Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Annunciation Revisited

"Annunciation to Our Lady", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014

Even though we are several months past the date for celebrating the Annunciation (in fact today is the Feast of Corpus Christi), I felt that today was the time for posting this particular drawing. 

My drawing, entitled "Annunciation to Our Lady", was inspired, once again, by another John William Waterhouse painting.  The Waterhouse painting, entitled simply "The Annunciation", is a large canvas with the two figures (Our Lady and the Archangel Gabriel) placed in a horizontal frame.  I, however, decided to do two separate drawings showing a single figure in each vertical frame. Thus, today's drawing is of Our Lady at the moment the Archangel appeared to her.  Very soon, I plan to begin working on a drawing of the Archangel Gabriel as shown in this same Waterhouse painting and will probably be posting it a couple of Sundays from now.  

In my drawing, I decided to show Our Lady working at a implement used for making thread from carded wool -- something like a very simple spinning wheel.  I am not sure how accurate my depiction is as I worked from some drawings of various primitive instruments used for this purpose; however, I tried to imagine what type of implement Our Lady could have had for spinning the woollen thread that her family would use in the making of their clothes.

As I worked on this drawing, I was definitely trying to capture a look of surprise and amazement on the face of Our Lady, but I remain unsatisfied by my attempts to accomplish my goal.  As I have stated previously, I am a pretty good "copyist", but not a trained artist.  I mention this so that you won't be surprised if I end up revising this drawing in the future -- as I have done with many other drawings in the past!   



Following are what appear to be three watercolours of pastoral scenes.  They are, in fact, photographs to which have been applied the "Pencil Sketch pad" app I discovered a few weeks ago.

I am aware that the ability to create similar effects with photos has been around for some time; however, maybe it's just my failing eyesight, but I really like the results given by this software. Particularly, I like the gentle quality of the light as well as the soft shadows created by that light.

My favourite of these three is (as you probably guessed) the third picture -- the one of the trees.  Not only does it have the natural characteristics of a watercolour, but the software manages to retain the lovely hues and tones of the colour green.    

I would be interested in knowing which one of these three you would most like to have hanging on your own wall in your own home or office.

"Watercolour" of a pastoral scene created from photo after applying Sketch Pad software

"Watercolour" of a pastoral scene created from photo after applying Sketch Pad software

"Watercolour" of a pastoral scene created from photo after applying Sketch Pad software



Suki as a kitten watching  one of her
favourite TV channels with me
Suki really isn't much of a TV viewer.  Normally, all the murder mysteries I enjoy watching just put her to sleep.  She even seems to find fast car chases to be rather boring!

She does, however, enjoy watching the Aquarium Channel! Even though she doesn't care for fish as food, she does seem to enjoy watching them swim.  It can be really funny to see Suki jumping up on the table and trying to get inside the TV screen where those dastardly fish are swimming around and around!

The only other time Suki gets very excited by the TV is whenever there is a real cat meowing in any show.  Whether it is a kitten mewing or a Siamese yowling, Suki's ears perk right up whenever such sounds occur -- even when she appears to be deeply asleep. Sometimes she even gets up and searches the apartment, trying to find the cat she has just heard on the television!  

Poor kitty... I really feel sorry for her at times like these and think that maybe I should have gotten a second cat a long time ago to keep Suki company.  Of course, the moment I think about how much extra work that would mean for me, I dismiss such foolish thoughts.  Anyway, upon serious reflection, I am pretty certain that Suki would not really be pleased at all with any other creature who expected her to share her food, toys and, most of all, me!

As for me, I continue to do much the same.  

Once again I had a week free of medical appointments.  I find this to be a great blessing as these trips always end up leaving me in much more pain than I would have been in otherwise.  As well, these doctor visits rarely seem to produce anything other than more bad news anyway!

This coming week does include a medical appointment as well as a very important engagement occurring on Saturday the 28th.  I am sure I will have both photos and lots of comments to share when I prepare my posting for next Sunday.  So make certain you don't miss my column for the first Sunday in July!



The Gospel reading for this Sunday contains some of the most astounding words in the New Testament.  One cannot read these words without agreeing with C. S. Lewis when he said:
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”  C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

"Corpus Christi", icon by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Following is a portion of today's Gospel reading:
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me."   John 6:52ff

After reading these and similar passages from the Gospels, one must either dismiss Christ as a madman or, as Lewis said, fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.

I wish all of you a blessed Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  


May God bless us and Our Lady intercede for us in the week ahead and may that peace which God alone can give fill our hearts and minds today and always.  Amen.

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