Sunday, 30 March 2014

Another Madonna & Other Drawings

"A Precious Child", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014

As you are now well aware, I can't resist the impulse to try my hand at new "Madonna" drawings.  I love the image and it does always remind me of Our Lady and her precious Son.  "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us."

In this latest example, the fringe on the shawl was probably the most difficult part of the drawing to get right.  I am still not really satisfied with the shawl since I do not have the means, as yet, to make the texture look like something that has been knitted.  

I also enjoyed working with all the varying shades of blue.  Blue is the colour we associate with Our Lady and it is also one of the most satisfying colours for me, personally, to work with.  While I really enjoy the bright colours, especially the orange/coral/red shades, blue seems to touch something deep inside and leaves me feeling peaceful and satisfied.  How good of God to give us so many, many shades of blue in Nature!

"Water Lilies and Boat", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014

 I also remain intrigued by reflections in water.  As I have mentioned before, reflections and shadows are so difficult to express using this computer software, but I seem to be gradually getting better at finding ways to "make it work".  I guess every artist has to develop "tricks" to fool the viewer's eyes no matter what the medium may be.  

I often feel an almost desperate desire to grab a brush and oil paints and apply them directly to my computer screen "canvas"!  What a mess that would be.

"Tulips Art Nouveau", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014

Finally, I continue to find drawing Art Nouveau stained glass windows to be very satisfying.  In my mind, the flowing lines found in Art Nouveau always remind me of the flowing lines of Calla Lilies.  These flowing lines, like gently flowing water, soothe me and give me great pleasure even though I am simply following the pattern of another, and much better, artist.  

I wish I could take these Art Nouveau-themed drawings and magically convert them into stained glass.  All my windows would be filled with such beauty and colour!  Of course, poor Suki would then be unable to watch the pigeons, starlings, House sparrows and sea gulls as they fly about outside the windows!  (Fortunately, now that Suki is somewhat crippled, she is still able to get up on the low window ledge in the living room).



Braden's parents are, as are all parents these days, extremely busy and so I really appreciate any photos I receive.  Recently, I was the recipient of two short videos of Braden.  In one he says "Hi" and then, with his father's prompting, says his first and last names.  In the second video, he shows me how he can now count to 13!  I tried capturing a section of the video and you can see the very fuzzy image below.

Kids these days are so advanced, so early.  He won't even be two years old until the end of June.  I expect he will probably be reading before he is three -- I was four and a half before I began to read and that was only because my big sister decided that she wanted to play at being a school teacher -- a very strict school teacher, I might add!  I guess the whole world goes a lot faster these days.  

Of course, none of Braden's achievements surprise me as I have always thought him to be the smartest boy I have ever met.  Of course, there is just the slightest possibility that I may be a bit prejudiced in this matter!

Photo of Braden captured from a video.  He is shown here with his Dad just as he is saying "hello" to the viewer -- me!  He actually says "Hi" and then he says his first and last names!



Suki remains as interested in the world
around her as always!
Suki update:

Suki continues to limp noticeably -- some days worse than others. However, she certainly doesn't allow her disability to keep her from doing what she wants -- that is to the degree that she is able. Let me explain.

Suki is determined to continue to sleep on her favourite chairs in spite of her disability.  I can't help but watch her now whenever she moves from one sleeping place to another.  She readies herself to make the big jump from the floor to the chair -- a jump that once she would have done without even thinking about it -- then after a moment's consideration, she jumps.

Usually the first try is unsuccessful.  She falls and has to try again. Since I can't help but be very alert to her efforts now, I will often get up and carefully place her in the chair where she settles down for another nap.  I usually will get a tongue lick to the hand in thanks for my help.  

However, if I am unable to get up in time to help her or am in just too much pain myself at the moment, Suki will try the jump again. Sometimes it takes her three tries before she is able to finally force herself to put enough weight on that back leg in order to make the jump -- but she always does it...eventually.

This is one of the reasons why I say that if Suki become crippled in both back legs then my options become very limited.  Not only would she be unable to jump, but she would have to drag her body across the floor and would have to be helped, in a major way, every time she needed to use the litter box.  I really don't think Suki would enjoy having to live like that -- especially since she prefers much privacy when it comes to using her litter box.

So, meanwhile, we will continue to enjoy one another's company as long as we are both able.  Suki is still content in her own way. She is eating well -- surprise, surprise.  Also, if I sneak up and drop a string down in front of her, she is immediately ready to play -- even though she plays while lying down now instead of jumping up to chase things as she did until recently.  She remains a wonderful companion for an old lady like me even though I sometimes feel as though I am unable to care for her as carefully as I once did.

Now, to my update... Well, I saw the ophthalmologist this past week and he found that the glaucoma seems to have returned with a vengeance -- in both eyes this time. As well, there seems to be something else wrong with my left eye causing it to ache most of the time.  He did as much investigation as he could in his office and then referred me to a specialist at Mt. Sinai.  My appointment there is for tomorrow, the 31st of March, and I will see what this guy has to say.  Meanwhile, I am supposed to be using drops twice a day for the glaucoma; however, while the drops may be reducing the pressure in the eyes, they also cause the left eye to ache even more! So, I hope to get this dilemma resolved when I see the specialist tomorrow.  I will give you an update next Sunday.

Otherwise, all else remains the same with me -- none of my ailments seem to have gotten worse, but then nothing seems to have gotten any better either!  It is amazing how "hope springs eternal in the human breast".  In spite of all the pain and unhappy diagnoses, I find I still remain hopeful that I will feel better one of these days.



The fourth Sunday of Lent was previously known as Laetare Sunday.  The word "Laetare" is Latin for "rejoice" and the entrance antiphon for this Sunday, in English, begins: 
"Rejoice Jerusalem! Be glad for her, you who love her; rejoice with her, you who mourned for her, and you will find contentment..."

Lent is half over and Easter is so very close now.  The vestments for the priest are rose-coloured instead of the usual, Lenten violet. We are called to remember, in the middle of the austerity of Lent, that things will not always be as they are now -- that the Resurrection is ahead of us!

Following is a section of today's Gospel reading (John 9:1-41) with an icon of mine from 2012.
“As he went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. ...  [Jesus] made a paste with clay ... [and] put this over the eyes of the blind man and said to him, 'Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam' (the name means 'one who has been sent'). So he went off and washed and came back able to see.”

"Jesus Put Clay on his Eyes and the Man Could See",
icon by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

May the peace of the Lord be with us all in the week ahead. And may we all be able to see more clearly in the days ahead. 

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