“Cooper” is the 126th story-painting, and only the second to feature chinchillas.
I love painting snow and crazy Christmas sweaters, and I thought these little guys needed something warm after
their chilly ride down the mountain. I don’t actually know if chinchillas like cashews
in their cocoa, but I’m guessing they do!
Oliver’s grandmother, who commissioned this painting, told me that his parents are world travelers
and are looking forward to taking Oliver along when he is older. We decided that
his painting should feature otters.
I researched islands beginning with “O” and found this one– Ovau Island in the western part
of the Solomon Islands. It was then a short leap to looking up “fish that begin with O.”
I settled on opah, or moonfish, which are very flat and which come in all these wonderful colors.
I grew up outside a tiny Montana farming town, and my sister and brother and I would wait all summer
for the Marias Fair to arrive in a neighboring county. I was crazy about horses, and I used to go to sleep
dreaming of riding the merry-go-round.
These mice are busy selling marigolds, mushrooms, and muffins, while their little ones experience
some of the same joy I did, so very long ago.