Thursday, May 10, 2012

Boys' Life

Today we go exploring with John R. Neill and a beautiful cover painting he did for the May, 1930 issue of Boys' Life.

This exotic image has always felt kind of Ozzy - as if it's an image from an unrecorded visit Captain Salt and the Crescent Moon paid to ... well ... a tropical island of some sort. The cover image seems to have no connection to any particular story in the magazine.

There seems to be so much story potential in the image! Why are the pontoon boats approaching the sailing vessel? What are they doing with the parrots? Offering them as a trade? A warning to stay away? Note there is another boat-full of boys approaching the starboard side of the ship. As far as I know the original painting no longer survives - but if it should turn up I'd certainly be pleased to have it here in the Tiger Den.

Click to Enlarge

In case you missed the announcement we will be auctioning off a piece of original John R. Neill artwork at the 2012 Winkie Convention this July. Click here for details.


Unknown said...

JNR did lots of work for Boys LIfe and I recall seeing some, however I don't recall this piece as being part of my mother's collection. I have a lot of his watercolors and I'll say that this one seems a little outside his usual style, especially where water and ships are concerned. I'll bring some with me to the convention.
Brian Farnsworth

Bill Campbell said...

I don't know about the finished piece, but Aleph-Bet Books is currently offering a "detailed study" for this cover....