Sunday, 6 October 2013

Can't Stay Away from Calla!

"Callas in Glass Vases", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Well, I am sure that no one is too surprised to see some new drawings of Calla Lilies.  Anyone who has been following my blog for any length of time now can't help but be aware of my weakness for these flowers.  I, quite honestly, could just draw them over and over again -- partly because I have never yet been able to capture the delightful elegance I see in their simple lines plus the fact that they "make my heart sing"!

The first drawing "Callas in Glass Vases" was rather difficult to complete since the software I use does not have a true opaque or overlay functions.  Thus I have to find sneaky ways to try to give the impression of transparency, for example.  I am not really satisfied with the results, but I know that I have done the best I can do with this software.

"Art Nouveau Calla Lilies", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

This second drawing "Art Nouveau Calla Lilies" is my first attempt to copy the actual style of Calla Lilies using the Art Nouveau technique.  I found a similar drawing online which I used as my guide.  I think that, possibly, the online drawing I used as my model might have been a design for a stained glass window -- that is what this drawing reminds me of.

I remember years ago (in my 20s) seriously considering trying to apprentice myself to a stained glass studio in order to be trained in the technique of stained glass.  Even at that time what I really wanted to accomplish was stained glass work in the Art Nouveau style.  I am not sure why the style has such a strong appeal for me -- it is probably related to my love of simple curving lines like those found in Calla Lilies!

At any rate, I hope you enjoy these latest artistic efforts and I promise not to present any more Calla Lilies for at least another few months.



There is really nothing new in other areas of my life at the moment so I thought I would show you a couple of cute photos that I acquired recently.

I have no idea how someone trained this cat to stand this way.  He really does look like a penguin, doesn't he?  I mean, even his tail is curved upwards.  Normally, no cat keeps their tail curved unless they are sleeping.  I am not sure why but I find myself grinning every time I look at this photo!  

Braden the Flirt is what I am calling this photo of my favourite young man!  I believe that this photo was taken when Braden and his parents were returning from their recent trip down south.  True to form, Braden was always "picking" up new girlfriends wherever he went.  I predict that his poor parents are going to have to get him his own cell phone by age 5 just so that they won't have to keep answering phone calls from his girl friends!  What a guy!!



Here she is -- ever ready to play or to get
into some sort of mischief!
Well, Miss Suki came close to getting herself permanently banished to the balcony this past week!

This is what happened.

On Thursday I did not have any appointments scheduled and so I was spending the morning doing my various activities at a much slower pace than normal.  In fact, when I was finishing praying Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, I noticed I was feeling just a bit sleepy and so I decided to take a short nap.  I was comfortably ensconced in my favourite chair and so I decided to just allow myself to drift off.

Meanwhile, Suki was in her usual position that she assumes whenever I am sitting in my chair early in the morning .  She hops up into my desk chair which is nearby and proceeds to sit and stare at me while digging her claws into the arm rest.  Every so often, I am required to stop whatever I am doing and scratch her chin and cheekbones.  Normally, if I stay seated for some time, Suki settles down on the cushion and goes to sleep. 

I noticed on Thursday, just before I drifted off to sleep, that for some reason Suki was still awake and sitting there looking at me.  I may have mumbled something like, "why don't you settle down now?" just before I fell asleep, but maybe I just dreamed it.

Anyway, after sleeping for about 15 minutes, I awoke suddenly with a feeling that something was not quite right.  As I began to search around the room for the possible cause of my uneasy feelings, my eyes were drawn to my computer.  [The computer is located just to the right (your right) of where Suki is sitting in the above photo.]

At first I could not believe my eyes so it took me a moment or two to react, but then I suddenly gave a loud shout which startled me as well as Suki -- especially Suki as it was directed towards her and my garbled words included her name!

What was it I saw?  Well, as unbelievable as it sounds, I saw Suki stretched out full length on my computer keyboard!  I really could not believe she was doing this and when my frantic shouting failed to get her to move, I struggled to my feet, grabbed her up like a sack of potatoes and dumped her unceremoniously onto the floor!
During all this time, I was shouting all sorts of unpleasant comments about what I planned to do with this cat just as soon as I checked to see what damage she had done.

Truly, I was frantic with worry about what might have happened to all the information and files stored on my computer.  I knew that there were at least 5 different programs running on my computer at that very moment, including my art file.  I simply could not imagine that all those programs had escaped some sort of corruption resulting from a 14 lb. cat walking and lying on the very keyboard used to give these programs their commands.

My first efforts to discover what might have gone wrong were very disconcerting as I simply could not get the computer to respond to any keystrokes -- it was like there was a complete disconnect between the hard drive and the keyboard!  I quickly tried a couple of tricks to see if I could get any sort of normal response, but when nothing worked, I decided that my best bet was to reboot the computer.  As most of you know, this is where you almost always begin when your computer is acting up.

As I sat waiting for the reboot to take place, I spent my time directing imprecations of the worst sort towards poor Suki who, by now, was sitting just under the edge of the bed watching me closely. I was just reaching the point of describing how I was going to tar and feather her and drive her out onto the balcony when the computer finished rebooting.  I had noticed, gratefully, that the reboot appeared to be occurring without any error messages.

Finally I was able to try to check on all my programs and as I checked each one that had been open during the time that Suki was lying on the keyboard, I found that each and every one of the them had come through OK -- including the one with the drawing I had been working on!  

Now, I began to settle down and to think about how Suki must be viewing this whole episode.  I still was not feeling very kindly towards her as I have tried to teach her over the years to never get too close to my computer.  I had started these lessons after the episode during her first year with me when she had managed to turn on the computer during the night and jolted me out of my sleep by holding down one key which caused the computer to start "screaming".  Up until last Thursday, the lessons seemed to be working.  I realize now that it was probably not my lessons that kept her from bothering the computer, but rather her lack of interest!

So, what can I say... all is well that ends well or something like that. I asked Suki to forgive me for calling her such bad names and she seems to have forgotten the episode entirely -- maybe.  Knowing her as I do, it is quite possible that she will still find a way to get back at me for all that shouting, threats and name calling.  You never really know what cats, do you?

A new autumn photo I came across on the Internet
which shows so clearly why I love this time of
year so very much -- all those glorious colours!
As for me, other than the stress of the Suki episode described above, I have had a pretty quiet week.

I had an appointment with my family doctor but that was just a routine visit -- mainly to discuss prescription renewals.

The only unusual social event was the retreat day I attended with the St. Michael's Seniors Group at the Queen of Apostles Retreat Centre in Mississauga on Tuesday.  

Other than the bus being over an hour late picking us up, we had a very pleasant day.  The staff at Queen of Apostles were all very kind and helpful and the speakers did a good job.  We finished the day with Mass in the lovely chapel there and then had a fairly easy and uneventful trip home.  

My main problem with the day, however, was how tired I found myself by the time I arrived back home.  I had left home at about 7:30 a.m. in order to get to the Cathedral on time and by the time I arrived back at my place, it was almost 5 p.m.  I can't recall spending that much time away from home during one day for a number of years now.  

I realized as I tried to get some extra rest during the following day that I had stopped trying to push myself through a day without time for rest periods for a good reason.  My body has to pay too high a price for doing so and this "price" includes increased pain and fatigue for the next day or two afterwards.  So, as much as such activities may appeal to me, I will now make more of an effort to refrain from such strenuous activities in the future!

This is one of last year's photos but it remains one
of my favourites.  These colours, it seems to me
simply cry out to be painted on good canvas using
all those lovely shades of oil paint.  How I wish
my poor old fingers would still co-operate!
Of course, one really nice thing that did happen this past week was my awareness of how the trees are beginning to change.  I also have seen a number of new photos online of the colours of this glorious season:  the yellow-gold and orange-red of the leaves combined with the clear blue of the sky.   These are my absolutely favourite colours and these colours, just like the curving lines of Calla Lilies, make my heart sing.  

There is just so much in this old world that is incredibly beautiful and simply defies the attempts of those without faith to explain the world with a Creator.  I mean, if there was just a simple need to have things evolve so that they functioned optimally, then adding beauty to the mix would be totally unnecessary, even wasteful -- especially beauty that has no conceivable function other than to delight the eyes of mankind.  How good God is to His creation and how badly we treat all that he has given, including each other.  Let us pray that we, like St. Francis whose feast day we celebrated on the 4th of October, will one day be able to honestly say:

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To You, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and You give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which You give Your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom You brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of You; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for by You, Most High, they will be crowned.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve Him with great humility.  Amen.

May God's peace be with us all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poor Suki
I bet she was just trying to help. Maybe trying to stop the dust from settling on the keyboard.