Ceaseless Winds (oil on canvas 20" x 16")
Bob completed this painting in late 2014. Ceaseless Winds is motivated by an account in the Book of Mormon of the crossing of the great ocean by a man named Jared, his brother, and their families. Bob sees in this account a powerful metaphor for life. As long as we are faithful and place our trust in God, all experience in life -- including the greatest of adversities -- will prove to be a blessing. In the end, nothing can harm us, the winds that buffet us are driving us ever onward in the direction of our heavenly home -- a land of great promise. In the painting, waves and killer whales are tokens for adversities. The bright white/yellow splotches are token's for ministering angles keeping adversities at bay. The mental image Bob chose here for the angels is inspired by the descriptions of the appearance of angels given by Joseph Smith and the Biblical account of the shepherds at Christ's birth -- "...his countenance truly like lightning (Pearl of Great Price | JS-History 1:32) and "...lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" (New Testament | Luke 2:9 - 10).
Those descriptions coupled w/ experience Bob has had flying across the country at night, above the clouds, during electrical storms, inspired the depiction of angels here. The countenance of an angle being "like lightning" and the appearance of lightning as viewed from above the clouds, is how angels are represented in this painting, as if they were beneath the ocean surface, silently and un-observed by those aboard the tiny ships, protecting them from all true hazards.
...and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God.
5 And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.
6 And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.
7 And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.
8 And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.
9 And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.
10 And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water.
11 And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water.
(Book of Mormon | Ether 6:4 - 11)