"Hark! He is Earnestly Calling" | BFA Work No. 1

6:50 PM

In June of last year I hung my senior exhibit, also known as a BFA show, at the Harris Fine Arts Center at Brigham Young University. It was a wonderful experience and I still feel so grateful for all the support and help I recieved in preparation for that show. The theme was "Variations on the Hymns."

I've always loved singing from the Hymn book. I have some of my most tender memories associated with singing the hymns in different settings. When I think back on my experiences with the hymns, I know there is a power in that music that can bring the spirit into our lives and bring us closer to our Savior. 

When I first purposed the theme of my show to the faculty I thought I would illustrate the literal meanings and stories the hymns told, but the more I planned out compositions and thought of ideas for the paintings, the more I wanted to leave room for viewers' interpretations. 

The more I thought about it and studied the words and history of each hymn, the more I realized that sometimes it is just one phrase from a hymn that stands out to me; one phrase that really hits me. 

Because of that, all the paintings were titled after a phrase in the hymn, and not after the hymn title; for instance, this painting is titled Hark! He is Earnestly Calling which is a phrase from the hymn Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd. 

I loved that phrase because to me it meant Listen! He is always, always calling and reaching out for you.

I will post more of my work from the show throughout the next couple of months, along with a bit of history. I hope you enjoy. 

Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd

Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the sheep of his fold;
Dear is the love that he gives them,
Dearer than silver or gold.
Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are his "other" lost sheep;
Over the mountains he follows,
Over the waters so deep.

Out in the desert they wander,
Hungry and helpless and cold;
Off to the rescue he hastens,
Bringing them back to the fold.

2. Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the lambs of his fold;
Some from the pastures are straying,
Hungry and helpless and cold.
See, the Good Shepherd is seeking,
Seeking the lambs that are lost,
Bringing them in with rejoicing,
Saved at such infinite cost.

3. Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the "ninety and nine";
Dear are the sheep that have wandered
Out in the desert to pine.

Hark! he is earnestly calling,

Tenderly pleading today:
"Will you not seek for my lost ones,
Off from my shelter astray?"

4. Green are the pastures inviting;
Sweet are the waters and still.
Lord, we will answer thee gladly,
"Yes, blessed Master, we will!
Make us thy true under-shepherds;
Give us a love that is deep.
Send us out into the desert,
Seeking thy wandering sheep."

Text: Mary B. Wingate, 1899-1933. 

Music: William J. Kirkpatrick, 1838-1921.

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