One area that has been challenging for our family is how to incorporate Church leaders' suggestions on having prominent pictures of the temple and the Savior in our home with our more modern sense of style. One of the ways we have handled this is to look for unique artwork.
A few years ago, I used a piece of photo mosaic software to make a picture of the Salt Lake Temple that was made entirely of photos of our children. This year, with my wife Stephanie turning 40, I decided to have some custom art made for her with our new favorite art technique, quilling.
Our family discovered an art form known as quilling a couple of years ago. I can’t remember exactly how we came into contact with it, but when we saw it, we immediately fell in love. Quilling is a type of artwork done using thin strips of paper glued onto paper on its edge. Quilling is often very intricate and colorful. It is also very three-dimensional. Once we discovered it, we knew we would like to have some for ourselves. Stephanie’s mom even sent us a card that she had bought in Vietnam that had two fish on the cover done in this technique.
In order to have a piece made for our family, I looked around on the website Etsy to find some quilling artists. One of the first artists I contacted was an artist from Odessa Ukraine named Larisa Zasadna. I reached out to her see if she would have any interest in making a custom piece of art for Stephanie’s birthday that incorporated Stephanie’s love of flowers and vibrant colors, with some elements of our faith. I explained how much families and the temple mean to us, and sent her some links to pictures of different temples that we love and find architecturally beautiful. After a few rough initial concept sketches, Larisa prepared an extremely detailed pencil drawing that I fell in love with.
After about two months of work, the artwork was finished. When it arrived, Stephanie was touched by this unique piece of art. “I am so impressed with this artist’s patience and precision in making such a detailed piece,” she says. “I love the variety of flowers and colors and we were all excited to see this new picture. I especially appreciate that Steve thought of a way to represent our family in such a thoughtful, beautiful gift. It is a lovely, stunning piece of art.”
All images courtesy of Steve Boivie
Steve Boivie is father of four who lives with his wife Stephanie in College Station, Texas. He currently works for Texas A&M University as an Associate Professor of Management.