I am a bit conflicted here, posting these paintings progress shots. They are still a long way from being finished and, although I have hinted at their development I wanted to keep them private until their reveal. But something my wife taught me made me want to share them.

She told me that we all need a form of relaxation. She noticed that I seem to have grown more impulsive as I became more involved in various things, and that I always seemed to be on “yellow alert”. I seemed consumed with thinking about things I should be doing.

This kept me from working on my hobbies. When the times came that I was almost driven to pick up a paintbrush she began to notice a pattern in me: As I painted I relaxed, became more fun to be around, and slept better. My irritability and anxiety lessened.

This echoes Boyd K. Packer’s observation of the healing effect of carving birds from wood. With all the things he had to do, this additional thing he did added peace and richness to his life and the lives of those around him.

I am going to continue experimenting with this. Hopefully this will enable me to engage with life more meaningfully and effectively and to perhaps be more in tune. Maybe it will work for you.

Just an FYI.

Books and Paintings

A few updates:

For the last several weeks, as I have gained some confidence in my service opportunities, I have also been able to work on two oil paintings. It will be quite a while before I have anything to show but they look good so far.

My Welltower books are in need of serious re-editing, which I will do at some point.

In the Garden
In the Garden

My painting “In the Garden”, which I completed in early 2014, will be displayed in the LDS Church’s 10th Annual International Art Competition. It will be displayed in the LDS Church History Museum from September 2015-August 2016.


As of this date, I have removed all sales options for my books and artwork. No new products are in the pipeline. Thank you so much for your support!

-Lester Yocum, 2 April 2015


My wife just shared with me ideas from the 2012 book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking”, which she checked out from the library.

Ideas shared so far:

  • The word “personality” didn’t exist until the 19th century and didn’t come into popular usage until the 20th.
  • Prior to the 1920s marketing and sales booms, the culture of character predominated. It promoted citizenship, duty, work, golden deeds, honor, reputation, morals, manners, and integrity.
  • After the 1920s the culture of personality took prominence, which celebrated being seen as magnetic, fascinating, stunning, attractive, glowing, dominant, forceful, and energetic.

I am not a shill for the book but I find the concepts transformative and very valuable for leaders in any field, including faith and business.

Eternal Companionship

Living Room CouchThis afternoon, between phone calls, text messages and various responsibilities, my wife and I laid down on our living room couch and stayed there, her head on my shoulder, the cat on my lap, for half an hour or so. We said nothing, we did nothing, we just drew strength and peace from each other. And then we went back to our duties.

What a marvelous gift is my eternal companion.

Festival of Lights

Festival of LightsAdobe Illustrator

Digital poster for a competition at the Washington, D.C. Temple Visitors Center many years ago. Their Festival of Lights each December is a great treat to see!


Pumpkin Cat

Pumpkin CatAdobe Illustrator, 1994
Featured in MacWorld Illustrator 6 Bible, 2nd Edition, by Ted Alspach, 1995.

Original artwork for my own line of greeting cards many years ago.