Solar Wind Tales of Shattered Earth Oil Painting and Limited Edition Print from book of short science fiction stories
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Planet of the Apes
(From the original Penguin paperback book "Monkey Planet")
Artist's interview by Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
Planet of the Apes Monkey Planet Peter Andrew Jones"La Planète des singes" or as titled by Penguin Books in 1985 when it was released (I painted it in February 1985) "Monkey Planet", being the Science Fiction  novel by Pierre Boulle which he wrote in 1963 and on which the well known movie Planet of The Apes was based.
The movie tells the tale of three human astronauts from Earth who land on a planet orbiting the star Betelgeuse only to discover, later in the scenario, that it is in fact, and to the utter horror and surprise of the main character (played by Charlton Heston) our own Planet Earth and that humankind had done a nasty apocalptic job on the place leaving the Apes not too surprisingly a bit resentful towards the humans!

It transpires as the story unfolds that the planet is run by  great apes who are the dominant race and where humans are now primitives.
I did not create a huge number of cover paintings for Penguin, as mostly I was involved with other publishers such a Futura Publications (the Orbit imprint) who were more deeply into expanding the market in the UK for Science Fiction novels, but it was a great opportunity to create a cover for such a well known movie (as I saw it, because I'd seen the movie but not read the book until I was handed it by Penguin's art director).
I couldn't wait to get stuck into it and, as was so often the case when creating covers, I did a goodly number of sketches, so called "roughs" as they were known in the UK publishing world (or prelins in the USA) even if I was not asked to do so.
Typically, at this stage of my carer, I was in fact rarely called upon to do "roughs" for an art director before commencing on a piece simply because by that time W.H. Smith (who were then arguably the leading book retailer in the UK) took the stance that they would "take any book that had a Peter Jones cover on it" simply because, apart from the escalation of sales effected by my work, it saved the sales reps, who had to traipse around every bookshop in the country then, from having to spend time selling the book to the shop manager, saving workload they more than welcomed! Also, like any other hard working professionals, with dozens and sometimes hundreds of other books to get off their desks by the end of any one month, art directors were more than happy to take advantage of my reputations for both sales increases and deadline fidelity, indeed, one leading art director stated quite openly "it means I can go home early and do some d.i.y. on the house" and, equallly, that "I don't have to worry all weekend whether you are going to show up on time with the visual on Monday" (if only because deadline fidelity was not, on the whole, typical in the industry, at least at that time . . . . .)
However, whilst this was also a boon to me, because as a working illustrator with a mortgage on my studio any work that could be avoided that did not directly make income was more welcome (because I did not get paid for time spent doing the roughs) I nevertheless created "explorative drawings" for my own pleasure simply because they were that, a pleasure to create.
However in the case of "Monkey Planet" since I  did not work on a regular basis for Penguin I  was obliged to produce "a preliminary" and this, mixed with my own "explorative drawings" that I did anyway produced an interesting set of  drawings. 
One of the many paradoxes that did, and still do, pepper my working process! These, at last, see the light of day in volume 2 of my Solar Wind anthology series of books, which I find "interesting" since it was not on my mind when I did these drawings at the time.
Anyhow, do enjoy the "characterisation rough" I've uploadd here." PAJ
Read more in the book here!
Deborah Susan Jones Editor

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