The Progressive: Peace Under Glass
This month I had the pleasure of doing a cover for Nick Jehlen at The Progressive. I have always found covers to be very challenging, as they need to be balanced with text which is usually placed after the artwork is finished. This results in a special compositional challenge for someone as obsessed with image arrangement as myself. That said, I’m very pleased with what we managed to make of this one.
The cover article discussed the idea that the peace movement which thrived under the Bush regime has gone dormant under Obama, and tells of activist Cindy Sheehan’s efforts to revive it with a cross-country cycling action called the Tour De Peace.
Naturally the white dove made its way into the sketch concepts, but I did my best to avoid obvious dove ideas. I think #4 may be a bit of an obvious one-liner, but I couldn’t resist the morbid humour of it. There were also a few related to Sheehan trying to carry the movement on her back, with a comatose dove (my wife’s favorite), a disused Bush protest puppet and the dove under glass as stand-ins. I also played with the notion of Bush as a scarecrow that’s lost its effect on the birds, a crowd of sleeping doves who can’t be roused, and a pun on the ‘if a tree falls in the forest…’ idiom.
#3 risked being a little staid in terms of composition, but I found I could use the velvet ropes to break up the bottom area and the curtain to do the same at top and provide framing for the bird’s head. The way the curtain bisects the title letters was a happy accident. I did my best to make the dove display reminiscent of taxidermy without looking thoroughly dead.
Thanks to Nick for another great comission.