Sunday, 15 February 2015

Girl at Butterfly Conservatory

"Girl at Butterfly Conservatory with Sugar Water", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Inspiration for today's drawing came from a painting by Sophie Gengembre Anderson informally entitled "A Portrait of a Fairy". Being that I am not really interested in drawing fairies, I simply used Anderson's model for my drawing of a young girl. As well, rather than having her "crowned" with butterflies, I placed her in a Butterfly Conservatory with a bowl of sugar water in her hands which the girl hopes will attract any number of the freely-flying butterflies. 
"Detail from 'Girl at
Butterfly Conservatory' ",
drawing by Sarah "Sallie"
Thayer, 2015

You might be interested in taking a look at this painting as it is reasonably well known and has a most unusual formal title.  One author on the Internet (whose name I could not determine) wrote the following:

"Take the fair face of woman, and gently suspending, With butterflies, flowers, and jewels attending, Thus your fairy is made of most beautiful things."

These lines are supposedly from a poem by Charles Ede although no one has ever verified this and the entire poem is nowhere to be found on the web.

Sophie Gengembre Anderson (1823-1903) was a French-born British artist who specialized in painting children and women in scenes from everyday life, typically in rural settings. She began her career as a lithographer and painter of portraits, collaborating with Walter Anderson (an English artist who was a painter, lithographer, and engraver) whom Sophie eventually married. 

Sophie Anderson was born in Paris, the daughter of Charles Antoine Gengembre, a French architect and artist, and his English wife. The family left France for the United States to escape the 1848 Revolution. After Sophie and Walter were married, they moved to London in 1854. They remained in England, except for a brief stay on the Isle of Capri, finally settling in Falmouth, Cornwall in 1894 where they lived and worked for the remainder of their lives. Walter died in January, 1903 and Sophie died 2 months later in March, 1903. 

A world-record price of more than £1 million was paid at Sotheby's in London in 2008 for Sophie Gengembre Anderson’s painting entitled: “No Walk Today”.

Portions of the above information was taken from various Internet sources.



"If I'm awake, it must be time to eat!"
Well, it's been another quiet week with Suki.  Perhaps it has something to do with the very cold weather we continue to have.  Whatever the case may be, Suki continues to spend a great deal of time sleeping in my lap. 

Yet, no matter how deeply asleep she may appear to be, when the time on the clock reads 6 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. or 11 p.m (her feeding times), Suki opens her eyes, yawns and begins a staring campaign -- a stare which clearly says:  "it's time for me to be fed and if you don't get up and prepare my food -- as you know you should -- I shall sit here and stare at you until you feel so guilty that your guilt will force you to get up and feed me." (this guilt-trip thingy works, you know!).  On these four occasions, all it takes is the slightest movement from me to have Suki up, "talking" loudly and walking quickly towards the kitchen.  

Otherwise, the only way to get Suki to move (without painfully attempting to lift 13 lbs of dead weight from my lap) is for me to push the release lever on the recliner and, as the recliner comes into its upright position, allow her to be dumped, rather unceremo-niously, onto the floor! (When I am forced to do this, I get a look from Suki which, if translated into spoken English, would probably contain a number of those "bleep"-type words).  Otherwise, someone might easily mistake her for a small bear cub who has gone into hibernation for the winter after mistakenly thinking that my lap was a proper bear cave!

As for me, I continue to manage as well as I can.  My joints are extremely painful as usual; however, I am fortunate in that I am not required to do very much -- other than feed the cat and warm up the food Joycelyn has left for me.  Thankfully, I am still able to prepare this blog posting by working on it a little bit each day all week long.

I have a medical appointment on Wednesday. This will be the first time I have been out of my place since Feb. 4th when I had to make a quick trip to the bank a short distance from my building. So, I will get to experience first hand these frigid temperatures I have been hearing about. Hopefully, I will be thawed out in time to prepare another blog posting before next Sunday!  



"Icon -- Christ Heals a Leper", by the  hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, He dismissed him at once. He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to Him from everywhere.    Mark 1:40-45
I have always been puzzled by the request of Christ that this person -- just miraculously healed of what was then the world's most dreaded disease -- "tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed..."

Of course, Christ wanted the individual to go to the priest and make the offering -- otherwise, the man would not be keeping the Law -- the healing would not really be complete. However, He, who knows human nature so well, could not really expect the man to keep silent after such an incredible event in his life, could He?  So, why did Christ ask for the impossible?  Was Christ just hoping the man would listen because He knew how success can often limit a person's ability to actually accomplish as much as would have been possible with notoriety?  Although I have puzzled over this for many years, I still have no satisfactory answer.  

Setting this puzzle aside, I can say that I have always been deeply moved by the "prayer" this leprous  man makes at the beginning of his encounter with Christ.  In fact, I have often made this prayer my own -- praying, pleading as I say:  
"Lord, if you wish you can make me clean."

I pray that we all may experience the peace and joy which would fill our hearts if we, too, were to hear Christ's response spoken to us:  "I do will it. Be made clean."


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