LOS ANGELES - Varnette Honeywood, an artist whose paintings adorned the walls of the set of "The Cosby Show" and whose strikingly colorful images depicted tender moments in black family life, has died. She was 59.

Honeywood died Sunday after a two-year battle with cancer, one of her cousins, Jennell Allen, said Tuesday.

Raised in Los Angeles, Honeywood majored in fine arts at Spelman College in Atlanta, earned a master's degree from the University of Southern California and worked at the Joint Educational Project, teaching art to minority students.

As a young artist in the 1970s, Honeywood began reproducing her bold acrylic paintings on greeting cards. It was these that caught the eye of Bill Cosby's wife, Camille, and the couple started collecting her work and met Honeywood soon after.

"Forms and attitudes in human beings, she was able to capture them," Cosby said.

Cosby featured several of her paintings on the walls of the set of his hit series, "The Cosby Show," and he went on to collaborate with Honeywood on a series of books called "Little Bill," which also became an animated television series. - AP

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