dog :).
    Stay inspired!

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  8. It's admirable that with all of your success you still see problems in your work...but it's a great piece!

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  9. Good to meet Henry Biscuit :) and look forward to see your next best cover, Peter. All the best!

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  10. Each week when the NYer arrives, I study the cover during the 200 foot walk from mailbox to house. I'm more interested in guessing the title to the cover art than composing a joke for the cartoon at the back. So...Tag Sale...apart from the items on the steps, does that reference the dog tag so prominently placed on Henry Biscuit's neck?

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  11. Replies
    1. Thanks for the confirmation. Incidentally, your images (and titles) rank at the top of my favorite NYer covers. Loved especially Summer Getaway.

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  12. Looks like he's selling your bronze shoe trophy. I hope he checked with you first.

    The life you put into those small objects is the high point for me. Gorgeous piece, give yourself a break!

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  13. I was wondering about the heavier-than-normal gouache on top of the watercolor, not the red on the steps. I think it's really beautiful and am always thrilled to see you on the cover.

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  14. This is wonderful ... nice to see Darla making a cameo appearance on the doggy-dish, if I'm not mistaken. Thanks for sharing your struggles with this cover --- a comfort to know that even the masters have to work at it!

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  15. Ditto Jack Hunter's comment. Artists are their own worst critics. Comes with the game, I suppose. It's always so exciting to see a NYer cover by you. And I love this idea, so beautifully executed. Henry Biscuit sounds like a book character. (hint, hint)

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  16. Love it! Glad to hear you've got another pooch. We have two rescues and life wouldn't be the same without them!

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  17. Great Work. Looks just like my dog Wayne!

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  18. Much too hard on yourself! Fantastic Cover, as usual! Bravo!!!

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  19. Peter, your art captivates the essence of many dogs and found a spot in the hearts of their owners. I thought nothing of the steps - since I've never seen a brownstone (except for the ones in the creek). Talk of this piece made it to the Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue discussion forum - we all LOVE it - and can all imagine our furkids scheming like this.. unless a squirrel passes by, then the tags are freebies to the next lucky duck!

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  20. Mixed feelings or not... The result is still fantastic! And hello Henry Biscuit, nice to meet you!

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  21. Congrats Peter on both the cover and the belated new dog. I've got a "Crazy" English Bulldog who is the sweetest thing inside the house, but terrified of herself outside. God bless them!!!

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  22. I LOVE IT PETER!!!! So BROOKLYN!
    love,
    Meggan

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  23. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you


    Flats for Sale in Birmingham

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  24. I was delighted to see in my mailbox. Happy to hear another is already in the works. Mr. Biscuit sounds like my golden retriever.

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  25. Colter was very sorry he missed the stoop sale of the century But Walt and I were thrilled to see Henry's NYer debut. He is one lean, mean, licking machine. Great job! -- x Amanda

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  26. Where can I get a signed print of the "Tag Sale"? We love the art and the dog.

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  27. We are putting it up on our website in the next day or two. In the meantime, you can hit the Printshop link on the upper right hand corner of this page and select any print but specify that you want "Tag Sale" sent to you instead. And thanks!

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  28. Well, for what it's worth, I shrieked with joy at your imperfect cover. I set it aside, to have and to hold. I Facebooked it and professed my love. So the red steps are OK by me. (But it was fun to get a glimpse into someone else's art neuroses.)

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  29. Do you have prints for sale? We love this piece.

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  30. I'm glad you like it, Cynthia. You can get prints by clicking on the "Printshop" button at the top right of this page.

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  31. I don't agree the self criticism. The attitude of your dog is GREAT.
    Love your work.

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  32. You're very talented! Please visit me at freetospeakblog.blogspot.com to enjoy my blogs and music. I am a composer/pianist/recording artist.

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  33. Oh my, what an entrepreneur! Wonderful illustration.

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  34. The color is wonderful, red steps & all. Yes it could have been this way or that way, but guess what? They would all be marvelous just like it is now. Beautiful work as always.

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  35. It's nice to see how we are all continually learning and improving :) I'll look forward to seeing the next cover as well :)

    Looks kindof like a border collie/black lab mix?

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  36. When you create a Engraved Pet ID Tags at the tag studio, you are truly creating a UNIQUE tag for your pet. Just look at all you have to choose from to personalize your tag!

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