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I have found an artist business consultant, Alexis Fedor, who is offering mentoring services, and she gives some free pointers before asking for money for the classes. (She administrates the Artists in Business group on facebook). Anyway, she suggests you clarify why you create art (to hone in on what is unique to you and find your ideal customers). So she has people ask 2 questions, and find how the answers are related and then state why you create art. She asks for your first memory of creating art and your most profound artistic experience.

here is mine:

According to my mother, my passion for art began at the age of 4 when I would stay up long past bedtime, coloring in my room; however, my first vivid memory of art is sitting in church every Sunday, drawing the same picture each week: Jesus standing by a drawn back curtain and holding a gigantic ruby in His outstretched hand. I can still envision that image clearly today, though I never kept a single copy.


Similarly, my most profound artistic experience, thus far, came when I was speaking from the pulpit in Church. I was citing Helaman 5:12 from the Book of Mormon : “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build our foundation; that when the devil shall send forth His mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” As I spoke, an image flooded my mind in the form of a painting: a woman kneeling on a rock surrounded by a stormy sea. She was at the feet of the Savior. Tears streamed down her face as fiery darts assailed her from every direction, yet hope shone in her eyes. I remember thinking, “I have to paint that,” but I did not feel up to the task.


Although I still don’t feel ready, I am beginning to feel compelled to move forward regardless of whether if feel adequate  or not. In a movie called Charlie, the main character shares a piece of her art with her grandma, who asks why she is painting fruit –which is just an exercise– and advises her to find something she feels so strongly about that she is afraid she won’t be able to do it and then paint that.  I realize I have spent the last few years metaphorically “painting fruit”, honing my skills. –But what I feel so strongly about that I fear not being able to express –THAT is my real purpose! To bring people closer to Christ and the love and peace He offers them. It is time for my canvas to bring these beautiful truths to life!


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A few Christmases ago my family and I tried giving only homemade Christmas presents (with the exception of my husband who bought me a badly needed new camera). This went really well, and everyone had fun finding creative things to do for each other. It has become a bit of a tradition since then… In process of making a busy book for my two youngest girls (which I sadly have not finished yet) I drew this sketch of Jesus:

This Portrait sketch of Jesus shows him as if in mid smile. You can almost see him moving with sparkle and life. A look of happy kindness in one and sorrow and compassion in the other.. One arm is forward as if either in a teaching moment or to reach out to someone and lift them up…

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 Awakening Divine Self Worth, sketch of Jesus, on RedBubble; cards , matted prints and more 
Awakening Divine Self Worth, sketch of Jesus Posters on
Awakening Divine Self Worth, sketch of Jesus at FineArtAmerica

I started out looking around at several other renditions of Jesus in my home and on the internet, that other artists have created, just to help me fix in my mind’s eye “this is what Jesus looks like.” Then I took a sheet of graph paper, since this was just going to be for my kids and only to transfer it to cloth later, and did a quick little sketch; however, I quickly regretted my choice of papers since the sketch turned out so well. Thankfully using my scanner and made it pretty easy to remove the blue grid from the sketch. Making a really clean “coloring book” version of this sketch for the book, while still keeping the kind, but lively expression, was a bit problematic. It took some trial and error to figure out which lines could be removed or altered and which had to stay. I spent days making printouts, changing things, re-scanning, touching up on the computer and printing it out again before I had this final draft. Transferring the drawing to the fabric was accomplished with a permanent ink marker and a cut up printout of the picture that I traced like a puzzle onto the book page. (Yes I know it would have been less hassle to buy a transfer, but I was trying not to spend money).

The sketch turned out so well I printed out extra copies to send as Christmas cards and as presents for a select few people.

I got the idea about a year later to couple this with my poem, Awakening Divine Self Worth, which is about changing from seeing yourself the way the world sees you to seeing yourself as of infinite worth as you develop the divine within you:

One shaft of light
Illuminates my mind,
Streaming through one tiny crack
Of this fortress mine.

Amid the dank and darkened shadows,
Through cobwebs aged with time,
This light begins awakening
An inner me, Divine.

Basking in this warmth of light,
A struggle now takes play
Breaking free from cobwebs
And reaching for the day.

I hunger for this filling light
I strive to let it in
To fill my aching eyes with sight
I know I must begin.

A stretch, a step, a forward leap,
Each stone moved from its place
This light, His love, a soul’s embrace
Shining from His face

Cast away the darkness
Dispelling all my fears
drive away the shadows
Through dust as thick as years

Planting me a garden
In my heart to shine
Showing forth myself, my love
My inner me, Divine.

poetry by Dawna Morton, all right reserved –please do not copy, but feel free to share the link 😉

This is actually a rewrite of a poem I wrote back in high school. I haven’t written a new poem in many years, but I used to really enjoy it. I am hoping that if I spend enough time editing the best out of my old ones that writing poetry will come back to me. I also have this poem in conjunction with some of my forest photography, but I like it best with my sketch of Jesus.

Dawna’s art on society6

Butterfly at the Veil by Dawna Morton

Butterfly at the Veil, watercolor painting on gessoed canvas-board, by Dawna Morton, 2013.

I originally started this painting so I would have an entry for the local art associations art contest this summer, however life with 6 kids isn’t always conducive to having enough time to paint–and the kids come first 😉 I think I managed to get it done within about a month of the deadline. I had a photo of some ‘snow in summer’ flowers that I had taken through my front window as a photographic experiment after I got my new camera, and I loved the feel of the one this painting is based on –although the photo itself turned out a little blurry. I had a couple of small canvas boards a friend gave me for Christmas, and decided to use those to experiment with different media and effects for the background. Click here to see it as a work in progress, and to see some of the other background ideas I played with…

In order to quickly see how which background type looked best with the flowers, I printed out a copy of my reference photo and just cut them out of it so I could lay them over each of the canvases in turn. This worked extraordinarily well since the canvases weren’t much bigger than my printout. I ended up going with this purple watercolor because it more closely mimicked the feel I was looking for. with the deadline looming I decided to trace the paper cut out onto the canvas to save time. Hopefully nobody feels like that was cheating. I ten drew in the details and made some alterations–such as changing which direction the main blossom was facing. I also moved the flowers on this side of the window and suggested a curtain with light coming through it instead of a screen and the edge of the windowsill with the flowers outside. Then I added a butterfly to balance everything out and add some additions interest.

Everything was coming along nicely until the three-year-old got a hold of it. One of those moments where the house was suspiciously quiet for entirely too long prompted me to figure out what she was up to. She had managed to get herself into the art room and nabbed the paints and was happily painting away in a bold red. Thankfully She had laid a few pieces of paper across the top first–which caught the worst of it; however, there was still the problem of bright red splotches on a very simple all purple palette.

Luckily the red lifted off of the gessoed surface beautifully, and I did not have to go with plan b — adding a bunch of red flowers to the right hand corner.

As I was working on the composition and painting a symbolic meaning to everything came into play. The three sections of curtain across the window is a sort of representation of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost–united yet separate and distinct at the same time as they are one. Then there is the light coming through the curtain –which represents  inspiration, revelation and those moments when we feel that heaven is near. Truly the veil is thin sometimes. This is also a reference to the temple and going there for additional revelation, inspiration, peace and to be spiritual uplifted. The butterfly is a representation of being visited by the Holy Ghost, which was inspired by an article I read to my children many years ago in the Friend magazine about how being reverent is like sitting quiet and still so you can catch a butterfly, or feel the Holy Ghost. The flowers are a representation of each of us, as we grow and blossom in readiness to hear, inspiration is more frequent and clear, and easier to understand– and in turn spiritual light nourishes us so we can grow and blossom. And of course: God is the source of all light (revelation inspiration, and so on) and we are completely dependent on them. The overall feel and tranquility in this painting is symbolic of how we feel when we commune with God and the peace and comfort He sends us through the Holy Ghost.

You can find “Butterfly at the Veil” for sale as a print at FineArtAmerica, imagekind, Redbubble, zazzle , and Amazon. So far the original is not for sale. The family loves it too much 😉

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton (unless otherwise stated).

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not COPY, but feel free to hit the share button 😉

Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at

Dawna’s Art at

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

See Dawna’s art on Amazon!

Be a fan of Dawna’s art and photography on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper*

Buy my t-shirts

Dawna’s art on society6

Dawna’s Facebook Fan Page

Dawna’s RedBubble Gallery

Buy my art

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