Mary, (the lady in the painting,) has hosted a number of wild animals in her home. One can scarcely own them, after all. The beautiful creature in her lap is an Artic Fox, which lived with her for fifteen years, longer than any of its kind are known to do. Her excellent veterinarian had been recruited to appear in a calendar of handsome grey-haired men called "Silver Foxes". Posing him with his patient, the silver fox, seemed a natural. The grin on the fox's face in my portrait is due to fact that she has just bitten the vet on the nose, thus canceling the photo shoot.
Mary's husband, who commissioned the double portrait, kept coming round to watch me paint. And every time I thought I might be finished, he'd say "No you're not. Mary's prettier than that." I wish I had his help on every painting.