Island artist Pegge Hopper has something new on her palette - she has illustrated her very first storybook. Hopper signed on to do the artwork for A Clever Dog after being approached by longtime friend and author of the book, Jefferson Finney (pictured above).
“When Jefferson came and asked me if I would do this book, I read the really concise charming little story and I thought, ‘I guess I can do this,’” says Hopper. “I usually just do one-of-a-kind (paintings) - whatever occurs to me - but with this, first you have to decide what kind of style you’re going to use and which part of each phrase you’re going to illustrate and how to put it on the page. It’s a lot more complicated than just doing paintings.
“Plus I didn’t want to disappoint Jefferson,” adds Hopper of the novel experience. “It’s like having a client, and you want to make sure that you make them happy.”
While Finney started writing dog stories at the age of 8 and has a German pointer and a poi dog, Hopper is “more of a cat person.” Nevertheless, she enjoys the company of poi dog Hunny, “a very evolved canine” who lives in Pasadena with one of Hopper’s three daughters. Hopper also adores Little Bear, a “sweet Pomeranian from Pauoa Valley,” who lives with Hopper’s youngest daughter in Las Vegas.
“I have three daughters,” notes Hopper. “The two oldest ones are happily married, one of them for 20 years. My middle daughter, in Pasadena, is an artist and my oldest daughter is a physician in Pennsylvania.”
The family tree is teeming with girls as Hopper also has two granddaughters.
“This is a matriarchal institution,” Hopper says, laughing. When MidWeek caught up with Hopper, a Pacific Heights resident, she was visiting the Mainland for her youngest daughter’s wedding - and she approves of the match. “They’re very happy,” says the proud mom. “He’s a wonderful guy.”
Meanwhile, Hopper is about to begin renovations on the downtown gallery she’s had since 1983. “It’s going to be a nice little loft,” she says. “I’m showing other people’s work now, much more often than I used to. So many people come into Chinatown, so I want to have a good variety of work in the gallery.”
As for the new book, “We hope it does well,” said the island resident of 44 years, “because we are donating the proceeds to the humane society.”
Hopper and Jefferson will both be present to introduce A Clever Dog to the public at the Pegge Hopper Gallery Nov. 2 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. For a full list of dates and locations for meeting the author and illustrator, visit www.acleverdog.com
In the interest of full disclosure, Finney is circulation marketing manager for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, MidWeek‘s cousin publication.
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