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Showing posts from 2015

Pocketknives, Oatmeal, and other Goals.

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    There are two types of men in this world.... Those who carry pocketknives, and those who don't.  I would generally classify myself as a pocketknife type of guy, except for one thing... I never had one with me (I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense). One day I was at a junk yard with my brother-in-law. I saw a really cool dome light that I wanted to take out of an old car, except I wasn't actually planning on salvaging anything, so I didn't bring any tools with me. Out comes my brother-in-law's pocketknife. Wow! That was so handy! Why don't I have one of those? Well... I do, I have several, but I just wasn't in the habit of always taking them with me. I decided right then and there that I wanted to change. I wanted to form a new good habit. I wanted to be a "Pocketknife Guy".

I went home and looked at my collection of pocketknives. I love my "Old Timer", but really just for whittling. My Swiss A…

"More than the Tattooed Mormon" is more than just HER story

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    Have you heard one phrase or sentence, that, upon hearing it, you knew your life will be changed forever? Well I have. It was a simple idea introduced to me by a blogger named Al Carraway.  You can read the full story in a previous blog post about why I decided to become an artist >HERE<, but for now it will suffice to say that she encouraged me to #spreadspirit and #usetheinternetforgood. It's amazing how powerfully those simple words encouragement hit me that day. The Holy Spirit took hold of those words that Al blogged and pounded them into my soul so that I would wake up and pay attention to them. Now that I have, my life, and other's lives, have been extremely blessed because of it. Because of this fact, when I heard that Al Carraway's publisher was looking for a few people to review her new book More than the Tattooed Mormon, I jumped at the chance.
Let me start by saying this book is an easy read. Although I do enjoy escapin…

Cancer, Trials, and Life with a Smile

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    Quite a few years ago, when my now teenage children were just babies, I was diagnosed with cancer.
    Actually, at first I was just self diagnosed. One day I was over at my parents house, and I happened to be flipping through an issue of "Prevention" magazine (don't ask me why, I don't typically flip through magazines, especially ones that sound as boring as "Prevention"). This particular issue had an article about self diagnosing cancer. So I did. I realized that day that I had cancer. I remember going home that day and telling my wife "So... Um... I think I have cancer".  I did it with with a smile on my face! I was a bit nervous, but at the same time, I felt a different kind of anxiety, a positive feeling. Was it excitement? No. Definitely not, but I did in fact feel a sense of confidence that I hadn't felt before.     As I went to the doctor I took the news rather well. Yes. He confirmed the fact that I…

What did Jesus Really Look Like? (and why does it matter?)

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All my life I have known that I wanted to be an artist. I have had many jobs in the art industry using my talents, but I always felt that I was not truly living up to my potential. It wasn't until I began painting pictures of Jesus Christ that I could see my talents really making a difference in the world, one life at a time. I realize that seeing a picture will not usually cause some great life changing miracle, but it can help one feel the spirit. Art can bring you peace and remind you of our Savior. A mere picture of Jesus Christ can remind you of His life and everything that He has done for us. Although we do not worship the image, it can still help us to visualize the real man. It can help us to better see Him as a real person, who really lived on this earth, and who still exists as our Savior today. If my artwork can help somebody understand that Jesus Christ is real and is waiting for us to follow His teachings, then I am blessed to be able t…

Artist Update - What I'm working on next

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I absolutely love being an artist. It is a dream come true. During the week I work full time for my publisher Framed Legacy, That means that all the artwork that I work on during that time, is owned by Framed Legacy. They own the copyright. Some of my artist friends think that I have sold my soul, but I think it's great. What other artist gets to work from home like me, and still gets a steady paycheck? There is definitely something empowering about a dependable income. The downside to this arrangement is that there are many paintings that I have made, that I can't sell the way that I want to. Much of my artwork is only available mounted and framed.  I get requests all the time for a simple small print but I can't do that because I don't own the copyright and am only able to sell what is manufactured through my publisher. On the upside, this publisher has the potential to reach markets and customers that I can't do on my own. All…

Forgiveness

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I chose a darkened corner on the back streets of Jerusalem to be the backdrop of one of my recent paintings of Christ titled "Forgiveness". In this painting, Our Savior kneels down in the dirt and reaches out to touch the head of a downcast and humbled sinner who is asking for forgiveness. My original plan was for this scene to take place among the bustling crowds of an open market, but as I dwelt on the idea of forgiveness, I wanted to portray the fact that it is personal and sacred, between me and the Lord. 
I say "between ME and the Lord", because in this context, that is the only type that should matter to me, "between YOU and the Lord", "between HIM and the Lord" or "between HER and the Lord" is really none of my business. My own standing before the Lord is of the upmost importance. For this reason, I chose to include only two people in this painting. Me... and the Lord. Some people may not know t…

WHY I AM AN ARTIST... (and what you should do with your life)

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Why am I an artist? I’ll tell you why… because God gave me an amazing Spiritual Gift. No I’m not talking about artistic skill, because I believe that is something that is earned with practice, something I am still working on everyday. The Spiritual Gift that I am talking about is one that some people might not realize is a gift. I have always known what I wanted to do with my life. I can see an ultimate goal, the big picture, and know that it is possible. I know when I’m on the right track even when others around me might not see it. That is an amazing gift that I am very thankful for, because I always know the direction I want to be going. I know who I am and I know who I want to become. I recognize these traits as a blessing, as a Gift. I believe this Gift comes from our Heavenly Father. Everybody has Spiritual Gifts that are unique to them, and we should learn to recognize and utilize our Gifts.
As long as I remember, I wanted to be an artist. I …