I've been frequenting the children's book blog Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves for a few months now, and if you visit the site (which you should) it's easy to see why. Burgin, who runs the blog, posts near-daily scans and summaries of some of the best-loved and sometimes unjustly-forgotten gems from the 50s to 80s -- everything from Mercer Mayer's non-Little Critter titles (I never knew he did anything but), to Leonard Weisgard's gorgeous illustration work. The image-rich site is a treat for anyone even remotely interested in kids' books, but also for anyone interested in art and design from that era. Really, how much more am I going to need to talk the site up before you visit?! JUST GO ALREADY, YOU LOVE IT!
So I was surprised a few weeks ago to get an e-mail from Burgin asking if I was available for a commission. Her husband's birthday was coming up, and Burgin thought an original illustration featuring their son would be a good gift. She also thought my penchant for drawing birds would lend itself nicely to the job, since the boy is a huge bird fan (he's also a huge fan of "enchanted animals," which is nothing short of awesome). The above illustration is the result.
Burgin's own write up on the piece features some of the nicest things anyone has said about my art, which was very kind of her (honestly, it was enough to be mentioned in the same post as Ward Jenkins and Cory Godbey). Hope the painting will bring lots of joy to her household, and that her son finds it sufficiently enchanting.