A compelling tale about the passing of artistic vision from generation to generation. When young Josiah True meets a traveling artist who has come to paint his family's portrait, he begins to discover his own calling. The ""Art Maker,"" as Patience Cage is known in her travels around the Connecticut River Valley of 1817, has a very special vision of the world -- it is said that ""she can see into the very soul of a man!"" Josiah is fascinated by the tools of her trade, the paints she mixes, and the paintbrushes she has fashioned out of hog bristles. He watches raptly as Patience paints the reality of his mother's dark eyes and hidden smile, and includes a picture of a grand red gown his mother would like to own, but doesn't. When the portrait is completed, Patience gives Josiah a bound bristle brush. He grows up and becomes an artist who can ""see into the very soul of a man."" Littlesugar (The Spinner's Daughter, 1994) subtly creates a sense of time and place, further enhanced by Garrison's work. The folk art illustrations, in sepia and other earth tones, were created by a technique described on the copyright page as ""collagraphy."" Like Josiah, readers will be intrigued by the artist's creation of her illusions.