In her whimsical fine art paintings and murals, Medford-raised artist Megan Marie Myers frequently depicts children and animals interacting in nature — be it hiking, swimming or just lazing about. You may have seen the large mural she painted outside of Cosmic Depot in Bend during the High Desert Mural Festival in October, or her ongoing exhibit at High Lakes Health Care in Bend. Through Jan. 2, you can see her work at Cascade Sotheby’s, 650 SW Bond St., and throughout the month of January, she’ll exhibit at Lost Season Supply Co., 200 NE Greenwood Ave., in Bend.

This spring and summer, Myers will exhibit in Portland, where she lived before moving to Bend in September 2015, followed by a show of her work in September and October at Nancy P’s Cafe and Bakery in Bend. For more info about Myers and her work, visit meganmariemyers.com .

Q: How did you get involved in the High Desert Mural Festival?

A: It was kind of serendipity. I met an artist in town named Nicole Fontana, and she was friends with Doug (Robertson, founder), and Doug was trying to set up the High Desert Mural Festival, and they were looking for artists to participate this year. … It was a great opportunity, a lot of fun.

Q: What do you like about murals?

A: I think that murals can have an impact that smaller works just can’t achieve because of their size. (For) the one at the High Desert Mural Festival … we could just use our own ideas. We had no guide for what we had to paint. So it was really neat because I wanted to capture the High Desert landscape and animals. In that sort of setting, people can really interact with the artwork. If a child, or even an adult, walks up to something like that, the animals are actually the size of life-size animals.

Q: Kids in nature, with animals, seems to be a prevalent theme in your work.

A: Yeah, and it’s not necessarily geared toward kids; it’s just that I like that innocence they represent and that fearlessness to go explore. So while I think it appeals to kids, I hope that it’s also speaking to adults about going out and exploring and following their passions and dreams.

Q: Where did your style come from? Was there somebody who was influential on you?

A: It’s funny because I tried some different things in art school, but especially the human characters, I feel like those started with doodles back when I was in high school even. And I sort of returned to them after school. They definitely have evolved over time, but they’re really something that I just kept working on and working on and working on and getting better at. … The book “The Little Prince” was a huge influence, just the mood and meaning and the relationships. I don’t just paint animals by themselves or kids by themselves. It’s always an interplay, so there’s this relationship about companionship, protectiveness and love and adventure. “Calvin and Hobbes” is another one, where there’s this kid who’s living in his imagination with a friend.

—David Jasper, The Bulletin

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