Friday, December 14, 2007

Dan Freed Artwork

I've created this site so that friends and family can have a place where they can quickly review my religous artwork.  Right now I don't have a website so this is kind of a start for me.

I hope that you can enjoy these pieces with the spirit in which they were painted.  I have loved every minute of painting these and wanted to create something that would influence people for good.  I hope you will find something in them that will touch your spirit and remind you that you are a loved child of our Heavenly Father.

If anyone is interested in purchasing 16x20 giclĂ©e canvas prints or a variety of other sized prints please contact me.  My email address is:  I can share most of these with you at wholesale prices.  Many are available through LDS bookstores and my distributor.  Their email addresses: or

Lead, Kindly Light

This was my first religious painting that I attempted.  I was unemployed at the time and had a great friend who enabled me to do this by commissioning me to paint it.  It got me started in the religous artwork industry and I'll always be grateful to him.  His name is Dan Carter and is a very talented LDS music composer.  He even arranged a very beautiful version of the hymn "Lead Kindly Light" to go with the "unveiling" of this piece.  I'll be forever grateful to him for his support in this endeavor.

  I got the idea that It would be neat to show Christ with an oil lamp.  The lamp suggests that Christ is the "light in the darkness" and will lead the way for us when we're otherwise in complete darkness.  I also thought of the parable about the ten virgins with their oil lamps making sure that they have enough oil to be prepared for when the Master comes.  We don't know when He will come for us, it could be in the middle of the night when we least suspect......  Let's hope that we are prepared.  The most important thing I wanted to portray in His face -since we don't really know what he looks like - were Kind Eyes.  I think that Christ leads us gently, kindly and more lovingly than any of us can ever know.  He does so with the most pure form of love - charity.       .....  Lead Kindly Light.

Teach Me to Pray

This painting is called:  "Teach Me to Pray".  The two children were members of my ward and were so cute!  I wanted to show a situation where a young Christ is spending time with children showing them how to pray to His father.  The girl is "peaking" up at His face in adoration.  I love this part of the scene.  Her beautiful young face is captivating I think and I hope that I captured it in such a way that you as a viewer can feel her love for Christ.  Christ of course knows that she's peaking and so he's giving her a little squeeze with His hand that is around her.  The young boy is diligently trying to keep his eyes closed, but obviously has a very relaxed relationship with Christ and so is also allowing a bit of a smile to form on his expression.  I don't know, I think it's a warm and friendly setting.  I hope you can feel both the inspirational part of the painting as well as the playful and well connected relationship that Christ must have had with all the children he came in contact with.

Newborn King

This painting is called "Newborn King".  It's a different viewpoint of the nativity scene.  In this painting we are viewing the Madonna & Child from above - just as the angels must have done.  This young lady that modeled for Mary is someone I met in a hospital gift shop.  The moment I saw her I knew that I needed to use her as a model for Mary.  She had such a beautiful and natural innocent beauty about her.  Her hair was naturally and loosely curled around her young face and she was still in her teens.  When I approached her about modeling I said something like:  "Would you be willing to come and pose for a painting for me.....  Don't get the wrong idea, you will be fully clothed and you can bring your mother".  My wife and daughter was with me and a bit embarassed I think.  :-)  But, I think you'll agree that it was worth it.  She was wonderful.  With the baby I wanted him to be looking at us to connect us with Him.  I loved the way her white shawl fell and draped around her.  I thought that it brought in a kind of "heavenly quality" to the painting and was indeed a sort of symbolic halo around the sacred scene that I was trying to represent.  Newborn King.  I hope you enjoy it.

Feed My Lambs

This painting is called "Feed My Lambs".  I had a lot of fun with this one.  I wanted to show Christ in a relaxed and "fun" setting with a group of children.  The children are supposed to represent children of all races because Christ loves all of us equally.  I wanted to show Christ in a more joyful and playful mood.  He wasn't always serious I'm sure and must have had a very good repoire with children.  The guy that posed for Christ was my nephew who was preparing to go on a mission.  He was kind of the "Pied-Piper" of our ward and the children literally followed him everywhere.  He had a special connection to the small one on his lap too - Aiden (child's name) - and he'd light up whenever Adam (Christ model's name) was around.  The bowl of fruit represents our responsibility to nourish Christ's children.  The other models were members of my ward or related in some way to me.  The little blonde girl is my youngest - Lydia.  The red head boy is my youngest son - Leaman.  The tall Asian girl is my oldest grand child - Shalee, and the littlest boy sitting is my nephew - Ethan.  The black boy's name is Alex.  He was great.

Come, Follow Me

This one is called:  "Come, Follow Me."  The idea behind the painting is for us to realize that Christ is inviting us to follow Him.  We're told in the scriptures to "become as little children" with our faith in Him.  Christ is looking at us individually here, with love, tenderness and genuine concern.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

They Called His Name Jesus

This is my latest painting.  It's called "They Called His Name Jesus".  A good friend of mine (Shelly Murphy) actually came up with the idea for this.  She suggested that I do a painting where Joseph is playing a more active role in the nativity scene.  As I thought about it I really liked the idea.  Joseph would have had to be very much in love with Mary and very supportive in this very miraculous event.  So I show him here with a protective arm around Mary and giving her a break by holding the baby Jesus himself.  Mary is then able to rest on him and enjoy her new son together with her husband.  When I was doing the model set up we tried several "wraps" for the baby.  At first we used the traditionally portrayed wrap of white or natural earthy colors.  Something wasn't quite right.  Then I found this dark red shawl in our pile of props.  When we wrapped the baby in it, a light went on in my head.  IT WAS PERFECT!  It dawned on me that the red was perfect because it symbolized the "blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God" that Christ's life truly was!  The lambs wool that is under the babe helps to represent this as well.  He was the lamb....  Anyway, I love the way this one turned out.  I hope that you too can feel the intended feeling of this painting.