This painting presents an image of the artist’s sense of vocation and as such is rare in Canadian art. It is a self-portrait of Sawyer as a young man, although painted when the artist was sixty-four. It summarizes his feelings about art and the special gifts possessed by an artist. He sits deep in thought with palette and brushes in hand. A mahlstick, paintings, and sketch portfolio rest near his elbow, and a large religious painting sits unfinished on the easel in front of him. Above the artist hovers Inspiration, part goddess and part angel. She gestures toward the unfinished painting, showing him his task and urging him to it. The work may have hung in the artist’s studio.