Grant Wood believed that to be a real artist, he had to live in Paris. But once he got there, he realized that to be a great painter he needed to return to the people and places -- and even animals -- that he knew and loved the best.Inspired by the life of artist Grant Wood, this is the sensitively imagined story of the great American painter and a cow named Tillie. Skillfully mixing fact with fiction, Monica Kulling's text explores the making of an artist, while Sydney Smith's illustrations echo Grant Wood's own techniques. The result is a gently wise picture book that will encourage young readers and artists to trust the love that is sometimes only found close to home. Includes an author's note that provides biographical information about Grant Wood and historical context for his European and American artistic influences.