Hannah Marie Mathison
Age 16, Utah
Oil on canvas
Hannah Mathison’s painting “He Lives” reflects her testimony of eternal families. The painting has special significance to her because of the passing of her grandparents.
Hannah, 16, wanted to show that through the ordinances of the temple we can be united as families for all eternity, no matter what kind of trials or hardships we face in life. “In the background, there is a storm,” she says. “We can choose to let the storm destroy us, or use it to bring us closer to God. Even through the storm, the temple shines forth. I wanted to show the reflection of the sky onto the temple, and show that we can share our colors and reflect on others. We can arise and shine forth and influence people’s lives, just as the temple influences our lives.”
“To me, this picture means that everything is going to be OK, and God is always with you to comfort you whenever you are in need.”
Hannah’s oil painting of the Salt Lake Temple is a way of connecting with her family. “While my grandpa was still on this earth, if you asked him what his favorite color was, he would say, ‘sky blue pink.’ This is why the background of my painting is a sky blue pink. I wanted to paint something that has a special meaning for my dad and me. The temple is shining through the stormy sky. To me, this picture means that everything is going to be OK, and God is always with you to comfort you whenever you are in need.”
While the painting was inspired by her grandfather’s death, it comforted her at her grandmother’s passing.
“As I was painting this picture,” says Hannah, “my grandmother passed away and returned to her Father in Heaven and my grandfather, who had given me the inspiration to do this painting in the first place. My grandmother passing away was hard for me, but each time I worked on my painting, it reminded me of why I was painting this picture in the first place. It gave me comfort as I thought about the amazing blessing that we have of temple work, so that we, as families, can live together forever.”
When Hannah’s niece turned twelve and was going to perform baptisms for the dead for the first time, her family thought that it would be special if she could take some family names. “My sister and I were researching to see if we could find any family names that we could take to the temple to do baptisms for,” Hannah says. “A lot of our family work has already been done, but we were able to find a grandmother back several generations, and her father, that had not had any temple work done for them. My dad and my niece were able to take their names with them to the temple and perform baptisms. This was such a neat experience for our family because we had never done anything like this before. You could truly feel the Spirit, and the closeness of our family that day.”
“Art is my passion!” says Hannah. “I love involving the principles of the Church in my paintings. It reminds me that Heavenly Father was the one who gave me this talent and ability, and it is my choice if I want to share it or not, and of course I do! Art helps me feel the love that the Savior has for me, and it’s a way for me to show the love I have for Him as well. My testimony grows stronger with each painting and drawing that I do.”