Artist on a Mission – Hawaiian Treasures


“Hawaiian Treasures” 9”x12” oil on board

So we are a collector family which makes it quite nice if you want to paint a still life. Oooooooooh look, a round rock.  Ooooooh look a little metal cream and sugar set. Oooooh look an old photograph. Oooooooh look a dead crab. If you are picking up a dead crab from off the beach, then you have a deadline. You have to paint quickly so as to not stink up your whole apartment. But it is great fun to try and capture the beauty in simple objects.

But here on Hawaii there is a beauty that can’t be picked up, put in your pocket and brought home. At the great suggestion of my brother-in-law, we went out one morning to capture the sunrise coming out of the ocean and the sunset going into the ocean on the same day.


Sunrise over Laie Point

Sometimes the view was not in front of you but behind you where the effects of the sun were being seen long before it peeked out of the ocean.



Sometimes the view was in front of you.


The view of sunset from Sunset Beach

So like bookends we ended the day sitting at Sunset Beach. James Gurney had a great blog post on July 30th, 2019 about whether there was a difference in colors when looking at sunrise and sunset.  Visually it was the same beautiful colors. Emotionally there was a difference. One, you had the whole day in front of you with the adventure and promise it would bring. At sunset it was a quiet feeling, a feeling of ending, the close of day, a contemplation on what the day had brought.


Sunset at Sunset Beach

So if you zoom in on the painting above you can see a treasure I found on the crab. A natural God-made smiley face that I might never have seen if I hadn’t picked it up gingerly by one claw and carried it all the way back home. Does anyone know the name of this crab?

Genesis 3:  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

If you want to check out James Gurney’s blog post on sunset and sunrise, the link is below. If I were more tech savvy it would have linked to the exact post but scroll down and you’ll find it.

James Gurney’s Blog Gurney Journey on Sunrise and Sunset


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Artist on a Mission – Captivated


“House of Light” half sheet 300 lb. hot press

Years ago the Temple was being built up on the hill on Bountiful Boulevard. I was training for a marathon and doing long runs with my friend. One evening we ran along Bountiful boulevard. The sun set and the evening turned  dark. Suddenly off in the distance the lights came on at the Bountiful Temple for the very first time. There up ahead of us getting closer and closer was the light. We could hear the beat of our feet on the road but couldn’t see much in the dim light around us but up ahead of us we could see the temple. 

As we ran up to the temple, people had come from all over to be there. They were driving by in cars and milling around the sidewalk. People had been drawn to the light and had come to see and be near it. 

As an artist I’m drawn to paint certain things. I’m captivated by the pattern of shadows or colors or just a feeling of a place.  Ideas pop into my head and I have to get them down on paper. The other night at the Temple grounds in Laie was such a night. There was a concert at the visitor center and after, people went outside on the grounds and just hung around. The sun was setting and shining on clouds that could have been painted by N. C. Wyeth. It was a night to just be still and look at the beauty around us. So I had to try and capture the feeling of that evening.


The beginning sketch of the next painting.

It is also freeing to start a sketch right on the watercolor painting. There is a freshness that comes from seeing the idea in your mind and then just going for it on the paper. You do have to have some good experience in sketching. You don’t want to erase too much on your watercolor paper because you will lose your surface. I took a workshop from Charles Reid. He said you don’t want to paint until you know what your next paint strokes will be. So before I ever put paint on the above painting, I’ll figure out what I need to do and in what order.


Tiny sketch book

Matthew 5:16

Let your ​​​light​ so shine before men, that they may see your good ​​​works​, and ​​​glorify​ your Father which is in heaven.


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Artist on a Mission – Books from a Friend


”Kahuku Land Farms” 9”x12” oil on board by Sherry Meidell

I Love Diane Turners Oil Paintings. I have a couple of her originals hanging in my home. She calls the mountains above our home “her mountains”. These are mountains that have caught my eye everyday of my life since I was four years old.  So I give her a hard time and say these are not your mountains, they are my mountains.  She has earned the right to call them her mountains because of the beautiful way she renders them. She can capture the shifting light on those mountains at all times of the day.

When Diane heard that I was heading to Hawaii on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and that I would need to brush up on my oil painting skills, she offered to send three of her favorite books with me. So “Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light and Color” by Kevin D. MacPherson, “Oils” by Trevor Chamberlain, and “Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting” by John F. Carlson made their way over to Hawaii in a suitcase loaded with watercolors and watercolor paper and brushes. She said it was a way to at least send her books on a mission.

‘I think of her every time I open the pages and start reading…..”Edges: To create a sharp edge between areas of different colors,…..”. This quote is from the book by Trevor Chamberlain. The gifts we give to others can touch their lives. These books from Diane continue to touch my life. And the knowledge gained from these books will add to the lives of the students I teach.


Oil Painting Books from Diane Turner

The scripture for today is Ephesians 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.


Page from my tiny sketch book.

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Artist on a Mission -The Power


“To Kahului” 9”X12” oil on board

Where does the power come from? The Power to create? Why do I have this driving urge to capture a scene with paint and brush. Why do I carry my sketch book around with me and with quick marks of a pen sketch the people around me?

On Oahu there are big power lines that bring power up to the North Shore. Sometimes the weight of the lines cause the poles to lean just like the constant wind from the ocean causes the trees to bend landward. My husband and I went to the Honolulu Museum of Art yesterday. We saw creations of art from all over the world and from all ages, statues of Buddha and masks made out of wood and horse hair from the Iroquois people. We saw paintings by Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh and Mary Cassatt. I was filled with the desire to paint. I just wanted to spend my time creating beauty. Or at least trying to capture that beauty.

People say artists are born with such a talent but I like to say artists are born with a great love of making marks on paper and canvas. When you love something that much you keep working at it and the more you work at it, the greater joy you get from the creation.

So where does the power come from? Probably from a deep love. When we voluntarily expend all our time and energy on something we tend to love it. When parents expend all of their energy on loving and training and caring for their children, they gain a deep love for those children. I guess that is why people tend to love their missions so much, because of the time and love and service they give to others. Between all the things we have to do in life, it is good to find some time to create.



A page from my sketch book

Romans 35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


Tiny sketch book sketch.

Honolulu  Museum of Art  

#artist #creativity #art #oil painting #sketch book

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Artist on a Mission – When is a Painting Done?


Not finished yet.

When is my painting finished? That is a question that only you as the artist can answer. The above painting is not done but as I looked at it from a distance I love the white in the painting.  So to finish the painting I might lose some of the nice whiteness of the paper. Also as I work on the painting I can change where the focus is. Just a slight adjustment can change the feel of the painting and where the viewer is going to look.

‘I’ve always said you know the painting is done when it starts to sing. Everything has come together on the painting, the value, the color and the design. I keep working on a painting until I can see nothing else on the painting that has to be done. Sometimes fear keeps us from finishing a painting. We are worried that one more mark will ruin the watercolor forever. And sometimes it does, but it is worth the chance to create exactly what you want. Maybe a glaze over part of the painting directs the eye to the figure. Maybe you have to lift off a bit of color or create a darker mark somewhere. You have to move forward with some faith.

I love the scripture in 2 Timothy 1:7 that says:  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” So we move forward on the painting much like we move forward in life, hoping that the end product will be better than where we are right now. We have the power of the education we have acquired and the years of practice and effort from the previous paintings we’ve done and we move forward with confidence because your confidence shows up in every stroke you put on your paper. If you don’t have the years of experience, then you go off of the love of the process and the desire to improve. It becomes a life long pursuit.


Tiny sketch

#whenisyourpaintingfinished #watercolor #artist

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Artist on a Mission – The Students Instructing the Teacher


‘You can learn a lot from those that you try to teach. You can learn of courage to leave family and fly to a place so different from your home. Perseverance to keep learning a new language when your lips won’t  wrap around the unfamiliar consonants.


Determination to give a presentation when the subject brings you memories that cause tears to flow from your eyes and words to bunch up in your throat. Endurance to keep trying when every other word has to be looked up in a dictionary.


You enjoy the book “Holes” all over again while you hear it read with a Mongolian accent. You remember the feeling of finding joy in the adventure of working and striving and sweating to gain an education. You see what the expressions of gratefulness and appreciation do for others. And you see what the end results are of hard work and practicing. The teacher also ends up with an education.


Students on a lei

”….. and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings he doth bestow upon you.”         Alma 34:38

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Artist on a Mission – Iosepa



Its nice to learn a bit of the history of a place, to hear of the people who have walked where you are walking today.  Joseph F. Smith came to Hawaii on his first mission as a young 15 year old who had lost both his father and mother. A stranger in a strange  land who did not speak the language and didn’t know anyone. I wanted to capture in this painting, the love that he had for this land and the people.

‘He got deathly sick and was carefully nursed back to health by his “Hawaii Mother”. There is a statue honoring the love and care this woman gave. The tie of love is strong. Elder Oakes came over with his wife to speak at the BYU-Hawaii Devotional. Sister Oakes is a great granddaughter of Joseph F. Smith. When she got up to speak she was wearing a gift from the descendants of Ma Mahuhi’i. We form great bonds of love when we care for others. Bonds of love that can go down and have an effect for generations.


Ma Manuhi’i This statue is in memory of her kindness.


Snippet from my sketch book.

Matthew 25: 40 ….”Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”



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Artist on a Mission – Chance Encounters


Graduation Day

We had to get our car checked in Kaneohe which meant we had about two and a half hours waiting time with nowhere to go. The lady at the car repair place was kind enough to give us a ride to the mall. It was early so all the stores were closed but the mall was a hopping place.

In one corner were seniors exercising and stretching. Upstairs was like a race track with people walking counter clockwise. You had to pick up your step and merge into the traffic to get to the other side of the mall hall. And to top everything else, we came across a preschool graduation. We watched the kids sing and perform but a lot of the energy came from the parents and grandparents. The kids were entirely wrapped up in the energy and love of those who were watching them. And after the program, they were wrapped up in leis.


Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same  is greatest in the kingdom of God.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house and and when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up.

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        Bundle of blankets and soft sweet-smelling cheeks.

Cheeks that I will never meet on this your day of birth.

So far away from your grasp around my fingers,

No chance to hold you tightly in my arms and

Gently rock you

               back and forth 

                          and back and forth.

     No newborn cry to greet my grandma ears.

Miles and

         miles of ocean waves

And blue, blue sky separate me from whispering in your tiny ear,

“I love you baby boy, welcome to this wonderful world.”

                                                       -By Sherry Meidell 


A page from my tiny sketch book


Mosiah 3:19

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.


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Artist on a Mission – Footprints in the Sand


Plein Air Painting at Bikini Beach

When you walk along the beach close enough to the water to get your toes wet, any impression you make is washed away by the power of the waves.


Footprints in the sand

Footprints in the sand can be covered by a shifting in the wind. What influence can we have if our footsteps are washed away by the waves or blown away by the shifting sand?


Albatross Chick


Monk Seal


Waves at Ka’ena Point

We hiked down Ka’ena Point on Saturday. We saw Albatross chicks and a Monk Seal. We hiked with a brand new sister missionary from New Zealand. Her kindness and spirit touched our hearts in a way that cannot be washed away by the waves and the sand.


Momma Pig with Little Pig.

I guess at the end of the day it is the people we love and influence for good that we have a lasting influence on. “I have been changed for good” by many people in my life. Perhaps a little help with some English words and a little information about art will influence other people for good and change their lives.

“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people will be my people and thy God my God:”     Ruth 2:16, 17




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