Did you know that raccoons have a natural talent for abstract painting? Take one look at the work of raccoons Piper and Cheeto and you’ll see that they have a penchant for creating lively works of art using only their paws. Their creative spirit is fostered thanks to the help of their humans Mitchell and Sarah Thyme. They provide the creatures not only with the paint and canvases but also the space necessary to produce their tiny masterpieces.
The Thymes came up with the idea to let their raccoons paint by observing the behavior of the creatures. “Raccoons are constantly touching things with their hands to gather sensory information,” Sarah tells My Modern Met, “and we saw our raccoons doing it, so we thought painting would be a fun activity for them.”
Every canvas features the raccoons' adorable paw prints in multiple colors. Some pieces are minimalist in their aesthetic with compositions that contain a few scattered prints, while others have artful smudges that mix the pigment on canvas. The finished paintings are as unique as Piper and Cheeto are. “Each of our raccoons has had their own style,” Sarah says, “and we can usually tell their art apart!”
The raccoon paintings are for sale on the Thymes' website, Tito the Racoon. (Tito is the name of their first raccoon who has since passed on.) Most are sold out, and there’s no telling when more works will be created. “Our raccoons paint as they please,” Sarah explains, “so there is no set amount of time a painting will take.”
Follow Piper and Cheeto on Instagram and learn more about living with raccoons by watching the Tito the Racoon YouTube channel.