Gloria Osuna Perez has been admired and praised for years for her unique paintings. In the spring of 1999, we asked Gloria to do the paintings for Little Gold Star. We felt this wonderful cuento and her work were a perfect match. Gloria eagerly agreed to the project, but said that she would have to take it one day at a time. She had been battling ovarian cancer for three years. She didn’t want to sign a contract. She sketched out the fifteen scenes from the book and began the paintings. She was able to complete three paintings before her condition worsened.
Gloria’s 26-year-old daughter Lucia, who is also an artist, came from Dallas to care for her mother. Gloria was weak and could not do any more work on the paintings. Lucia reported that, for Gloria, one of the most painful things about being bed-ridden was that she could not paint. About two weeks before she died, Gloria called us up and told us that she thought Lucia could finish the paintings.
While Lucia was taking care of her, Gloria talked to her about the colors she was using and what she wanted for each of the scenes she had sketched out. After her mother died, Lucia painted the twelve remaining scenes, always with her eye on the work her mom had begun, always remembering her mother’s words. The result is truly remarkable, a tribute to the powerful relationship between a mother and her daughter.
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