I'm a R-U-N-N-E-R!

I know that you guys are thinking,  "But this blog title makes no sense!  Missy can't run, she has asthma and is really lazy."  Guys...seriously.  "Running" doesn't always involve marathon training and heavy breathing.  I mean that.

So, every once in a while I get an itch.  A really bad one.  And I realize, suddenly, that I can't stand where I am and that I have to get out--pronto.  Such itching has sparked spontaneous trips to Zion, California, Salt Lake, and my studio.  I can't stand itches.  They make me run away to places I don't plan on visiting and do things I never thought i would.  In retrospect running is fun, but it is habit-forming and sometimes causes bad results (ex: me running away from countless relationships/potential relationships with no reason at all and never talking to people again).  Oh well.  

So...to make a really awkward transition, I just want to mention that I ran away the past two summers and I'm doing it again.  But before I (don't really) tell you where I'm going I'm going to share pictures from the past two summers...

I ran away from Mr. McFriggity in Florence after he showed me about twenty pictures he had taken OF ME throughout the night...

After lots and lots of painting we ran away to this little village that one of our professors' wives found in Vogue.  Utterly romantic (he only has one wife, that looks weird to me).

We ran all around Venice.  And I ran to the bathroom when the nice gelato man gave me Tirimasu gelato instead of Nocciola...

I ran to this cow as soon as I saw it and took beautiful model-pose pictures on it.

We ran home after "swimming" in the Mediterranean...Krista had a bunch of sea urchins stuck in her foot so we did a collaborative surgery on her for a few hours that night.

I ran away after I knocked the leaning tower over...

I wanted to run away to Italy forever after this night in Florence (and coincidentally decided not to stay for the job in Milan a few days later...)

I fell off the bridge looking at the Ponte Vecchio.

I ran down about 1,000 stairs after taking this picture on top of the Duomo.

(I actually did RUN past the Arno many mornings, thankyouverymuch.)

Robyn and I ran all over Florence this day and were late to class because we got soooo lost.

I ran away to Mexico and...ha.

I ran over Cesar (I told him I would step on his feet if we did the Tango).  Does anyone recognize that skirt?

I ran toward these boys and took a picture of them.

I ran around la casa de la familia Cervantes Cardenas the whole time we were in Obregon.

I wanted to run away with these children but since they were already in an orphanage I decided to spare them more psychological damage.

I ran around la casa de la familia Cervantes Cardenas with these children.  Some of the sweetest I have ever met, and their baby Spanish is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.

And now I'm running away again (no, not from a relationship).  
Does anyone know what city this is?


My Downfall

So today all I wanted was a Jamba Juice.  I had class at four and left my apartment a little bit early so that I could stop in on my way to the HFAC and purchase some Peach Perfection.  I was sorely disappointed to find that the entire entryway to the Wilk, which is home to Jamba Juice, was overrun by small EFY-ers who were flirting their faces off and finding their true love (for this year at least).  While I have seen this take place multiple times, I have never seen such a large crowd of teenagers waiting for their Strawberry Sunrises and Caribbean Passions.  I was distraught.

So, I trekked over to the little quicky-mart thing in the middle of the Cougareat (one word) and found that this second-string haven was also swamped with little people.  I got really frustrated.  I was in line to pay for my orange juice for fifteen minutes!  I almost asked the boy in front of me to break a rule and get sent home.

In my distress I decided it only logical and necessary for me to stop by the candy counter in the bookstore.  I didn't really have time for it but by this time I was determined to be satisfied or else.  So, I went to said candy counter and asked the flirty clerk if he would please round up $2 worth of milk chocolate covered almonds for me.  He said he would.  Obviously.  And as he walked over to the chocolate covered almonds I saw them--the candy counter's greatest addition of all time--cinnamon glazed almonds, cashews, and pecans.  Hot.  In little bags just like in New York City.  My heart stopped.  I was so happy I didn't even think about the chocolate covered nuts that, although gluten-free, make me sick every time I eat them.  When flirty clerk asked me, "Do you want anything else?" I paused.  "Yes," I told him.  And asked him to please grab me a bag of those cinnamon almonds (which I quickly learned go on sale for 50% off between 5:30 and 6:00 pm).  And I took them to History of Jazz with me.  And I ate them the whole time and I was very happy.

The end.


Thanks Hamilton...

I was preparing a visiting teaching message today and it reminded me of one of my favorite quotes of all time.  So, I dug through some old documents and found it so that I could share it with my message.

"There is no way of deciding what is spiritually fortunate or unfortunate at the time; our most grievous calamities are often seen later to have borne the fruit of greatest happiness, and what appeared to be at the moment our largest prosperities have turned later to ashes in our hands.  The final value of every experience depends on its spiritual result.  No one can tell what seed is in the soil until the harvest is borne; the seed of apparent bitterness often brings forth the flowers of peace."

Hamilton Wright Maybe

Thanks, Hamilton.



A new look for Madras Revolution!


You Asked For It...

So, every once in a while a daring soul asks to see some of my art work.  I usually say something like, “Oh yeah, we’ll have to do that sometime…” knowing deep in my heart that they will never see anything.  Ever.  There are a token few on campus (other than professors/comrades) that have seen any of my art.  Most of those people just happen to be walking through the HFAC and just happen to see a framed piece with the name “Missy Johnson” by it.  I’m sorry guys, it’s required.  If it weren’t, you wouldn’t have to look at them.  I promise.

Anyway, a great deal of my time as an artistic recluse at BYU has been spent slaving away over watercolors.  I love watercolor.  I love everything about it—mastery of timing, washes, layering—watercolor is what I am most comfortable with and I use it as a cop-out every single semester so that I don’t have to work in oil (because I am uncomfortable with the medium and therefore really bad at it).  Well, lucky for you, Bob Marshall told me that he wouldn’t accept any watercolor pieces from me this semester.  None.  (I tried.  He was serious).  I mean, I guess it was a compliment (he said that I didn’t have any more to learn about watercolor), but it still flustered me and caused multiple breakdowns late at night in the studio. 

Moral of the Story:

Oil Paint + Landscape (which I had never painted in my life until this term) + Missy = Disaster

And now for the fun part.  I have decided (after a little bit of pestering, but mostly to show people that I really am an art student), to show you my portfolio from this past term (the ones that I didn’t throw away/paint over…which eliminates a big handful of work).  I would appreciate it if everyone could keep snide remarks to themselves.  No comments from the peanut gallery, thankyouverymuch.  And most importantly, please remember that this medium is (essentially) new to me.  The subject matter is even newer.  And I am getting really defensive right now because I suddenly feel extremely vulnerable and exposed.  

This was my first plein air painting.  It was done out in my back yard.  I wish I could have video-taped Bob's reaction to it.  He told me to paint over the first four of these.

Bob: "Missy, mountains don't come with pretty 45 degree angles like that.  Crumple up a piece of paper, examine it, and try to paint them again."

We both agreed that this piece belonged in a little market in Tijuana.  Pronto.
(And yes I know there is a spot in the sky, I put two canvases together because I thought they were dry...ha).

"Don't paint with texture until you are more comfortable with the paint.  You use it as a cop-out."

"This is the first one that you have even painted on.  Fabulous colors."

"You painted this?  Ugly bushes.  Great colors and depth."  (I agree completely).

Not sure how I feel about this one...

This is the first painting I have signed at BYU.  I gave it to my Dad for Father's Day.  I changed it a little after I took the picture--mostly adding highlights and some warm yellows.

I obviously took this picture while the paint was still wet.  I need to sand it down a little bit to eliminate those nasty brushstrokes in the sky.

This one is huge...6 feet by 4 1/2 feet.  This is what caused most of the mental breakdowns.  I still need to drop some pretty hefty glazes in there but I had to take a picture and turn it in at 8 this morning.  It's the canyon walls in Lake Powell...and yes, it really looks like that.  White parts and all.

Note: The first 6 are plein air paintings, which is, believe it or not, extremely difficult for a number of reasons.  If you really want to know, I can fill you in on the complications.  Numbers 7 and 8 were supposed to be plein air, but I did them from photographs because I ran out of time due to said emotional breakdowns in the studio.  Number 9 is painted from memory (that was the assignment).  Number 10 is from a photograph.

I’m going to miss Bob.  


Time for Mooshy Gooshy

So I've noticed that sometimes bloggers make little tribute posts about people and things that they love. And quite frankly, I think it's high time I made one of these posts (about a person [or, I guess, people]) for two reasons: I am sick of reading and painting and more importantly, I love my family more than anything. So, you get to hear about all the members of my family (besides myself) in order from oldest to youngest (immediate family members and their additions to the family). Mom and Dad are separate, and yes, Julie is a little older than Norm (but not much).

My Mom is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. She would do anything for anyone. She is always working behind the scenes to make others happy and doesn't ask for attention. She has sat with me through countless doctors appointments, waited patiently during procedures, and has held me while I come out of aesthesia and sedatives. I know I wouldn't want to deal with me coming out of aesthesia.

BB! Pooooorrrrqqquuueee? My Dad pays for all the doctors appointments, aesthesia and sedatives. Just kidding (sort of). On Saturday I was getting ready for a reception and my Dad came in with a box full of random objects and two books about Utah artists. He started showing me some pictures by Louise Farnsworth and then pulled a bundle of well-worn brushes out of the box. "These were Louise Farnsworth's brushes", he told me, "I want you to have them and paint with them. But paint like LeConte and Maynard." My Dad is loyal, loving, and supportive. He is also patient. When I was in high school, not doing everything right, he would get up early with me, sit by the heat vent, and read the scriptures to me while I got ready for school. It was a long time before I read with him, but his patience and love stirred important changes in my heart. My Dad is one of my heroes.

Tyler has been one of my dear friends for all of my life. I remember having my first talk about the Atonement with Tyler. When Tyler and I lived in the same ward at BYU, our entire ward thought we were dating because we were always together. He used to sit outside his apartment with me after curfew to help me with papers. He laid his hands on my head in the middle of the Kaibab forest to give me a blessing the summer before he left for Philly. Tyler taught me how to rock climb. When my strength is back I'm going to start up again!

Becca is me. I am Becca.  People still confuse me for her in the HFAC. Becca is an outgoing, loving example that I have learned so much from. She put up with me while I was sick and crabby and I'm forever grateful to her for that. She loves J Crew, Paisley, pebble ice, and lime popsicles. Those are the most important things in life, right?

Dave. Dave and I spent one year at East High together and I thought that I was the most unlucky girl in the world because I had a brother to look out for me. Well, things have changed since I was a freshman in high school. Dave is a kind example to me of loyalty and hard work. I love watching him interact with his beautiful little family. I love the special experiences we have shared over the years, from singing while he tickles the ivories to me getting sick at a really awkward time in the basement a few months ago. Plus he has the cutest little family ever.

Kristin is such a sweet friend to me! I wasn't around while Dave was dating her, but I am glad he made such a good choice in his wife! Kristin has always been so kind and sweet, I almost don't know how to respond sometimes. We have grown really close over the past year or so, and I am so grateful for that. I love how excited she gets about little things and I love her enthusiasm for life. She also makes important decisions for our family, like where we are going to dinner because we are all waaaaaayyyyy too passive. This is really needed in the moment. Trust me.

MY PATTEN! Patten is my little angel. He came at a very important time and never ceases to make me happy. I'm not sure people know how much he means to me. Seriously.

Natalie (or, "Talie", as she likes to be called, but I refuse to call her that), is awesome. Way too mature for her age, and way too talented. Probably too beautiful, too. Natalie has taught me a lot of important things over the years. I usually forget she is fifteen...until she starts talking about boys...then I remember how old she is. I love her.



This weekend was a busy one.  I had two artist's receptions and two wedding receptions to attend.  I only made it to one of the artist receptions, but I still got to see both shows.  Friday night was the opening of Bob's show, "Robert Marshall", in the HFAC.  He couldn't think of a name for his show so Jason, the gallery head, named it for him.  It seemed fitting since it was his last show before retirement!  Anyway, I'm rambling, I just wanted to show the pictures.  The top picture is of me and Bob in front of one of my favorite (of his) paintings, "Above Bartholomew".  The bottom picture is of Julia, Bob, and me.  I'm going to miss him so much!

Comfort Quote

Today I was looking through my scriptures and found this old piece of paper with some of my favorite words on it.  This quote was given to me by a dear friend when I was a senior in high school and I think that it is relevant to everyone (though at some times it is more relevant than others).  It was written by Suzan Lake, my "secret weapon" and one of the best teachers of all time.  

"Never mistake aloneness for loneliness.  In order to grow, you need time away, away from the noises of the world, friends, comfort, and all distractions to find what is important and fulfilling.  These alone moments build character and show the level of patience you are willing to endure to find the Spirit and wrestle with thoughts that tell you you aren't worth anything or you can't do it right.

When you are lonely, you are saying, 'I don't have much meaning in my life.  Someone come and make me happy.  I am unwilling to give because I am feeling sorry for myself.  You, world and all the people I know, are responsible for entertaining me and proving to me that I am worthwhile.'

Change these moments of loneliness into ones of aloneness.  Alone, and all by yourself, do as the Savior taught you to do: serve.  This takes courage and sacrifice of your self-centeredness.  Endure being alone to find that you are loved and have love to give.  That decision made in your heart will bring a glow to you that will attract others to you.  You won't be lonely because you will have yourself, those you give to, and the Savior guiding you through."

Thanks, Suz.


Happy News

I am getting married.

Okay, just kidding.  I'm not.

But I really do have some happy news.  Most of you know that I spent a good portion of the last year of my life working at a treatment center for teenage girls.  It was one of the happiest times of my life but I had to leave because my health wasn't allowing me to work the rigorous schedule anymore.  Well, I still hear from the girls every once in a while and today I got got an invitation from one of the girls who "transitioned" (or, essentially, graduated), from the program.  It was in invitation to her BAPTISM.  I am so excited.  I just had to say something about it!


Moab, Arches, Potash, Beyond.

We went to Moab this weekend and stayed at a campsite called Goldbar.  The boys biked Slickrock while we explored/hiked/rock climbed Friday and we hiked the Fiery Furnace as a group on Saturday.  It was a lot of fun.  Here are some pictures.