I positively thrive on deadlines, but an order from a cat is something else.
Late this summer I received a rather unusual commission, which was delivered to me by Cat's Whisker. I actually felt very strongly that Preston was asking me if I would paint a special portrait of him. He wanted to give Sarah a significant present for Christmas, which would be an everlasting symbol of their friendship and love.
Once the thought was in my mind, I had no doubt at all, that not only would I accept the challenge, but what's more I would have to make sure it would be my best work ever. I am used to various types of commissions, and publisher's dates, and I positively thrive on deadlines, but an order from a cat is something else. The payment would be to see Sarah's delight when receiving it. Rich payment indeed, no greater incentive.
I started preliminary drawings at once, and much thought and planning went into the composition. I felt him beside me all the time. It is now completed, well in time for Christmas. It is definitely like him. I am pleased with it, and know it will be well received by the family at Christmas.
The miniature is circular; Preston is staring full faced out of a background of orange trees and stars.
The outer daisy border will remind her of the daisy chains her little daughters, Alice and Rebecca used to make and hang round his neck, when all the world was young! The Orange tip butterfly symbolises that Sarah herself was a butterfly for some time at a nearby Hospital.
In the portrait Preston is wearing a daisy pendant, which he had specially crafted for himself, with the letter S in solid gold in the centre. He wears it with love and pride; day or night, Preston and the stars will always be there for her.
I will presumably have to gift wrap his little present myself, as it is unclear in my mind what he would use to wrap it up himself.
Lesley Anne Ivory 2020