Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We Cannot Survive Without Each Other~

"Oh Morning Star, Make a path for me!"  This is the desperate plea from an Egyptian who died centuries ago.  His name, his existence, and everyone he knew have been utterly forgotten.  And yet his question remains.  Is there a path through night and death? A guiding star, that leads to Redemption and Morning?

Anthropologist Joseph Campbell identified this problem in
The Heroes Journey, and argued that all cultures unanimously share this fundamental concern. 

Quick Recap: 
#1 The Hero or Prince is born in the Royal court, 
#2 Sent on a impossible journey to obtain a treasure, 
#3 Given gifts to help him achieve the impossible,
#4 Go, Fight, Win! 
#5 He returns triumphant to Heaven/Home/Olympus/Afterlife, and is given a crown and/or immortal life.

Every culture reiterates this human experience, in their paradigm story or myth: St. George and the Dragon, Isis and Osiris, Hercules and the Hydra, Adam and Eve.  (Oh, Wait, someone has been tampering with our story.* At least we still have Star Wars.) The Mormon Temple also reiterates this pattern.

Hugh Nibley  brings an interesting perspective to the "impossible task"

 of the journey.  According to Nibley's research of the hypocephalus, in Egyptian belief 
 the magical gift that helps the hero accomplish the impossible task is defined by opposition in all things....

For the Egyptians ultimate power came through gender interaction. A concept quietly forgotten as the innocuous Hebrew word "helpmeet."

That was way oversimplified, but take a look.  

 Woman brings man to life in the mortal sphere, (through birth) but then she dies, so she is stuck there.  Man brings woman to life in the immortal sphere (through resurrection.)  Neither of them can get through the whole journey without their gender opposite. The works of our fathers, and brother, sisters and wives are the bridge that take us from one world to the next,  from life to death and to life again.

In between those two opposite ends of mortality, there are a thousand ways our separate genders serve and redeem each other. Fixing flat tires and cooking dinner, and forgiving so often you think you are going to kill someone. That service that is so mundane, the give and take of relationships, creates a centrifugal force, if you will, that keeps "the stars aligned," so that we can literally bridge the gateways between the spheres of eternity--. from premortal to mortal to eternal. And we cannot do it without sympathy for our opposite.

All of us are walking in the dark of the Hero’s Journey. We cannot feel the strength of family members who have moved on into the next sphere without us. Our own forgetfulness, impatience, cruelty, lack of forgiveness darken the stars. Thank heavens our loved ones slow down and wait for us when we get lost. Hopefully we wait for them and for others in return. But our loved ones, and the love we bear each other, are our own best hope. Our relationships and the covenants that solemnize them are the Morning Star that guides us through the night.

Thanks to Kent  Pimentel who inspired this post by asking about my painting,  “Oh, Morning Star, Make a Path for Me!” 

This piece and other meditations on relationships are showing through December
 at the Carriage House Gallery in Provo.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Salt Lake Christmas Openhouse

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=23dffef32c&view=att&th=13a8e2718c0678c6&attid=0.2&disp=inline&realattid=f_h8n5dn7o1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P9NBQy_YqThiJ0Q054sEGPH&sadet=1351279156405&sads=tSqap0NhTlK0oD4xdvfybH7aqlMSalt Lake Christmas Open House
You are invited to a Christmas Soiree
 "I made of my heart a stable"
Nov 30, and Dec 1 6-9PM

Come enjoy old friends, the spices of the season, 
Christmas art and song at an informal concert
 celebrating the Memory of  Terry Summerhays, 
 Several of the amazingly talented members
 of Intimate Opera will be contributing
to the festivities Saturday night, 
It's sure to be standing room only. 
Mark your calendars! 
or beg me for a reminder,  by clicking here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Best Love Quotes Ever--

Best Love Qoute Ever-- 
"Mary and I have been married for forty-seven years
 and not once have we had an argument serious enough 
to consider divorce; murder, yes, but divorce, never.” Jack Benny


Or how about this--
"An archeologist is the best husband any woman can have; 
the older she gets, the more interested he is in her"- Agatha Christy

Love is grand; divorce is a hundred grand.- Anonymous


“When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. 

Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking.”

I am doing a series of 30 valentines for a gallery this February, 
highlighting some of the most beautiful words ever written.   
Obviously I can't use any of those.  

 "I sat down under his Shadow with Great Delight" 
is a  piece of poetry from the Songs of Solomon 
that I just painted into a tiny love story, entitled 'Star of Solomon."   
Although I am not sure who they principle Characters of this story are, 
Their affection is as old as the cosmos. 
This is my favorite thing I have ever painted.  
(This piece will be sold in a Silent Auction through Deseret Book)

So,  I'm collecting love thoughts,  the older the better.  I'll probably start with Abraham's immortal words, "My soul shall live because of thee"  Beat that Shakespear!
If you have any ideas,  I'd love to hear them. Long or short, comic or passionate, (even if they don't have the word love in them.) Here is your chance to be the artist- Just leave you quote in the comments,  with the author if possible.  And I will design it into something truely awesome.  (If I end up using your quote you'll win a set of  Mary Summerhays valentines.)

I'll leave you with one of my poetic favorites from Jim-  "You sound like a sad mule clomping along." 

As you can see, I need another 30.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I sat Down under his shadow with great Delight

2012-10-23 14.49.42.jpg2012-10-23 14.50.28.jpg 

This is the little valentine I just finished for Deseret Book's art scholarship auction.  The title is Star of Solomon.  The painting is an allusion to the ancient principle of "Eternal"-  the  flaming leaf  (masculine) protecting the fruit, and power of life(feminine)  so that their seed can grow; the text poetically reiterating, "I sat down under his shadow with great delight."  (Songs of Solomon 2:2) It is the favorite  thing I have ever made.

It's a metaphor about the male female relationship- Man makes woman eternal in the next sphere, but Woman makes man eternal in the mortal sphere by giving him posterity (or "seeds that continue" like it says in the D&C.)

In the desert world of the Mediterranean the shade of an oasis allowed life to continue,and seeds to grow. To "sit down in his shadow" is a poetic way of saying that they have this relationship that makes them both eternal.

The Star of Solomon, according to masonic tradition, was the symbol used to replace the name of God in the Hebrew temple. Some Anthropologists make strong suggestions that the name itself meant "posterity." So the gold star in the veins of the red leaf  is the belief in union between man and woman; Specifically, That man of himself can not achieve posterity, and relies on his interaction with woman to reach a divine goal of continuance.

It is part of Deseret Books auction-  check out their video-  (Narrated by a charming 12 year old. The original Molly Mormon.  That in and of itself is a cultural experience)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Studio Tour-

Invitation (to the Chthonian World

 Striking parallels to this fatal romance appear in several cultures, from the story of the sphinx, the sirens, the mermaids, the Gorgons, even the princess and the frog. The man is enticed into entering a terrestrial sphere, where he achieves enlightenment, discovers new life, and wins the power to overcome death. The Egyptian temple reiterates
 this fatal romance pattern exactly. Although western culture
celebrates and repeats these stories, we have forgotten
their significancethe beguiling value of death and mortality.                                                         

Quick note to let you know about my Studio Tour,
November 23rd and 24th. (Yep, Black Friday,  sounds like a Monte Python Holiday)
 6-8 pm ,    1262 South, 1650 East,  Provo, Ut

I will have a lot of Christmas images and also all the symbolic pieces I have been working on this year about relationships, including this one about the fatal romance.

Clearance sale

Mary Summerhays Fine Art
  CLEARANCE SALE   is finally here!

Two days only-
Saturday, October 20th & 27*th

At my home
1262 So, 1650 East Provo, Utah

!!!   Hundreds of prints, cards, framed art, limited editions, originals watercolors and oils,
Christmas prints, art supplies and business surplus !!!

 ALL PRINTS %50-%95 off  !!!  
Stock up for Christmas-
 Great for grand kids, neighbor gifts, "mail"able gifts.

Seconds, and Scratch and Dents at Phenomenal Prices!!!
Your mother-in-law does not need to know how little you spent on her ;)

Solid Wood Frames, Paints, Canvases Etc. 
available  for pennies on the dollar.

Almond Blossoms* Warning:
ONLY 2 LEFT!!!     (21x32 Inches)
MSRP $200 Now only $99!!!!
Call me early to reserve yours

Inline image 2
*Contractually, Deseret Book does not allow me to undersell the MSRP,
 I can only do this because these are my samples at the end of the season,  but this price will never be seen again.
This is my best seller, and will be GONE by the end of the first day, if not sooner.

If this is your favorite image Call to reserve yours-

Asterisk Image  Just a warning:  Almond Blossoms is the only thing %50 off. 
EVERYTHING ELSE is %65-%95 off. 
These are "dig coins out of the couch" prices. The good stuff will be gone by the 27th. 
So come this Saturday or call me early-  I can take orders over the phone. 801-787-2697

PS.  get a free gift, by bringing someone who isn't on my email list. (while supplies last.)

Upcoming Events:
Carriage House Gallery Solo Show,  November & December  2012
Deseret Book Lunch and Learn Nov 16th, 2012
Studio Tour and Open House, November  23rd, and 24th 2012
Salt Lake Christmas Openhouse, Nov 30th,  December 1st 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

There is no poetry where there is only facility.  The knowable optical world is not art when it is the culled unmediated transfer of visual reality.  Art is not biopsy; it is alchemy.  It is a rip in the seam of the other world, where a purer reality leaks out, intentionally or not.  An artist is someone who can give that leak shape.

                                                        -   Brian Kershisnik

I love this quote-   I have always found "visual reality" that is so abundant in Mormon art so obnoxious.   It made an easy target for disdain;  But as I've grown up a little and begun to look at art outside mormonism,  I discovered this larger dilema-  My watercolors are pure play- no realism.  Where my oils are neither play nor realism.  They are that alchemy that Brian Kershisnic is talking about,  not even a visual reality at all.  I almost feel guilty painting something so removed from what art is supposed to be.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wrestling Eve? Meet St. Augustine the wrestler.(Warning: Adult themes)

[Warning: some quoted content is rated PG or PG-13]

"Woman  is not created in the image of god"

Wow!  This from the Saint who took it upon himself to rewrite the first chapter of Genesis, and define Women for centuries.

Recently a friend  chided me for idealizing Eden, calling it wrestling the scriptures.

Rather than hotly responding, "Augustine did the wrestle!"  I though I would quote wickepedia. to my audience here. Some things should not be forgotten.

[FYI:  this is after he abandonned his 11 year mistress and offspring, to "convert"]

WikiPedia Says:

[edit]Views on Women

Augustine's view of sexual feelings as sinful impacted his view of women. His beliefs on this issue were so extreme that he considered a man’s erection to be sinful because it did not take place under his conscious control. Rather than resolve his internal struggle with his own sexuality, he blamed women for being "stimulating." His solution was to place controls on women to limit their ability to influence men: “Thus the woman, but not the man, should veil herself to prevent her from causing this sinful response in the male.[132]

Augustine viewed women not only as threatening to men, but also as intellectually and morally inferior:

“It is the natural order among people that women serve their husbands and children their parents, because the justice of this lies in (the principle that) the lesser serves the greater . . . This is the natural justice that the weaker brain serve the stronger. This therefore is the evident justice in the relationships between slaves and their masters, that they who excel in reason, excel in power.[133]

“Flesh stands for the woman,” he said, “and the spirit for the husband…”[134]

"He concluded that 'the serpent, which represents the enticement to disobedience to God and the preference for selfish desires, first approached Eve, because as a woman she had less rationality and self-control and was closer to the ‘lower’ or female part of the soul…"[135]

"Adam, on the other hand, was equated with the higher, superior part of the human soul. In fact, his choice to eat the forbidden fruit along with his wife was viewed by Augustine as “an act of kindly companionship, lest she be left alone outside paradise”[136]

"In other words, Augustine believed that sin entered the world because man—the spirit—did not exercise proper authority over the woman—the flesh."[137]

[edit]Influence on the Role of Women in the Church

The idea that women cannot lead, teach or be a witness.... .... rests largely on two sources, Roman law, and the views of the early church fathers--one of the most influential being St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo.....[139]

[Augustines views as Later codified:]
‘Woman’ signifies ‘weakness of mind’. In everything a wife is subject to her husband because of her state of servitude. Woman is not created in the image of God. Wives are subject to their husbands by nature. 

Wikipedia concludes:
The laws and traditions founded upon St. Augustine's views of sexuality and women continue to exercise considerable influence over church doctrinal positions regarding the role of women in the church:[141] Women and men in the Western Christian tradition have suffered for a millennium and a half from the ways Augustine’s views on these matters have been treated as normative."[142]

Your thoughts? 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rachel conquers Spring City

Spring City Plein Air Competition
Knowing that Rachel's talent and enthousiasm,  I pulled her out of school in the middle of the day. 
(Don't tell.) The drive to Spring city from our house is one hour of stunning scenes like these.  It felt like driving through a Michael Workman world. We arrived very inspired to paint.

We'll skip the roaring traffic, sunburnt hours, spilt paint, dirt and rain in the paint, and just tell how it ended.
Before delivering our paintings, We ran into George Hanrahan, who gave Rachel some pointers on her painting, suggesting she increase her values.  So we parked in a downpour next to Steve McGinty, all of us adding final touches inside our steamy cars.

After working very hard, and knowing that her painting  had turned out well Rachel declared the day funner than Lagoon. At which point I carefully took her painting and flipped it face down into my open pallet of oil paint. We're still wondering if Steve McGinty could hear our screams.

Luckily were able to clean it all up , no harm done.  And as I reached to place  her newly cleaned painting in the frame, Rachel says fearfuly, "not over the pallette, mom."

Rachel painted some roadside sheep
I chose some rose hips
"The Sacred Seed is the substance thereof"
 My goal for the competition was to build my "brand"  amongst all the other artists.
So I was delighted when David Erickson commented to another artist
that my painting (above) was one of the few that held their own soul
instead of trying to be typical Plein Air landscapes.
Delighted especially to discover  He is the owner of my dream gallery.

Proud artist

After delivering our paintings we went in the restroom 
and discovered our matching elbows covered in paint
We returned the last day to discover Rahel's mentor, nationaly famous George Hanrahan, had purchased Rachel's  piece.
Rachel's first red dot

owner and artist
Rachel studying the master.

After the  awards are named the participants can go tour the local artists homes.  It is so fun to see the art in studio,  it feels like you have really hit the jackpot to see Kathy Peterson's work in her divinely unique home.  It all comes together,  her frames, taste, style, subjects, personality.  Her dog.

Rachel had a constant barage of compliments on her success,  from some of the most reknowned artists of Utah,  Lee Udall Benion, M'Lisa Paulsen, Doug Fryer, Eric Thompson, and  here she is with Randal Lake and George Hanrahan.
And this was the coolest studio of all time.
 Look at how  worn the step of that threshold is.  Beautiful!
Entering Randal Lake's cabin/studio.   The walls are covered in framed pieces,  complimented by other absurdities like a buffalo head, player piano, pot bellied stove, antique furniture, crazy green chair, bathroom under the stair, etc. etc.

did you catch the red wire candalabra hanging from the ceiling?

Classic quilted antique beds upstairs where their family stays for events like this.
Candlabra profussion in every window.
I think there are 8 paintings on that easle.  And the table is swimming in magazine articles feature Randal.

 Look at that stove wedged between the door and window. And a kitchen table to the left holds enough pasta and other staples to survive a weekend painting trip.  I  love how it just oozed with a flagrant disregard for all the niceties of polite home decore.  Just hard core art.
This is the front door- a caricature of the artist reigning in his shoulder angel and demon, a tiny plaquard  in french welcoming the artist, and 63. Perfect.

One last stop before we left town,  DAS cafe, a german family runs this little european greasy  spoon.  They hang a sign that says  "never trust a skinny cook"  and between  potato salad and sausage, you won't be skinny either. Their overflow of customers are seated in the empty historic theatre next store.  We shared a kraut burger, and didn't have to eat ever again.

Bottom Line-  We'd like to invite you to the Spring City plein air competition to see what Rachel paints next year. Mark your calendar.  It's only 360 days away.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

FAIR Confference of Apologetics

The FAIR (Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research) featured my show "Ornaments of Eden"  at their most recent conference,  which was perfectly thrilling, on it's own. But right here,  is the highlight of my adult life:

 That is John Gee.

Interpreting the heiroglyphs.

On my painting.

 They have failed to make a word for how COOL that is! When I discovered that my darling friend Roger Nichols had caught that on camera,  I practically squished him to death-  the squish of gratitude.

The conference was fascinating.

One great discovery  I’d like to share is  Valerie Hudson’s article “The Two Trees” A fascinating perspective on the Adam and Eve story. (Her conclusions seem to coincide completely with what I’m getting from facsimile #2. trusting that I remotely understand Hugh Nibly)

I  also realized that my painting, "O Morning Star, Make a Path for Me," is a personal apologia, (Greek "written in justification of belief"), almost autobiographical. It is my McConkie-esque declaration,  that the best defense of faith comes from it's most controversial attributes: The King Follet Sermon,  Joseph's ability to translate, Women's abeyance from the priesthood, Revelation, The Temple.   These "cruel"  "biggotted"  "insensitive" (and my personal favorite,) "unscientific" standards are also what save us in our darkest hour. (Speaking of....)

Josh Johansen spoke about the Labyrinth of Homosexual desire, (His talk should be required reading for America, PLEASE go read it!) But in a lot of ways his talk was typological for apologetic argument;  He demonstrated how unscientific, agendized, and damaging  the homosexual movement was. He concluded by saying that people with SGA  need the church; and it's structure and requirements were helpful,  supportive, and loving. (We are not allowed to hear that anywhere else. hmm.)

I was disappointed that they invited a feminist to come whine about priesthood,  but  I was quite content that my Eve stood behind her left shoulder undermining her work; silently celebrating the priesthood- holding the beacon for true Mormon feminine power through her entire argument. (Thanks to my darling friends Maya and Roger for taking pictures for me.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Seed time: Eve considers the harvest.

The Greek temple idealized the "planting" of god's daughter Persephone into the underworld, her marriage to Hades, and her restoration to paradise in the spring;   the climax of their temple ceremony being the appearance of the shaft of wheat, (appearing in Catholic mass, centuries later as a wheat wafer.) This Greek ideal is but a shadow of our oldest story: Eden.
The Human seed is "sent forth" from the divine garden in the climactic moment of this well known allegory of creation; the first step towards a paradisical harvest.

The Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith commented on this garden story:
“Adam did not commit sin in eating the fruits, for God had decreed that he should eat and fall.... ....therefore the Lord appointed us to fall and  also Redeemed us”
( McIntire Minute Book February, 1841)

As all epic journeys require,  this "seed" left Eden with tangible refrences of it's origin and promise.  My show follows these promises, to their visual and archaic roots millennia ago, celebrating the "Ornaments" of Eden, and their mysterious and archaic message.

Please join us for a reception at the Repartee Gallery on the North End of the University Mall, Saturday Evening, 7-9 pm.

This Exhibit will also appear at the FAIR Conference of apologetics August 2nd and 3rd, at the South Town ExpoCenter.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Family Watch International

An interesting look at the essential role of motherhood on an international scale.

Mother of All Living

The covenant of the Hebrews , was unique from the world in the way it related to women. Christ  uses that relationship as an allegory for the governance of their religion: He is the bridegroom, The church is the bride. He speaks of making covenants as "knowing," the biblical word for intimacy. This Covenant, physically marked by circumcision, obviously centered in the intimate relationship between man and woman.   Men were considered  adults only after they had entered marriage and taken on the asociated responsabilities. The marriage ceremony was not complete until the couple had proven consummation and the essential part of the covenant had occurred. Woman's marital rights were  protected by laws unknown by the surrounding nations,  and lineage was passed through the woman.
The Egyptians shared this biological common sense- It is not power, but the queen, choosing who ascended to the throne. Of course she chose her favorite- her husband, her son. (Contrast that with our western power centric tradition- Is the domineering king ever sure that HIS son inherits his throne?)

ISIS' (whoose glyph is "throne") alludes to this unavoidable truth, illustrated here, her quality being drawn above her head as a throne, the same throne on which Osiris sits.*   *(OK this isn't quite the picture I was looking for. Which reluctantly brings us to the next point.) Fine,  I'll admit it, there are two women here. That is because these two Divine feminine qualities are so similar they eventually became the same goddess, Isis on the left, Hathor on the right, she also wearing her glyph as a crown- "the womb of Horus" drawn as a box within the shrine (bigger box), again very similar to the throne on which Osiris Sits. Isis is the mother who puts her son on the throne, Hathor the mother who creates and nurtures life, both are the same  life giver and nurturer, wife and mother, ultimately the same divine quality, Mother of all living. This ideal, the Mother of all living, is expressed in the hypocephalus heiroglyphically as a drawing of the Bovine Nurturer, Hathor . Mother,  the binding core of all relationships, our physical and first acquaintance with divinity-- A quality which esixted in woman before she left the garden,  a quality defined when Adam first laid eyes upon her.

Interesting that the Mother of All living should be the central essential element of all hypocephalus, The artifact of resurrection and glorification of a justified being.

Interesting, especially in the context of a religion whose central covenant is defined by man's fidelity to the woman.
Yackety Yack,  This is the technique I'm playing with right now.  Love how the throne turned out,  but I'm not sure where to take the details.