Sunday, 1 February 2015

More Waterhouse

"My Vision of a Waterhouse Study for Lady Clare", 
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

"Clare of Assisi", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014
After an absence of a few months, I have returned, once again, to the works of John William Waterhouse for inspiration.  This time I used one of his drawings -- a drawing done in preparation for the painting "Lady Clare" -- as my model.  His studies of his model led to the painting.  I, on the other hand, used his painting as a model some months ago  for a drawing I entitled:  "Clare of Assisi" (see to your right) and only now have I taken a look at one of the studies he did in preparation for that painting.  This drawing of his inspired me to do the drawing featured in today's posting.

As you may recall, Waterhouse (born 1849, died 1917) was an English artist whose works were labelled "pre-Raphaelite". Artists whose works fall under the description of "pre-Raphaelite" felt that art had lost its way with the work and style of Raphael. They particularly rejected any painting style which they felt was "lax or sloshy". Instead, they sought a return to the abundant detail, intense colours and complex compositions of Quattrocento Italian art (the art of the late middle ages and early Renaissance). 

Although Waterhouse is less well-known than other pre-Raphaelites (Dante Gabriel Rossetti (an early favourite of mine) and William Holman Hunt), I find that I keep returning to his paintings for inspiration and the use of his works as models for my own drawings. My works, of course, do not do his works justice, but my attempts to copy something of his style gives me great pleasure.  In fact, his painting and drawings are very useful in helping me use one of my most effect pain-distraction techniques -- art work.

The information on John William Waterhouse was taken, originally, from Wikipedia and most recently from my posting of April 27, 2014


Here is Ronàn once again with those very expressive hands of his!

Exactly what are you up to, Mom?

Braden, recently, upon discovering how much snow had fallen overnight!

Here is Braden, with his Dad, learning what the men of the family 
are supposed to do with all that snow!



"Hey, What's Happenin'?"
There are some moments when I really feel that Suki and I have crossed over into the "Twilight Zone"! This morning was one of those moments...

This past week, Suki has been a real nuisance when it comes to her efforts to get me to feed her breakfast. Monday through Saturday, I was awakened earlier than normal by any one of a number of strange noises that Suki uses in her efforts to get me up and into the kitchen so that she can be fed.  

As I have mentioned on frequent occasions, Suki usually begins her campaign to get me awake and out of bed a little after 5 a.m.  The first few times she wakes me up, I usually just go back to sleep. Eventually, however, I get tired of waking up, going back to sleep, waking up, going back to sleep, etc.  Normally, around 5:45, I give up and get up.

Yesterday morning, as I was stumbling about the kitchen preparing Suki's breakfast, I found myself imagining sitting Suki down and having a serious discussion with her.  I pictured myself explaining to her how overly demanding she can be on occasion and telling her how kind and thoughtful it would be of her if she could see her way clear to letting me have a bit of a sleep-in every so often.  I pictured this discussion so clearly that it almost felt like a memory of something I had done and not just a happy daydream!

Perhaps my imagination led me into the Twilight Zone (if any of you can recall the TV show by that name that ran for 5 seasons back in the early 60's, you will possibly remember that the show opened by telling the viewer that the door to the "zone" was opened by the imagination!).  Anyway, let me tell you what happened....

I awakened this morning to absolute silence.  Immediately, I glanced at the clock and saw to my amazement that it was 6 a.m. My first thought was:  "where is Suki?".  Just as I had started to think that perhaps she had taken ill during the night, I heard the rattle of the Venetian blinds which cover the balcony door.  Suki poked her head through the blinds and simply sat there staring at me.  As she looked at me, it was almost as though I heard her saying: "well, did you enjoy your little lie-in this morning?"  "Am I not a kind or thoughtful kitty?"

The strangeness of the moment was quickly broken, however, as Suki opened her mouth and gave a loud "meow" -- the kind of meow which lets me know that she is ready to be fed!  A few minutes later, as I prepared Suki's breakfast, I couldn't help but think about the strangeness of the events which had begun Saturday morning as I had gone through these same motions.  I had allowed myself to enter into a rather intense daydream about a kind and thoughtful Suki who would allow me to sleep late occasionally. Perhaps I had indeed wandered into the Twilight Zone!

Now, before any of you consider sending the police and ambulance my way, please allow me to assure you that I don't really think I have been anywhere else but in my own home. No doubt, Suki was distracted by something occurring on the balcony -- maybe some of those dastardly pigeons were fluttering about -- and it was this that kept her occupied. Thus occupied, she forgot about her usual routine for trying to get me awake and out of bed.  However, you must admit, it was a bit strange.... (here is where I cue the creepy music!).

Other than trips to the Twilight Zone, things are much the same for me. I continue to have more bad days than good ones, but I am grateful for any good days that do come along. 

I have no appointments scheduled during the coming week for which I am also grateful as I don't relish the thought of having to go out in this cold and messy weather. 



"Icon -- Christ the Healer", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015 Revised

Then they came to Capernaum, and on the Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? This is a new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.      Mark. 1:21-28

I have been to Capernaum and have stood in the ruins of this synagogue.  I remember standing there and recalling this very passage; trying to imagine what the scene must have been like as Christ commanded the "unclean spirit" to come out of the man.  I also wondered, as I have about so many of these characters we are introduced to in the Gospels, just what happened to the man afterwards.

What would I do if all my "unclean spirits" were suddenly cast out? Would I continue to live as though I were still in bondage or would I suddenly start to live as a free person.  Knowing myself as I do, I fear I would continue to live as though the bonds had never been broken.  Living in freedom is just a bit too scary for me -- or, as the old saying goes:  "better the devil you know..."

May I find the courage to live in freedom, remembering always that I have been set free.  The One, who alone can speak with absolute authority, has commanded that all that is unclean be cast out.

May we all know the peace that comes from living in freedom from those fears which bind our hearts and minds.  May we never forget that God is Love and that "There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear." (I John 4:18)


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