"PORTRAITS OF FAITH: The Biography of Liz Lemon Swindle" by Susan Easton Black, Cedar Fort, $24.99, 160 pages (nf)
"Portraits of Faith: The Biography of Liz Lemon Swindle" by Susan Easton Black strikes the perfect balance of sharing personal knowledge of Liz Lemon Swindle without the burden of every single detail of Swindle's life. The storytelling tone makes for an enjoyable read.
Easton begins with amazing information about Swindle's parents and then continues with stories about the artist's upbringing and adolescence that give a good glimpse into her early personality. Swindle goes through a variety of hard times and each of these is used to highlight the growth and opportunities that she achieved through her struggles.
The honesty that permeates the story is refreshing. When a failed marriage and the ensuing struggles are discussed, simple facts are stated without the drama.
The challenges that Swindle had both in her personal life and career are encouraging to any who have struggled to follow a dream while dealing with the demands of life.
From an early age, Swindle had a talent for painting and her father along with others helped her to improve that talent. Many of her paintings are in the book, including Swindle's early duck paintings, her iconic "Even Superman needs a dad" painting, her beautiful paintings depicting the Prophet Joseph Smith's life and some of her most recent paintings of Jesus' life.
At the end of the book, there are several paintings along with the inspiration behind or about them written by Swindle. Many of these experiences she has shared during her inspirational speaking engagements.
Swindle and Black both live in Utah, are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have collaborated on numerous books together.
Black was the first woman to teach religion at Brigham Young University and is an emeritus professor of LDS Church history and doctrine at BYU.
Jennifer Autry has called many states home and is an American military wife with two beautiful girls. She is an aspiring author and blogs at imperfectlymormon.blogspot.com.