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Stranded and starving to death on the Platte River near Red Butte, Wyoming during the winter of 1856, British-born Patience Loader and her family were fleeing west in search of religious freedom. Twenty-eight-year-old Patience and her three teenage sisters—Maria, Jane, and Sarah—pulled the family’s heavy handcart the entire 900-mile journey from Florence, Nebraska to the Great Basin. When the blizzard struck, they were 400 miles from any settlement and safety in what would become known as the worst winter storm of that century.
Overexertion, dwindling provisions, dysentery, and exposure had already claimed the lives of many in the Martin Handcart Company, including the family’s beloved father, James, whom Patience later described as "the best of earthly fathers," a man who gave his all in support of his family and faith. These deadly conditions threatened to claim the remainder of the Loader family within a matter of days.
At this critical time of bereavement and peril, Patience received the precious gift of hope. Of this experience she later wrote: It seemed that if God our Father had not sent help to us that we must all have perished and died in a short time...I don’t know how long we could have lived...it was hard pulling the cart. We traveled on all day in the snow...some time in the afternoon a strange man appeared to me as we were resting...He came and looked in my face and said, ’Are you Patience?’ I said, ’yes.’ He said, ’I thought it was you. Travel on. There is help for you. You will come to a good place where there is plenty.’ With this, he was gone; he disappeared. I looked, but never saw where he went...I took this as someone sent to encourage us and give us strength. We traveled on, and when we got into camp, there were five or six of our brethren [to rescue us].
Years later, Patience also declared: The Lord fitted [our] backs for the burden. Every day we realized that the hand of God our Father had promised us these blessings, if we would call on him in faith. We know that His promises never fail, and this we proved day by day. We knew we had strength beyond our own...the still small voice would whisper in my ear, ’as thy day, thy strength shall be.’ (See Recollections of past days: The Autobiography of Patience Loader Rosza Archer by P. L. Archer and S. A. Petree (Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2006). Spelling and punctuation in the statements cited have been standardized.)
Symbolism in There Is Help For You
Today, as millions of people are being forced from their homes to search for freedom and beg for safety—like the Loader family—this painting is an expression of the same message of hope extended to Patience by the Heaven-sent messenger: There is help for you. Heaven is never far away from all who are cast out, never closer than when one suffers.
Despite the freezing snow in which the figure finds herself, she is depicted as if warmed from within, strengthened by Heaven and encouraged by the hope in the comforting assurances of the messenger’s promise.
Her hand, which reaches almost into the viewer’s space, is strong, wiry, and capable. Having been strengthened by God, it is fitted to her burden to which she is yoked in her journey to safety. Resting on a red woolen scarf, the hand reminds us of the strength and power, protection and confidence available to every refugee, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Leaning against the trunk of a big-tooth maple (native to the wildernesses of Wyoming), the figure gazes at three small chickadees alighted on branches overhead. These brightly marked birds are also a symbol of hope, a reminder that hope gives wings of courage to all who seek refuge from storms. The artist painted a fourth chickadee on the handmade frame surrounding the painting (crafted by Ashton R. Young) as a message to every viewer that hope, depicted in the painting, is available to all—much closer than gloom and peril make it seem possible.
The figure’s attire bespeaks the skill Patience possessed as a highly trained and prized seamstress. Echoing the styles of her native Victorian England, her costuming is both sensible and personalized, and is based on a dress worn during a handcart journey of the time. The quality of the costume also suggests the plight of refugees, formerly accustomed to far, far better things.
The model for the painting is a direct descendent from pioneers who traveled West, suffering the terrible ordeals of the Martin Handcart Company.
By Al R. Young only high-end custom frames We have framed our own artworks for more than 30 years, and during that time we have provided a variety of framing services to patrons upon request. For many reasons—including constant changes in the availability of moulding styles—we cannot offer off-the-shelf framing options or response times typically associated with such a service. Of necessity, all of our framing projects are aproached, priced, and billed as constuling projects... Read more »
the story in this painting the creation of this paintingOriginal artworks produced by the Artists of Al Young Studios are part of themed collections because the Studios is organized after the pattern of the Renaissance workshops of the old masters. The Artists take the long view of their work as being a lifetime journey toward mastery of artistic expression through selected techniques, reaching as far back as the 16th century. Artists work as peers in an intensely creative community in which each artist pursues his or her own work as part of the group's philosophy... Read more »
By Al R. Young This blank-book journal sells for $32 (plus shipping) direct from Al Young Studios. Printed in full color on heavy paper, the book is bound with black plastic spiral to rest flat when open.
In Their Footsteps: A Personal Journal features 29 original artworks consisting of 18 original oil paintings from the Artists of Al Young Studios, 2 images from the Studios' Limited Editions Collection, four artworks from Ashton' private portfolio, and five pencil drawings from Al's private portfolio... Read more »
By Al R. Young The original oil painting There Is Help For You, by Elspeth Young, was recently purchased by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Inasmuch as all copyrights to the painting remain the property of the artist, paper prints and giclee-canvas reproductions of the painting will remain available directly and exclusively from Al Young Studios. Requests to publish or otherwise reproduce the image in any manner should also be directed to Al Young Studios.
"Among the most compelling and tragic trails of the Mormon western migration," according to Laura Allred Hurtado, global acquisitions art curator for the Church, "is that of the Willie and Martin handcart companies... Read more »
By Elspeth C. Young There Is Help For You (Patience Loader) was painted by the artist in the studios at BenHaven.
Dimensions (unframed width x height) 40 in. x 58 in.
Milestones Research commences - December 2013 Painting commences - March 2014 Painting completed - March 2016
Equipment Creating a painting often involves creating or modifying tools or making improvements to the studio itself. This painting project necessitated the following activities in terms of tools, supplies, and operations... Read more »
By Al R. Young Elspeth Young’s recently completed oil painting of Patience Loader is featured in the 92nd Annual Spring Salon sponsored by the Springville Museum of Art, Springville, Utah. Out of the nearly 800 artworks submitted, 230 were selected for exhibition. Elspeth was also one of ten artists to receive a cash award for her artwork.
The frame for the painting was created by Ashton Young.
Artworks from the Studios featured in the exhibit:
By Ashton R. Young Ashton Young completed the design and fabrication of this frame in April 2016 in the workshops at BenHaven. The roughness of the frame’s weathered wood represents the handcart and the ruggedness of the subject’s ordeal. Elspeth’s hand-painted chickadee in the lower left of the frame’s liner extends to the viewer the same message of hope represented by the chickadees perched in the tree limbs above the figure.... Read more »