Way back when I began Today's Inspiration in 2005, the first artist I featured was Bob Jones. I'm a very big fan of Bob's artwork. Back when I was preparing to write about his career, I was a thrilled (and bit star-struck) to be speaking on the phone with the creator of the Esso Tiger, one of Mad magazine's cover artists and a member of the famous Charles E. Cooper studio. Bob is a real gentleman and gave me all the time in the world. He also has a really soothing voice - he could have done radio!
Bob is a tremendously versatile and talented artist. The 'realistic' style he used for the romance stories he illustrated in the Saturday Evening Post (and many other major magazines of the late '50s and early '60s) are every bit as gorgeous and beautifully designed as those of his peers at the Cooper studio.
Recently Bob's kids must have stumbled across my series of posts on their dad from 2009. It brought a smile to my face to read their comments. There's nothing I like better than hearing the personal anecdotes that describe so much about the human quality of the artists whose work I admire.
"You have some really cool stuff [about my dad]," commented Pete Jones. "Thanks for the tribute. I am going to see him on Block Island in two weeks. He is still painting for pleasure."
Then a day or so later: "This is my Dad too... My brother Pete just sent this to me. Pete, those photos are of Dad. I saw the originals. I was only 4 when the Esso Tiger thing started. I remember we had Esso Tiger costumes that we wore for Hallowe'en."
"When Dad moved his studio home I remember wandering into his studio in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. I would crawl onto his lap and watch him work. When I fell asleep he would put me back in bed. For years I thought Dad never slept because he always seemed to be awake in his studio."
"Years later I told Dad what I thought. He got a good laugh about that."
"I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful dad. I am glad his work is appreciated."
And yes, it absolutely is. If you're interested in seeing more of Bob Jones' work and reading about his career, here are the links to my earlier posts:
Bob Jones in Grade 2: "Well, this is what I'm going to do!"
Bob Jones: "Drawing is drawing, whether it's realistic or not."
Bob Jones and the Esso Tiger
Bob Jones: Of Mice and... Mendola (oh, and Mad magazine)