Sunday, 26 April 2015

Bright Sunlight

"Girl in Bright Sunlight", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Once again, I was drawn to a painting because of the hands -- actually, in this case, it should be "hand".  I can't explain it, but, lately, I find that I am frequently inspired by "models" who have their hand or hands in interesting and challenging positions -- as the girl does in today's drawing.

The work that I used as my model is a painting entitled, "Far Away" by the artist, Sophie Anderson whose work has inspired me previously (see posting for February 15, 2015, "Girl at Butterfly Conservatory"). I have found two more paintings by Anderson that I also plan to use as models and in both of them, it's the hands of the women that first caught my attention.

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.

In a moment of whimsy, I considered calling this drawing "Where are my sunglasses when I need them?"  However, as you can see, I restrained myself.  I did find myself, on occasion, squinting just a bit -- as you do in bright sunlight -- while drawing the hand shading the eyes! As well, I reflected (no pun intended) a bit about the fact that sunlight -- whether in a clear, blue sky or reflecting off grey clouds filled with rain or snow -- has always been my enemy. People with fair skin that gets freckled easily know better than to stay out in direct sunlight with uncovered skin for more than a few minutes at a time!  

As well, my eyes have always been very sensitive to bright lights of any kind and, in consequence, I have often gotten strange looks from people when I have been wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day. What people forget is that with eyes that are sensitive to light, even the glare of a cloudy day can be uncomfortable.  As well, bright lights -- particularly flashing ones -- have always been a migraine trigger for me. Yet, without that bright sunlight we would not be able to see beautiful shadows or the inviting shade on a summer's day.  



Ronàn still working on those teeth!

Braden with a truck that is almost as big as the real thing!



"Surely, you didn't awaken me just to
take this picture -- did you?!!"
Suki continues to enjoy this cooler weather that seems unwilling to ever depart! I may be fed up with cold weather, but Suki continues to enjoy it.

I mean, here it is almost the end of April and, yet, it has remained cool enough so that the furnace has come on throughout the day in order to keep the indoor temperature at about 21 degrees Celsius!  As you might guess, it's this business of the furnace that Suki has been enjoying.

You see, long ago I placed her favourite chair in a position so that when the furnace comes on, the warm air blows directly across the back of her chair. Suki finds this quite delightful and you can actually see her snuggle down into the cushions, ever more deeply, whenever that warm air begins to blow.  

It has always puzzled me how much cats enjoy heat.  You would think that with that heavy, fur coat they are always wearing, extra heat would be the very last thing they would seek out. Yet, typical images of cats show them sleeping soundly in direct sunlight, curled up next to a fire or draped over the top of a floor-furnace grate. This is true of cats not only in the cold of winter, but even on a summer's day when you can find them sleeping on the window sill with the hot sun shining directly on them.

What a wonderfully, strange creature is Miss Suki and her fellow felines!

As for me, I am continuing to re-do all my various imaging tests at the hospital. I was there again on Friday for CT scans of my spine (particularly the lumbar area) and of my neck.  The process was more than a bit unpleasant, but I managed to put my body in the required positions long enough for the images to be successfully taken! I still haven't quite recovered, however.

Thankfully, this coming week contains no appointments -- just a visit from a dear acquaintance -- someone I haven't seen in a number of years.  I am very much looking forward to seeing her again.



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Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”   John 10:11-18

In quiet moments, when rational thinking comes easily, we say that we believe or disbelieve one thing or another.  We may say we are Nihilistic -- that we don't believe in anything and all values are meaningless.  Or, we may say that we believe in many gods -- one or more of whom are in charge of all the different areas of our lives.  Yet, interestingly, when most of us are in imminent and terrible danger -- as the earthquake strikes, as the hurricane makes landfall, as the car skids out of control, what do we all cry out in our own language and way? "God help me, God save me". 

So, I have to admit that no matter how conflicted I may feel about matters of faith at various times, deep down I yearn to believe that there really is a loving God -- a Good Shepherd -- who, personally, loves me so much that He is willing to lay down His life in order to protect me from "the wolf" -- that symbol for life-threatening danger -- a Good Shepherd who is not only willing to lay down His life to protect me, but who is also, in His omnipotence, willing and able to "pick it up again".

So I pray that the Good Shepherd will lead us all "beside still waters and restore our souls" so that we may know with certainty that even when we "walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need fear no evil".


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