Shortly after Flick died I contacted an artist to have him preserved as a work of art. Leah Davies does pet portraits in a number of mediums and after some discussion with her and some consideration I commissioned her to do a pencil drawing of my too quickly departed cat.
I liked the look of her drawings and to me it felt right. It would be like a fading memory, still with me but softened. The picture I chose for her to work from was one I’d shared after Flick died, of him helpfully sitting in the empty water dish.
Leah loved the picture and we agreed it would only be Flick in the water dish; the empty soda bottle and other examples of my less than stellar housekeeping need not be immortalized! She warned me that with her other commissions it would be a while before she could start to work on it, but would probably be able to get to it mid to late April.
So yesterday I got a Facebook message from her (she is EXTREMELY responsive to messages, with response times in my experience usually in minutes) “A kitty in progress” it said accompanied by a picture:
I LOVED it! I especially loved the fact that she’d captured what I’d always called his “hinky ear” perfectly. She said she would probably be finished that day (!!) and would have further pictures for me as the work progressed.
The day went on and I got another another picture:
Finished, but were there any changes I’d like? Guiltily, and with extreme reluctance I asked if the light areas could be darkened, not totally, but made as minimal as possible while still being there. She was completely agreeable and a while later sent me this:
The level of detail in her work is nothing short of astounding. Aside from his ear, she also noticed and included the tiny spray of white hairs in the middle of his chest!
It’s her standard practice, by the way, to darken pupils in eyes that get that “devil cat” (my words) look from the camera flash.
She asked me to look it over a few times, get back to her with any changes and then when I was perfectly happy with it she would ship it to me. There’s one more tiny change I’d like and then I’ll meddle no more! In a short while I’ll have a fine work of art, and a reminder of my friend to hang on my wall.
If you would like to see more examples of Leah’s work you can find it at http://leahdaviesart.com/index.html.
If you would like to contact her via Facebook you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/LeahDaviesArt/.