Good Morning. My emotions are a bit on the surface this morning. I think I’m tired. I don’t sleep as well with Paul not home. I was waiting to share that he was out of town until after he got back, but I think my “we have EVERYTHING for sell” post gave that away. I’ll have to post his surprise trip to see his parents after I am finished with this post.
This morning dawned a BRIGHT and MAJESTIC blue. I loved it. I love how the spire on the temple and Angel Moroni are all aglow in this photo. I love the BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT that is streaming through. I love the HOPE that is in this photo. I love the stark contrast of light and dark. I love the peace that this moment is capturing.
I’m especially grateful I looked up at dawn because by the time Seminary was wrapping up, this was the sky that was rolling in. Looks like a storm is coming. It is also Thursday, only 3 more days for Paul to wrap up all that he can, before he heads back to us in Costa Rica. My heart hurts for him. Today has been an emotionally challenging day for him. This process of “giving away things” has its ebb and flow. Today was a flow day. Thankfully, I am feeling stronger today, so I could help Paul look for a bright side. One of my bright sides is that we brought much of our stuff with us to Costa Rica. Not everything but what we felt we NEEDED while living here.
One of those needs was our artwork.
I love Art!
When I was a Senior in High School, I was randomly put into an Art History class. I never signed up for this class, so I was shocked to see it on my schedule. The school counselor told me to just go to the class for the day and then come back after school to change my class to something else. Well, I went to that first class and kept on attending it. I loved it. I didn’t love all of the art that was shared but I LOVED the feeling in that class room. It probably didn’t hurt that the class was taught by Mrs. McConkie. Her husband and their families had a way of bringing the spirit into everyday lives.
Because of this teacher, my home is filled with art work. Just look at my bedroom. Over my bed is a painting by Andrew Warden, over our couch is an Anatole Krasnyansky painting, next to it a framed photo of Paul and I on our wedding day – kissing in a garden at Temple Square. Behind our bedroom door we have our drawing of our daughter Kayleigh being held by our Savior, Jesus Christ. This was done by Jean Keaton for Kayleigh’s headstone. Over the bedside lamp is a painting of a beach scene that I started with Paul while we were on a little vacation together to The Riu in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
I really wanted to do this project together but Paul felt uncomfortable giving painting a try. So I asked him if he would come with me and watch because I was going to try it no matter what. Thankfully he consented. He followed me into the art class and took a seat next to me. The teacher took his time helping us get started and once we did, Paul couldn’t help taking over. He let me help with the ocean and sand but he did everything else. At first I was a bit upset or maybe disappointed I didn’t get to finish what WE had started, but watching THIS kind of beauty come out of Paul was AMAZING to behold. Now I pause and stand in wonder every time I see this painting because I can still remember this beautiful emotion that I got to see inside of Paul.
Art has the POWER to change thoughts!
These pieces of art are hanging in my bathroom. They are CONSTANT reminders that I am blessed and that I have the ability to be happy . . . if ‘I’ choose to be!
Art has the POWER to teach values and ideals.
I once had these “Armor of God Knights” hanging in my dining room on Damon Way. Now they are in the upstairs hall, between the boy’s and girl’s bedrooms, hanging as a reminder to them that before they go downstairs, they NEED to put on the FULL ARMOR of God. This other little sign was painted by Curly Cook. I have no idea where she found the wood but she painted it, wrapped it up and gave it to me as a gift. I have held onto it to remind ME that my daily goal is to strive to add to the love in our home.
Art has the POWER to encourage and inspire!
This painting I found at a roadside shop in Jaco, Costa Rica (a beach town). I had to buy it and immediately named it “It’s NOT about the boat!” (zoom in and take a good look). This picture is incredibly significant to Paul and I. We feel it sums up the last 3 years for us perfectly. No matter what we have “lost” there is still SO MUCH to be thankfully for and enjoy! I can’t wait to have it framed. Hopefully for my birthday. (hint, hint)
Art comes in many different forms but each form has the POWER to help a person make a connection to what is MOST IMPORTANT!
I am so thankful that I made these picture frames for our home on Damon Way. Bringing them to Costa Rica and hanging them up made this rental home OUR HOME. The photos on top of the piano remind us of our family that loves us and is praying for us to make it. I love the hanging photos on the wall. They are pictures of us as one more child was added to our family. And then above those are individual Coat of Arms for each child and then one for our family, symbolizing how individual we are but also how much we are alike.
Art has the POWER to teach you about patience and endurance to see something through to the end.
Paul’s Grandma, Alice Swensen, gave us this needle point (on the left) for a wedding present. She asked me to pick one of her needle points out of the pile she had finished and then she took me to a framing store to have me choose how it was framed. She taught me the importance of not only treating our art with respect, by having it framed, but that art is meant to be enjoyed, helping us to see the beauty in EACH day. The cross-stitch on the right is my own. It took me 16 months to complete it but it saw me through my entire illness. I will cherish the help this cross-stitch gave me to preserver and have hope that all trials/opposition/experiences will be finished one day.
Art also has the POWER to remind us WHO WE ARE and call us to our Heavenly HOME!
These 5 pieces of art are my favorite! The speak to me, reminding me that I am NEVER alone. When I look at them, I am comforted. I feel peace, a heavenly awareness that I am seen, I have the power within myself to get the help I need, and that with faith and hope I can do hard things. I especially love the statue of the woman praying. My mother was given this after our next door neighbor, Ruth, died from cancer. She was young and used to tutor me in reading. I am reminded that life on this earth is short, so live it with faith and to its fullest so you don’t have any regrets.
Art also has the POWER to remind of us HOME!
I love this little print that I found at Walmart, of all places. I have always loved red posies and have searched for a print to hang in my family room. I am so grateful that I found this print and enjoyed it in my Damon Way home for so many years and then brought it with me to Costa Rica. When I look at this print, I am reminded that I am unique, that I can create a space of love and inclusion wherever I may go, and that I don’t have to fear . . .
because I can always paint my own red posies, if need be.
Above all, I think CREATING your own art is TRULY POWERFUL!
Except for the occasional craft project, I would have NEVER thought I was an artist. But I was wrong. If you can tole paint, you might be surprised that you can draw or paint too. Especially if you are copying a pattern because that is all that I am doing. I am copying what I see around me or in my mind and then placing it onto something permanently. Yes, you must be brave and willing to mess up and you may have to start all over again or do something different, but WHAT IF IT WORKS OUT? At least you tried!
Thanks for listening!