“What’s whimsical about armadillos?” you may ask. The answer is…”Everything!”
In the summer of 2015, while sitting with Mark during one of his many hospitalizations, I got the idea to draw whimsical animals, all set in more or less the same jungle-type environment. After doing penguins, cats, and dogs (though not all in the same day), I had run out of ideas. I asked him what I should draw next and he said, “Armadillos”.
Armadillos? Well, I thought, that’s different…I immediately Googled armadillos on my phone to make sure I even knew what they looked like. After several attempts I figured out how to draw a whimsical armadillo.
Finally they were finished, to my own delight as well as that of the nurses who regularly asked me what I was drawing. Mark liked them too; even when he was feeling his worst, any time I held up my current drawing to him from across the room, he would give me an indulgent, if weak, smile of approval. He knew I was doing my best to cheer us both up.
Later it occurred to me to ask him why he had picked armadillos. To my knowledge there was nothing special about armadillos. I had seen some in Texas, and had almost brought home a taxidermy one from Mexico when I was seventeen, but other than that, I couldn’t see the connection.