Sunday, 19 July 2015

Waiting for a Friend...

"Waiting for a Friend", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Today's drawing was inspired by another one of the paintings of John William Waterhouse. His painting is entitled: "A Sketch of Circe" (Circe is the goddess of magic) which obviously suggests that my drawing of a modern, young woman is nothing at all like the painting by Waterhouse!  What attracted me to this particular painting was not the subject matter but, rather, the position of the woman, especially the placement of her arms and hands.

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 -- usually because of the positions of the arms and hands of the women in his paintings. 

As is normally the case, I am far from satisfied with this drawing and, so, I will, no doubt, continue to revise it as time passes in an effort to achieve the result I can see in my mind but am still unable, thus far, to place on the canvas (my computer screen).

Information on John William Waterhouse taken from Wikipedia.


Here are some new photos of "my" boys.  Enjoy!

Braden enjoying being up a tree!  (I, too, loved climbing trees at his age.)

Braden helping his grandfather in the garden.

Rònàn finds the behaviour of adults rather amusing.

Rònàn contemplates the meaning of life as well as the strange behaviour of adults.



Painting of Suki resting before going to sleep!
Suki had to make a mad dash for the back of the bedroom closet this past week... another "noise monster" came into her home!

Wednesday afternoon, Suki was enjoying her after-lunch nap when suddenly there was a loud banging on the front door. Immediately, Suki was on the floor, growling and ready to run.  By the time I got up and opened the door, whoever was outside had knocked loudly a second time.  Suki decided at this point that there was no sense in waiting around as something terrible was, obviously, about to occur and she wanted no part of it.

It turned out that the people who were in the building all week cleaning out the air-conditioning/heating units had finally reached my apartment.  I let them and their noisy equipment in and they quickly set to work.  They used a noisy electric screwdriver to remove the screws in the panel and then they used a very noisy vacuum cleaner to do the actual cleaning.  While they were at it they changed the filter.
Suki hiding from
the "Noise Monster"

It actually did not take them very long to complete the task.  This was because, I was informed by one of the men, I have a very clean apartment so that dust and cat hair have been kept to a minimum so the unit was really not that dirty.  One of the men told me a couple of horror stories about the messiness of some of the apartments they had visited, but, fortunately, they had the good sense not to mention any specific units or names.

After they left and that wonderful quietness descended once again on my home, I heard the scrabbling noises of a cat making her way out of the bedroom closet.  Suki appeared cautiously sniffing the air and looking in every direction just in case the monster was just hiding and waiting for her to let down her guard!  Once she realized that the monster was gone, she had to thoroughly investigate the area where the men had been working -- sniffing everywhere.  I wonder what interesting information she gathered with that powerful sense of smell she has. 

Eventually, she was able to allow herself to rest once again. Jumping into her favourite chair, she made three and a half turns before allowing herself to settle down.  Next came the requisite face and paw cleaning ritual. Finally, she gave a great sigh and returned to her afternoon nap.

As for me, things continue as usual.

I had a visit from a friend this past week.  Both Suki and I were pleased to see her.  This week I have a medical appointment but, otherwise, I expect the week will be uneventful.  Of course, the moment you say something like that, all manner of things end up happening!  Hopefully, however, that will be the case for other people but not for me.



"The Good Shepherd with His Sheep", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer,
2015 rev.

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When He disembarked and saw the vast crowd, His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then He began to teach them many things. Mk. 6:30-34

Even though most of us have never had any actual interaction with sheep, we still have a general idea of how they might behave without a shepherd.  I, as mentioned in previous postings, have had actual experience observing sheep behaviour during those years that I spent the summer months living on an Ontario farm where sheep were raised.  There, I saw firsthand just how easily sheep could become confused and frightened and how foolishly they would then behave. Running in all directions, they often put themselves at real risk for being injured or killed.  At times such as this, it was very obvious that they needed someone to shepherd them.

Foolishly, most of us think we are in control of our lives and yet Christ told us that we are really like sheep without a shepherd.  The truth is that we are actually not in control of very much of anything! All it takes is an accident, an invasive virus or a glitch in our bank's computer to make us realize how fragile and vulnerable our lives really are.  At times such as these, we definitely need a "good shepherd" -- Someone or Something to guide us in the right direction -- the direction that will lead to safety and security.

Not only do we need a loving Shepherd when we, like sheep, are wandering, unknowingly, towards the edge of some cliff -- we also need the help of people who love us. Yet, how often we turn our backs on those who reach out to us with loving guidance at the very times we most need help in order to be rescued from our confusion, fear and danger. Like foolish sheep, we ignore both the "sheep dog" and the "Shepherd" and then, as we find ourselves injured and dying at the bottom of some cliff, we turn our eyes heavenward and cry out "why me?".  May we never forget that we, like sheep without a shepherd, will always go astray if left to our own devices.

So, I pray that we may be granted the grace to make our choices and decisions by seeking the guidance of our Loving Shepherd as well as the loving support of our "neighbours" (those people who love us). 


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