So my friend Faye Gibbons, the author of many fine books including “Emma Jo’s Song” which I had the privilege of illustrating, is going to receive a great honor. She is being inducted into the Alabama Writer Hall of Fame. If I was home, I would be heading out to Alabama to join in the celebration.
When I got the manuscript for “Emma Jo’s Song” and read it for the first time, pictures jumped into my head. It was a delight to illustrate the story.
Part of the fun was doing the research for the book. Illustrating picture books becomes quite an adventure. It can take you into worlds you have never been before.
Congratulations to Faye Gibbons
Alabama Writers Hall of Fame
If you are crossing the road here at Brigham Young University Hawaii, you have to keep your eyes open for more than passing cars. Here are some different ways that the students get around.
The motorized skateboard and passenger in tow.
The cruiser bike with surf board carrier attached.
The parking lot..
There are a lot of ways to get around but it’s good to know where you’re going so you’ll end up in the right place. Directions are not East and West, they are Makai (ocean) and Mauka (Mountain). I like both directions.
Here is the one of the BYU-Hawaii devotional messages given by Russell and Lola Osguthorpe January 28th, 2020 on “Finding Your Way Back Home”.
“Sisters” 15” x 22” watercolor on paper
So there’s the sister I shared a room with, and an iron-barred double bed. I would tap to the middle bar, then bring my arm down like a hatchet to make sure she was not on my side of the bed. A bedroom can be tight quarters for two sisters, and there is much to learn from sharing a room. We fought until the day we became dear friends.
There are the Senior Sister Missionaries here that come and go. They touch your life for a brief moment. They help lighten your load and you stand amazed at their talents and kindness. They teach you to decorate your table with seasonal cutouts like a kindergarten teacher. They bring their talents to share with others.
There are the young sister missionaries that serve at the visitor center and are so full of good, righteous, youthful energy. They greet you daily as they run up and down the stairs by our apartment. They wonder if we know how to get into a coconut. We do not.
So here’s two sisters who have the world ahead of them. They shared some moments at the Luau Show. I tried to capture their energy and connection to each other in this watercolor.
The Laie Temple Visitors Center
The Newest Arrival
This is as close as I can get to squeezing those cute little cheeks. I’ll have to settle for a pencil and paper to try and hold him close and a prayer for his safe keeping and blessings upon his parents.
We have a new year ahead of us. Full of endless possibilities. An entire year, but we live it day by day. The things we choose to do with each day will make up our year. The little hours will make up our lives. I find great joy in creating art. I’m going to find time each day to create a little art, to see the blessings around me and try to capture them on paper and share them with you. Happy New Year.
The Reindeer Keeper
I’m speaking to a lot of Mongolian students who are learning and practicing their English. They are the inspiration for this years Christmas card.
May you all have a beautiful Christmas and a happy New Year. I’m thinking about the birth of Jesus Christ in that stable in Bethlehem so long ago and the joy and hope he brought and brings to us all. Spread a little light and kindness to those around you.
Here is a great video about the birth of Christ.
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.
The Primary Activity on the Hawaiian Temple Grounds
Eric Marlow’s BYUH Devotional
“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.
“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
“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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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