Artist on a Mission-Light

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Watercolor sketch of 27th World Championship Fireknife

Without light there is darkness. Light in a painting creates value. Without light there would be no shadow side of an object. When light is blocked, we get cast shadows which create depth and interest in a painting. When you put the lightest light by the darkest dark, you draw attention to that spot. By manipulating values, you can guide the eye around your painting.

We went to the World Fireknife Competition. We watched the Womens’s Competition and the Men’s Preliminaries. How would I capture the energy of the drums and the fire spinning in the darkness. A painting becomes much more than what you see with your eyes. The experience of being at the competition adds a depth to your painting. You remember the beat of the drums and the smell of the fire, the flame spitting on the floor and streaking across in a line of fire. You wonder about the properties of fire as you see the contestants put the flaming Fireknife on their feet and to their lips.

‘I tried to capture the flickering of the flame by letting my brush dance across the watercolor paper. I loved capturing the form of the dancer by the light cast on his torso and the back edge getting lost in the darkness.

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Clouds over the ocean in Hawaii.

As artists, we try to capture what we feel and see around us. There was a quote by President Henry B. Eyring which was displayed with his watercolors at BYU Idaho: “My motivation in all of my varied creative work seems to have been a feeling of love. I felt the love of a Creator who expects His children to become like Him—to create and to build.”

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A sketch from 2 1/2” x 4 1/4” sketch book. “Where Are You Headed?”

”…..but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light,…” Isaiah 60:19 So as plants turn to catch the light, we should turn our lives towards the Savior Jesus Christ and towards more kindness, service and watching out for one another.  Mahalo.

 

#Jesus Christ. #BYU-Hawaii #watercolor #light #sketching #World Championship Fireknife

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Artist on a Mission – A Temple Centennial

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There are places in this world, beautiful places that help us remember God and his many blessings. A holy place for Hawaiians is the mountain Mauna Kea. Tall mountains draw men closer to God.  There are people in this world, beautiful people that are good and kind. They remind us of the goodness in mankind  and make us want to treat others tenderly.  I just saw the movie “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.” about Mr. Rogers. After the movie you felt like hugging a stranger and praying for people by name. 

One of the beautiful places in this world is the Laie Hawaii Temple. The palm-lined view from the Kamehameha Highway draws you up toward that Light on the hill. It is nearing the 100-year anniversary of its dedication, November 27, 2019. It is a place that has drawn people to God and inspired them to treat others with kindness. One hundred years ago, as part of the dedication ceremonies, the young children were invited to go into the temple‘s Celestial Room with the prophet  Heber J. Grant. They sang “Whose on the Lords Side Who” and promised to be on the Lord’s side, which means treating others in a kind, loving way, in a way that you would like to be treated. 

Sunday the primary children gathered again at the temple grounds. Over 600 children and their loved ones came to find out more about this Holy Place and to get a ring pop. They looked at the amazing statues by J. Leo and Avard Fairbanks. They searched for the central figure in the middle of three of the friezes. It was Jesus Christ. They looked at the statue of Lehi blessing his son Joseph. They watched the video of Papi who traveled every day to the temple, starting by bus and then finishing the trip by biking up the hill. Dave and I stood by the friezes and pointed out the different people portrayed there. It was good to be a part of this celebration.

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The Primary Activity on the Hawaiian Temple Grounds

 

Eric Marlow’s BYUH Devotional

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Artist on a Mission – Showing some art in Hawaii and St George, Utah

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“Wind Blown Sand” by Sherry Meidell, half sheet watercolor. Permanent Collection St. George Art Museum

I love this watercolor of a lone hiker in the middle of Capitol Reef National Park. I love the color palette and the texture of the sand. I love the solid free dark shape of the desert junipers. This watercolor is part of the permanent collection of the St. George Art Museum and will be displayed there, starting now until March 7, 2020. The opening reception will be November 15th, 6-8 p.m. If you’re in the St. George area go see the show and take a look at one of my favorite paintings.

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“Hale La’a” Watercolor by Sherry Meidell 1/2 sheet on paper.

This painting of the Hawaiian Laie Temple was painted to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Temple dedication. The Temple was dedicated November 27th, 1919. This painting will be displayed in connection with the Mormon Pacific Historical Society’s Annual Conference Art Exhibit, Saturday November 16, 2019 at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

Laie Temple 100 . org 
St. George Art Museum

 

 

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Artist on a Mission – And a Cloud Shall Rest Upon it

 

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“A Cloud Shall Rest Upon It” 11”x14” watercolor

This watercolor painting shows the Laie Temple nestled in the heart of Laie, surrounded by the student married housing. It is there, calling to the students and the community to come closer to God, to come unto Christ. The clouds are amazing here on the North shore. They reach high towards the heavens. Back in Utah, I saw a picture that N. C. Wyeth painted of clouds along the seashore in his pilgrim book. I thought he had used artistic license to exaggerate them, but here in Hawaii are the same amazing clouds. One afternoon while walking home from the University, I saw one of those clouds reaching down from the sky and resting on the temple.

Elder Jefferey R. Holland came and spoke at Brigham Young University Hawaii. He talked about the privilege of being in a Holy place where there was a place of learning through education and a place of learning by faith.

You need both types of learning in life. As an artist we educate ourselves about the principles and elements of art. We learn to draw the human figure and practice making bold marks with brush and paint. But we also have to nurture that pure gratitude for the beauty around us. We have to have the quiet time that sees beyond what others see and get it down on paper or canvas. Whether it is a beautiful landscape or a mouse becoming friends with a cat in a picture book, we capture a bit of the beauty of this world for others to see.

 

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A mouse making friends with a cat

…and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house. D&C 84:5

Jefferey R. Holland’s talk on “A House of Learning, A House of Faith”

N. C. Wyeth’s Pilgrims

 

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Artist on a Mission – Painting Some Homesick

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A Little Kitchen Gold

I started this painting as an in class demo and then finished it at home. As I painted away I started to get that  feeling of homesickness, missing this little lady with the big heart. I could smell the salmon cooking and see the Brussels Sprouts steaming away. It’s her birthday soon. She has had a lifetime of loving and caring for those around her. Didn’t matter when you showed up at her house, she would pull out some food and cook up a very nice meal to share with you. And if you called on her phone and she didn’t happen to answer in person, you got a nice song to cheer up your day.

She has set an example of kindness and giving that will stay with me and hopefully pass down to those who I serve. Influence. She has influenced my life for good. Happy Birthday Momma.

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By love unfeigned

2 Corinthians 6

6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

 

Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints

 

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Artist on a Mission – Muscle Memory

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Straight vs. Curved Lines

The muscles in the arm can also be trained to draw. You use your eyes to see and your brain to analyze angles and shapes and value. Your arm moves searching for the figure, finding where one angle or line meets another. The more you practice, the more all these parts learn to work together. With enough practice, when you draw from your imagination, your arm can take over and it’s almost like drawing from life. It’s important to practice both, drawing from life and from your imagination.

 

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Models all around.

Muscles get stronger with use. It’s the same with prayer or finding that quiet time in life when you can feel inspiration from above. It gets stronger with use. Life is busy so stepping back from the chaos and taking a moment to look at the beauty around us can bless our lives.

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The Good Shepherd

 

“The Lord promises that when His shepherds feed His lambs and sheep, those in His fold “shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking.”

Good Shepherd, Lamb of God by Elder Gerri’s Gong April General Conference 2019 

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Artist on a Mission – Fitting It In

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Maintaining your heritage.

One comment I often hear is “I don’t have time to paint.” “I don’t have time to sketch.” “After I finish my day, I’m too tired to draw.” Some times that is true. Because of life and circumstances, we might be too tired to create. But it is also true you can fit it in between the cracks of time. If you have a sketch book and carry it with you, you can pull it out and sketch. Models are all around you. They are in restaurants and PTA meetings. You can pull them out at a devotional and sketch and take notes. It keeps you alert and engaged with the speaker and you end up with a nice illustrated journal .

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Honoring those who have gone before.

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Sharing that heritage with others.

 

Polynesian Culture Center

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Artist on a Mission – Preparation

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Pencil sketch for future

My son trained to run a marathon. He trained almost everyday, taking a break on Sundays. He worked up the miles from 5 to 6 to 8. He ran 10 miles and slowly built up to 12, 15, and 18 mile runs. He trained his body to endure the longer runs. The day of the marathon he met one of his buddies at the start line.  They took off running at a good pace, running stride for stride. They chatted a bit while they ran. They chatted about training. My son’s friend said, “I never ran over 10 miles in my training.” My son said, “Ooooh.” About 4 minutes later they hit the 10 mile mark. My son’s friend gave a sigh and drifted back behind my son and out of sight. He had met the level of his training and his body couldn’t keep up.

Like a race, you can prepare for paintings. Some training and some warming up of the muscles can help you get off to a good start. The years of sketching in your sketch book can help your drawing ability. In the above sketch, I’m trying to get to know my subject and becoming familiar with the angles and pose. I’m also starting to think of the finished painting. What do I want it to look like. Below is a rough value study . These get me thinking of what I want to have the finished painting look like. It’s like practicing before you begin.

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Thumbnail

I also want to think about the design of the entire painting. By doing some thumbnails, I can think about design and see in my minds eye the impact that I want to create with the design and values of my watercolor. It helps me get into my painting and prepares me so that when I start to paint, I can paint for the whole 24 miles so I can finish the marathon. So go ahead and paint and create.

1 Cor. 9:24

24 ​Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints

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Artist on a Mission – Called to Serve

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“Called to Serve” 15” x 20” watercolor on paper

I love the effect of the light on this couple. The woman’s face is pushed back into the shadow. There is that nice, rich black behind them, tying them together visually. Then there is the shadow lines of the lawn chairs that lead you into the figures. There is the shadow on the wall behind that leads right to the woman and then her hand catches us and leads to the plate and the knees of the man. Your eyes get lost in the details of their lives.

They have given up the comfort of routine, home and family bringing their expertise and a few belongings packed in a suitcase with them.. They are serving the Lord in a unique way, bringing their life-learned skills with them. The service we give to others, lifts them up. They see the love of God in the kindness shared by others.

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Braided rope

Each act of kindness binds together like the strands of this braided rope bringing strength to the recipient and the giver.

D&C 4:2-3 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;

 

The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints.

 

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Artist on a Mission – Guided by the Light

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The Ocean Voyaging Canoe, The Iosepa

We are all travelers here. We are on a voyage. We may plan and prepare but sometimes much like when we create a painting, we end up somewhere we didn’t expect.

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The Star Compass

On a  Voyaging Canoe, in the middle of the night ocean, the travelers can be guided by the rising and the setting of the stars. The night sky is memorized like the tying of the knots in the rope. They know where the moon is even when it is hidden by the earth.

 

 

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We can be guided on our journey here. We can listen to the quiet whispering of the good voices in our lives. We can learn from those that have gone before. We can put all we learn in our tool box so we can share them with others to help them find their way.

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Ukelele player at the Tahiti Devotional

Yiu can see the Iosepa at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The link is below.

 

Polynesian Cultural Center

 

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Artist on a Mission – Anticipation

 

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Pencil Sketch Direct on the watercolor Paper. Proposed  title: “Called to Serve”

So here is the pencil sketch sitting on the watercolor paper. It’s waiting for the first splash of color. It’s just sitting there waiting for what is to come next. What will the end product be? It takes some courage to put that first bit of paint on the paper. It takes some courage to dive into a new year of school, start a new job, try to change an old habit.

There is anticipation in the air here on campus. People are gearing up in their heads for new adventures, new classes, new homework. It takes courage and hard work but that’s where the growth comes from. You have to go ahead and put the paint on the paper or it will never be a painting.

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“Fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”

Thomas S. Monson Ensign May 2009

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints 

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