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The Newport Beach California Temple is one of a series of detailed pencil drawings and paintings created by the artist Chad S. Hawkins. In 1989, at the age of seventeen, Chad started this unique temple series, becoming the original LDS artist to involve hidden spiritual images in his artwork.
The temple rests on over eight acres adjacent to a meetinghouse and nature preserve. Covering the temple is a massive amount of attractive granite called “Salsbury Pink.” The color of this unique granite seems to gradually evolve throughout each day’s changing weather conditions. The splendor of colors often displayed in the sky along the Southern California coast is emphasized within this painting. The artist toured the temple and its grounds months prior to the temple’s completion. After spending a day on the grounds and surrounding hills, he decided to render the temple with a perspective highlighting the temple’s architectural beauty and landscaping.
In the temple, members are taught more about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the purpose of life. To remind one of the importance of the Savior in temple work, the artist has subtly rendered the Savior surrounded by his apostles among the landscaping beneath the temple’s entrance. This scene is patterned after the sculpture placed above the temple’s main entrance. Additional hidden imagery within the painting reflects aspects of the temple’s location. Due to the temple’s relative close proximity to the coast, the clouds on the left side of the painting depict the familiar form of an ocean wave. Although orange trees are not found on the temple grounds, one orange tree was painted near the temple’s entrance referencing the “Orange County” location.