Lesley Anne Ivory
Lesley Anne Ivory has gained her reputation as the world’s most popular painter of cats by sustaining a superlative level of invention and craftsmanship. She studied at the art schools of St Albans, Watford and Luton, and, having gained the National Diploma in Design, taught at a school in Bedfordshire. Over a decade, she exhibited wood-engravings of wildlife at the Royal Academy, while creating an increasing demand for her card designs. Now married to the artist Evan Ivory and living in Hertfordshire, she works as a freelance designer and illustrator. As an illustrator, she has published many books, including Cats Know Best (1988), Meet My Cats (1989), Cats in the Sun (1991), Cats Among the Toys (1993) and Star Cats (1998). Never complacent, despite her secure position, she continues to test and stretch herself, both technically and conceptually, advancing by way of a balance between the observing eye and the designing hand. Though she is patiently fascinated by the appearance and behaviour of cats, and studies their individuality with constant and precise attention, she is never content with providing a loosely delineated backdrop or with creating hastily sketched verisimilitude. She always thinks in terms of a complete pictorial design, drawing on her impressive knowledge of the history of design in order to extend her own visual language.