Thursday, August 18, 2011

Meet Sweet Nauvoo

These are my new paintings that I just released at LDS Booksellers convention. And my darling new friend who bares their namesake- "Nauvoo"!  SO JEALOUS!

In the background  you can catch a sneak-peak of

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mary Summerhays New Painting

Almond Blossams,  by Mary Summerhays
The Symbolism behind the painting

This painting was inspired by artist Tom Holdman, who designed the Stained Glass for the temple. Drawing on imagery from the Old Testament...

"Lone Man"

"Lone Man"
Now that the show is over I don't ming confessing some of the meaning behind my Lone Man Painting.
Lone Man is a metaphore about human relationships and interdependancy.

The Blueprint was designed by Architecht Steven Platt, and considering it as a canvas imediately turned the conversation to ideals, and design. The "Lone Man" is an icon about the human experience,  and the human Ideal and design.   The title is obviously taken from the text of Genesis.  Just for context-  Every day God Adds to the earth and declares it "good,"  Until-   He creates "lone Man" and declares that it  "not good" for man to be  alone, and the man falls into a "deep sleep." God solves the problem by creating Woman out of man's longing.   So begins the metaphore- an ideal, and an ideal gone awry.

 You can see  Davinci's "Vetruvian Man" in the design, again echoing the theme of ideals, exact proportions in humanity. (Interestingly enough, Vetruvious was an ancient greek architect.) He is haloed by one of two engineers stamp,  his obviously male is plated in gold,  the  female next to it empty and unacknowleged.

The philosophies of men at war with this this undepainting, represented in gold overwriting the text-  The arch bishops' crook in the center is the symbol of the religious sheparding, (a symbol stolen from the Egyptian gods.)  The Crook is burning a whole in the blueprint, particularily in the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  And out of the crook snakes the text of the catholic excomunication ceremony. (Now  listen to this poetry)-  "Let them be cursed eating and drinking, walking and sitting, speaking and holding their peace, waking and sleeping, rowing and riding, laughing and weeping, in house and in field, on water and on land. Cursed be there heads and their  tongues, their eyes and their ears, their tongues and their lips, their teeth and their throats their shoulders and their breasts, their thighs and their inwards, Let them remain accursed from the bottom of the foot to the head unless they bethink themselves and come to satisfaction"  Or something to that effect. The text is snaking out of the shepards crook and cirlcing around the whole picture.
  Also written into the Blueprint is the greek text from John-- ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτὸν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοὺ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομααυτοῦ,"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God" Cool.

In short, I'm drawing a parralell between the great apostacy and the ideal of celabacy,  both leading to the destruction of the human family.  It is a condemnation of the philosophies of men, in particular the Nicean Creed, and it's betrayal of the human family.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pioneer Day- "No toil nor labor fear"

     "On a fall morning in 1848, President Young drove to where [Ephraim Hanks] was building an adobe house inside the Old Fort. Looking over the completed foundation, he inquired as to the thickness of the rock wall. "Eight inches," replied Eph. "Tear it down and build it twice that thick," suggested Brigham, who then promptly drove away before Eph could answer. To rebuild meant hauling more rock and doing twice the work they thought was necessary. … Nevertheless, they widened the foundation to sixteen inches according to the leader's instruction. Eph was fitting the rafters on the house a month later when a heavy rain began falling, ultimately causing widespread flooding and considerable damage in parts of the valley. Eph's reinforced walls stood firm against the resulting deluge, however, thus preventing a possible collapse of the entire structure. Others were not so fortunate. From then on when Brigham talked, Eph listened...."

 It was perhaps this type of obedience to counsel that prompted the Mormon Church President to later say of Eph that "Here was a man always ready to lay down his life for the authorities of the Church as well as for the cause of Zion and her people."(Richard K. Hanks, "Eph Hanks, Pioneer Scout," unpublished master's thesis, BYU, 1973, pp. 26-27.)

Legend provides the humourous finish to this story: While others were hauling rock to rebuild their foundations,  Ephriam was shingling up the roof of his home, whistling "We thank thee oh, God for a prophet."

I love to see stonework so typical of old pioneer foundations. From the oldest homes in the Salt Lake Avenues to the Logan temple, Stonework is one of the hallmarks of the Pioneer spirit- a beautiful reminder of the early saints unstopable determination that bested every obstacle, and left a framework we still build on today.