Family History in Art allows family and friends to bring a photograph or a memory they want converted into a painted memory. Macfarlane makes a sketch, and once the client is satisfied, he begins painting. A painting typically takes 30 to 90 days, but if the painting is small and the subject is not too complex, Macfarlane can complete it in two weeks. Popular items include pets, childhood homes and schools, ancestral lands, vacation spots, and vehicles. He finds joy in seeing the reaction of people who receive a preserved memory that can be hung on a wall.
Larry D. Macfarlane (MS ’92), an adjunct communications instructor at BYU, had always thought he would be an art major. By the time he was 5 years old, his parents had recognized his talent for art and supplied him with drawing books and pencils. As a teenager he painted illustrated signs for merchants and spent one summer designing and painting billboards. His senior year in high school he received an art scholarship to BYU.
His interest in creating art rekindled many years later during an annual pilgrimage to visit the art galleries in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where he was inspired by landscape paintings by E. Kimbal Warren (BFA ’78). “I was taken by the subject matter and his painting technique,” says Macfarlane. When he learned that Warren lived in Mapleton, Utah, only a few miles from where Macfarlane lived in Provo, he contacted the artist and asked for lessons. Warren said he did not teach, but Macfarlane persuaded him to make an exception, and for nine months Warren taught him oil painting.