Monday, August 30, 2010

A Smattering of . . . Smatter?

Hi everybody (I can say "everybody" now, there are 3 of you following! That counts, right?)

Today in lieu of sketches I have a couple poems:


Even now
The stones smolder with jungle steam
Simmering, as the fog rolls off them
Wishing they could speak
Roots reach to entangle
The trees roll overtop
To cover them beneath
Their root-bound, earthen cloth
Like Desolation
Slowly reclaimed
It sinks into the earth
The womb from whence it came
This place, once full subdued by man
Is now by nature tamed
At one time all men flowed to it
Now no man knows its name
Where Judges sat now jaguars sleep
And monkeys play their games
And lo, in the grandest of the courts
A tree grows through the floor
It has pushed its way up through the roof
To touch the sun and storm
It's strange
How proud magnificence
Though broken and decayed
When adorned with nature's burial clothes
A new, strange beauty displays


Life does all it can
To distract from Reality
But there is something deeper

The crowds press in
To convince you you're alone
But there is something deeper

Cascading heaps of riches
Pretend there's nothing more

Depravity and squalor
Bemoan there's nothing less

All men fear to sleep 6 feet down
In their Sunday last and best

But there is something deeper
And there is something higher

Dig deeper
Reach Higher
And though you cannot see God's face
You will find yourself caught up
By His unseen Embrace

Monday, August 23, 2010

Captain Moronihah

One of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon is the story of Captain Moronihah. His father, Chief Captain Moroni, made his mark as one of the greatest Nephite Generals of all time. He saved the Nephite nation many times, from treacherous rebellion within and from vast armies of marauding conquerors without. He was a giant of a man- but, giants cast long shadows.

When he retired, Moroni appointed his son Moronihah as Chief Captain. Although he had some success, soon the country faced even greater peril than before. Lamanite conquerors took the capital city of Zarahemlah. People lost their homes, thousands of men died, and the Lamanites took over half of the Nephite Lands. Moronihah had failed. He had failed his father, his people, and himself. But despite all this, he was still his father's son. Moronihah did not give up. He taught his men to live righteously, to gain the favor of God. Only when he felt his men were spiritually prepared would he advance. Many cities were regained- but they were unable to maintain more than half of the land. The Lamanites were strong- but the faith of Moronihah and the Nephite army was stronger. They prayed for a miracle.

If you're interested to know what happened next, you can read Helaman 3-5 for yourself. It tells the story much better than I can. I know, I know, cliffhanger. But seriously, it's a great story.

As for the art this week, the top two are pictures of a maquette, or model, of Captain Moronihah that I made out of tagboard, a tennis ball, a clothes-hanger, and a spaghetti strainer (mixed media, lol). Often in animation maquettes are created to help the artist draw a character from many different angles.

The third picture is a pencil design I did for an animation class of Captain Moronihah. I hope at some point to ad inks and colors.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One more great video

This is another great video I found on "Churchfuel". It talks about art as it relates to the gospel, how our creating things is a reflection of the Great Creator, our Father in Heaven. I believe that the desire to create is something God has passed down to his children from his own nature.

Creation from Media Fuel on Vimeo.

The Power of One

Okay, none of these are my videos, but I thought them worth sharing. A friend shared this skit on Facebook, and it blew me away. It's so simple, yet so powerful. It really shows the role of Jesus Christ in our everyday lives, and the meaning of what he has done for us.

This video was really inspiring to me. Look at the power each of us has for good! "By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass". I have been told that a single straw of hay, when picked up by a tornado, can puncture a telephone pole. So too can we, though small and simple, accomplish great things when carried by our God. The skit was a small and simple thing, but look at the impact it has had! 16 million people have watched it, and hundreds have come to Christ for the first time as a result. May we each use our talents to share in the way these people did

Coffee with Jesus from Media Fuel on Vimeo.

Lastly a bit of fun. I have never met Heavenly Father in a coffee shop, but it struck me that this is probably the way a good percentage of my prayers sound . . . I need to repent

By the way, I also just discovered a great resource for positive videos online - GodTube. There's some great stuff- if you have a minute, you should check it out!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back to Civilization

Hey folks, I'm back to civilization. I didn't post Sunday because I was on a family reunion camping trip, but I have returned with a vengeance! I'm not sure to whom this vengeance might be directed, but whoever it is better look out! Yay idioms!

Anyways, here are a few sketches from this last Sunday:

Kind of a fun concept for a Nephite warrior. I was thinking maybe he's a one of the "captains of 10.000s" near the end of the Book of Mormon. The weapon is based on a Chinese Pudao or "Da-Dao", meaning "Big Knife". I put a decorative sheath on it, kind of thinking of Donnie Yen's character in the Jet Li movie "Hero", where he takes on like 10 guys without ever taking the scabbard off of his blade. Many cultures had similar weapons, wide-bladed variations on the spear, so I figured, why not? :)

This is a Lamanite warrior, I'm thinking maybe one of the bandits who attacked Ammon while he was tending king Lamoni's flocks. In his right hand he is wielding the Macuahuitl, sword of the Aztec Jaguar Knights. The decorative feathered shield in his left hand is also an Aztec influence

Just some fun stuff. A Nephite pot and jug. And some quotes lol

This Nephite chair is based on a really cool one I saw recently in a book about Egypt. It reminds me a lot of a camping chair my grandpa had

Once again, Chief Captain Moronihah, son of Moroni, who was the greates Nephite General of all time.

Goofing around with color and such in photoshop. Lots to learn! Anyways, hope you enjoy, and that this might help inspire you to pick up a pencil, brush, or pen tablet and join in telling these wonderful stories that need to be told.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sad News

The world of spiritual art suffered a great loss this last month. I recently was informed of the death of Arnold Friberg, a truly great artist and a truly great man. Extraordinarily talented, he studied at the prestigious Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and then at the Grand Central School of art in New York City, working alongside fellow student Norman Rockwell. He was commissioned to paint such subjects as the Prince of Wales, and later, Queen Elizabeth the II whom he painted inside Buckingham Palace (see article below). But despite these distinctions and worldly accolades, the work for which he will be most remembered and loved was of a far different nature. Arnold Friberg's gift came from God, and he used it to paint the things of God. He was commissioned by Cecil Demille to do a series of paintings based on the story of Moses to help previsualise the classic film "The 10 Commandments". Starting in the 1950s, Friberg was commissioned by the Primary Children's program of the LDS church to do a series of paintings intended to bring Book of Mormon stories to life. And he did just that- no one before or since has imbued the stories of the Book of Mormon with such vitality as he did. His images are iconic- Lehi and his family journeying to the promised land, Abinadi standing in shackles before King Noah, the Savior Descending to visit the Nephite Nation, and my personal favorite, Samuel the Lamanite atop a great wall, prophesying the savior's birth amidst a hail of arrows. It was this last painting that helped inspire my first Visual Effects project, a short film based on the story of Samuel the Lamanite. I never knew Friberg personally, though I did shake his hand once. I only really knew him the same way he is known by millions of children and adults the world over- through his beautiful gospel art. His scriptural paintings have inspired and aided the imaginations of millions for over half a century, and it is my hope they will continue to do so in the future. Let us all say a special prayer of thanks to God for sending us such a person.

Arnold Friberg's Website
Arnold Friberg Article on Wikipedia

On that note . . . gosh, after talking about a master like that I feel almost embarrassed to post any of my art. But I made a promise, and I know Arnold Friberg would want all of us to continue in using art to share the gospel. So here goes:

This was a bit of a sparse Sunday, I spent most of it on one drawing, but I feel I learned from it. It's a rough concept sketch, but once again this is the Savior descending from the sky to meet the people at Bountiful.  The smoke rising from the door towards the savior represents sacrifice in the old testament, and how it pointed towards Christ. I've been studying lots of pictures of old buildings and cities, and I'm starting to learn a bit about architecture. Long ways to go, though. One thing I really admire about Arnold Friberg is how thorough he was in his research. He actually spent time on-location at Valley forge, studying the landscape and Revolutionary soldier equipment in preparation to paint his famous "Prayer at Valley Forge", which is now on display in George Washington's own estate at Mount Vernon. I try to do the same thing as much as I can, though I'm too broke to fly to Peru or Guatemala to study as yet. Instead, I let google do the walking and keep files of pictures, I visit museums, and spend lots of time at the public library.

Anyway, that's this week, hope you all enjoyed and that you will read up on Arnold Friberg and look at some of his paintings. May we all follow his example and use our talents to spread the good news of Jesus Christ