Making friends in Nauvoo


Outside Havenlight Gallery Nauvoo, Illinois

Two – eight to nine hour days traveling through Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa in a truck filled with original art and giclee’ prints, destination Havenlight Gallery Nauvoo, Illinois.


Becky Hartvigsen and me were ready. We had traveled out to Nauvoo in November of last year to take pictures and do research. We headed back to our studios to work on our paintings. Now we were ready to show those paintings to the world or anyone who happened into the gallery.


Becky Hartvigsen and Sherry Meidell outside Havenlight Gallery, Nauvoo, Illinois


Becky and Scott Sumner

So you plan on showing your art but you have no idea of the people you will meet and the new friends you will make. Scott Sumner is the manager at the gallery and he does beautiful art with photographs. He called himself a George Costanza look alike. He made our time in the Nauvoo Gallery very comfortable and filled with humor.


The Balls from Florida

So the Balls from Florida fell in love with “Ox Cart Ox Cart”. I had finished all of my paintings and one more idea just would not leave me alone until I painted it. I loved that painting and they saw what I had seen in my minds eye and what I had captured in the art.


Eating at the best sandwich place in town.

There was a sandwich place in town where the line went out the door. Each sandwich was made to order and hit the spot after a morning in the Gallery.


Me and Bob Wright with his Giclee’ print’ “Holiness to the Lord”

We also met some kindred spirits in Nauvoo. Someone who gets excited about rocks and bricks and writing and art. We have made some new friends.


“Coneflowers at the Brownings”

So I did one large painting. It was multi media. It contained some dried leaves from our November trip to Nauvoo. It was entitled “Coneflowers at the Brownings”. It was a painting that needed to stay in Nauvoo and it found a new home there.


Painting Plein Air

So after talking art with the many people that came into the gallery, we had a day to relax, do a bit of Plein Air painting. You really get to know a place when you can take some time to paint it.


Dave and I

So time to pack up the truck and head back home.


Originals on the wall

If your out in Nauvoo, head into Havenlight. I’ve got three originals hanging on the walls along with some of Becky Hartvigsens art. It is a beautiful gallery. It’s a great place to visit on your trip to Nauvoo.





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Havenlight Gallery Nauvoo, Illinois


Here comes the show.

Here is the schedule for the Nauvoo Havenlight Gallery Show July 26th through July 28th, 2018 with me and Becky Hartvigsen. If you are in the area, drop in, take a look at the art and say hello. We would love to see you. I’m excited to head back to Nauvoo.


Becky Hartvigsen on the left and Sherry Meidell on the right in Nauvoo doing research.


Becky and I spent some time last November taking pictures and doing research in Nauvoo for this show. We met some great people. There was the lady at the sandwich shop that sold great jams and soup. There was the sister missionary who invited us up to her place to have the best homemade salad for lunch. There was a great couple who shared their historic home with us, took us out to dinner, and took us on a tour of some of the historic places in and around Nauvoo. The manager of the Gallery, at the time, invited us into his home for dinner and some great conversation.


Illinois farmland 18” x 61/2” watercolor on paper

I like to catch a snippet of life that people might not always pay attention to. There are a lot of beautiful farms along the road.


“To Buy Little Johnny A Galloping Horse” Watercolor by Sherry Meidell

A family tradition of the Taylor family has a story about the rocking horse that is in the upstairs of the John Taylor home in Nauvoo. John Taylor was no stranger to hatred and angry mobs. He had been shot about five times in Carthage jail. He lay wounded in Carthage while those around him harassed him with angry words. He made it back to the safety of Nauvoo. Eventually the mob action threatened Nauvoo and the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints had to load what belongings they could in wagons and leave Nauvoo. Many precious things were left behind including John Taylor’s boy’s rocking horse. The boy was inconsolable. John Taylor snuck back into Nauvoo under the cover of darkness and retrieved the horse. This story talks to me about the love of a father for his son. Nauvoo has many stories. One of the conflicts over this story is that the children were older and wouldn’t have used the rocking horse.

Six Prints of  “To Buy Johnny A Galloping Horse” will be available at the show.



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Wolf Watchers heads to the State Capitol Building


Wolf Watchers watercolor on paper by Sherry Meidell


My watercolor painting, “Wolf Watchers” will join the 2018-2019 Utah Watercolor Society Traveling Exhibition. First stop will be the Utah State Capitol Building from June 2, 2018 – August 20, 2018. It is a great show and worth taking the time to check it out.

My husband and I were traveling through Yellowstone National Park when we saw a gathering of people on the top of a knoll. They had spotting scopes and cameras. The air was filled with excitement as the group scanned the distance for wolves. You could feel the energy. I wanted to capture that excitement with watercolor.

The attention was so focused on the distant view, that I thought a wolf could walk right past them and they would never see it. One of the ladies said that happened a few weeks before. A lone wolf had walked up the draw right next to the group.

I tried to capture the excitement of the day by using angles and body language and I had to put the wolf in the picture. Below is the sketch that I did for the painting. I did a color study for the painting and when I added the white at the end , the painting pulled together. So I kept the whites in mind and left them as I painted the painting.


Sketch for Wolf Watchers

You can read more about the Utah Watercolor Society’s traveling exhibition at Utah Watercolor society.

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Watercolor sketch of the elephant house, where J. L. Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter.

Inspiration is all around us but there is nothing like traveling, to open our eyes and minds to new sites. These can be combined with what we know, to become something quite unique.

J. K. Rowling walked down a street in Scotland and saw an alley filled with magic. Through hard work and research she turned what she saw into something the whole world could enjoy.


Watercolor Sketch Book.


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Heading into a Busy Summer


‘Holiness to the Lord” 6” x 18’ Watercolor

Becky Hartvigsen and I will be in Nauvoo, Illinois for a show at the Havenlight Gallery on Mulholland on July 26, 27, and 28th. There will be a meet the artists and signing events so stay tuned for further times. If you will be out in Nauvoo during those days, drop by and check out the art and say hello. We would love to meet you.

We will also have a show down at the St. George Art Museum November 10, 2018, “Friends in Art” in the Main Gallery. So do some traveling and visit us at both shows.

Now I’ve got to get busy and paint some paintings.

Rebecca Hartvigsen Fine Art

Havenlight Gallery


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Getting the most out of Workshops

10 things to think about when taking a workshop.


First watercolor from Jeannie McGuire Workshop

  1. Deciding which workshops to take is the first thing. Who is the presenting artist? Is there something that they are going to teach that will help improve your art? Do you like their art?

2.  Be prepared. Read all the information on supplies needed and do your research, check out the artist’s website. Come to the workshop with the supplies you need to participate.


Beatrix Potter by Sherry Meidell from Jeannie McGuire workshop

3.  Bring a sketch book and take notes. There might be information that you won’t recall if you don’t take notes. Review your notes after the conference

4.  Don’t let fear stop you from painting in front of the other artists. Just go for it. It’s the only way to learn. You start where you are and journey forward.


Unfinished watercolor by Sherry Meidell from the Jeannie McGuire Workshop

5.  If you have the opportunity to have your art critiqued by the presenter, take the chance. The presenter will see things that you don’t. Listen non defensively to the critique. Try to understand what is being said about your art and how to improve your art.

6.  Learn from the other attending artists. Take the time to talk to them and check out their art.

7.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions but make sure you don’t monopolize the presenters time. You’re not the only one in the workshop.


Watercolor by Sherry Meidell at the Jeannie McGuire Workshop titled “That’ll do pig”

8.  Sometimes it’s better to just dive in and paint don’t spend so much time thinking about what you are going to do that you never start.

9. Also take time to think about what you are going to paint. Just don’t dive in. (Wasn’t that the opposite of step 8?)

10.  Take what you’ve learned from the workshop and figure out how you’re going to incorporate it into your own art. You don’t want to copy someone else’s style but make what you’ve learned, a part of your own. 


Unfinished watercolor of Beatrix Potter and sheep.

I just finished a great workshop from Jennie McGuire who is a figurative watercolor painter. I learned a lot about design and spontaneous painting. We got to talk a bit of shop and about  children’s book illustrating. It was a great workshop. She will be teaching at August 19-24 if you want to check that out. The workshop was sponsored by the Utah Watercolor Society.



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Leaving Tulips and Home

The power to resist strain or stress. Durability. Moral or intellectual power. Capacity for action.

At nine years old Inger Catherine came to America with her mother and six sisters and a baby brother. Seven weeks at sea. Three older sisters buried along the way. The baby brother also lost. Traveled in the Murdock Handcart Company. Weaved carpets, linens, and cloth. Gleaned wheat fields for flour and chicken feed. Sheared sheep an average of 50 sheep per day.

Robert Henri in his book The Art Spirit said, “All art that is worth while is a record of intense life, and each individual artist’s work is a record of his special effort, search and findings, in language especially chosen by himself and devised to best express him….”

An artists strength is sometimes determined by the ability to grow and learn and continue to create. Just doing the work. Here are two paintings of pioneer women that I’ve been working on lately. Hopefully capturing their strength.

The power to resist strain or stress. Durability. Moral or intellectual power. Capacity for action.


Inger Catherine and Sunflowers

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Happy April Fools Day


April Fools Day and Thanks for joining me this month #womanshistorymonth

One of my favorite quotes from the artist and teacher of Minerva Teichert, Robert Henri, is “Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those that go on anyway.”
This month I have read and studied the lives of some great women in history. They all “went on anyway.” Whenever you have a goal and you are heading in a good direction, you will hit obstacles, setbacks, bug-a-boos, cliff edges, boulders in your path. But keep on anyway.
Bessie Coleman couldn’t find anyone to give her flight lessons, but she went on anyway and found her way to France and took the lessons she wanted. Many things frightened Sophie Blanchard but she went up in hot air balloons so high she got icicles on her fingers and face. Anne Sullivan overcame eye disease and loss of family and blessed Helen Keller’s life.
So let’s go on anyway, working towards our goals and helping those around us.
And to end, here is a quote I have hanging above my art table by Louisa May Alcott: “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and follow where they lead.”

Thanks for joining me for the ride this month. I’ve enjoyed your comments and participation. If you have any names for next years Woman’s History Month, leave them in the comments below and have a great Easter Sunday.


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Woman’s History Month Day 31


Woman’s History Month Day 31 #womanshistorymonth

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Woman’s History Month Day 30


Woman’s History Month Day 30 #womanshistorymonth

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