Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Big Island Paintings













I received a request several weeks ago from a customer at HawaiiArt.com to show her what paintings of the Big Island I have available at this time. I stalled for so long that perhaps she has found another artist to collect, but nevertheless here is a group of my paintings from the gallery. For a price list one could email me directly at arthurjohnsen@hotmail.com or aj@arthurjohnsen.com.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New at the Gallery

Yesterday Cosette brought in this amazing large orchid painting, Go Cosette!! We hung it high on a wall but will have to find a more prominent place for it soon.









I took some photos of the gallery windows, full of my hanging "ornaments," many of which are actually small paintings that happen to be two-sided and hanging on a line so they spin in the breeze. Call me crazy, but the holiday season gives me an excuse to be craftsy and creative in that more graphic and abstract way. You can also see a few of my new pareo prints.

I also photographed "my" wall, just as a record of how it looks at the moment. The large Kaua'i painting of Hanalei Bay needs to get shipped off to Germany soon. I'm hoping to trade out most of the other island paintings for Big Island, botanical or figurative themes soon.


Monday, December 10, 2007

My New Mexico paintings









Whew, Amy does go on, doesn't she (referring to the Hilo Plein Air schedules which Tuko is nice enough to post here, by far the longest entries on this blog)??

I had several exciting weeks of painting New Mexico landscapes with Roger Montoya, but unfortunately visited without my camera battery charger, and so of course I had only enough juice for this one photo of a chamisa, the famous yellow flower of a southwest fall season). The aspens were going off in the mountains and up north in Crested Butte, Colorado, where we drove up for half a week, but along the Rio Grande the cottonwood trees were only just starting to turn color. Nevertheless we both did about twenty paintings each....

Tuko joined us for a few paintings, one of which she is putting into the PAPOH show next month on Maui.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Mexico




Since Arthur's computer is in the shop I decided to put some photos on this blog of our recent trip to New Mexico. We painted a lot of chamisa, a wild flower that were in bloom and flourish a lot along dry riverbeds. Here's Arthur with Roger Montoya, a painter and friend who lives in New Mexico.

Funny thing is that I swam today in Kona and noticed that the chamisa also looked a lot like the coral beds in A Bay.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Roughin it up

The clients really really like the photo of my triptych in Mary Philpott's book, Hawai'i, A Sense of Place. In particular they like the antique look of the paintings. What is hard to explain is that that look was a complete accident at the time and is very difficult to duplicate. So what I did today was take the whole canvas off the stretcher bars, soak it in a sinkful of water, crumple it up and beat it with a mallet. It still didn't get that pattern of cracks in it, but it does look a bit less shiny and new. All that soaking made it shrink a bit so now that it is restretched it has an uneven edge of canvas that I painted with the foundation terra cotta color, which I think is pretty cool....


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Legend of the Mo'o sisters

As usual with my big commissions of late I have been poring over my books on the Nabis (Bonnard and his group) and the Symbolists (Gauguin and his followers) for inspiration. The Nabi painters did a lot of very decorative work in Paris in the early 1900s but their work is more dabby and free than one thinks of as Art Nouveau. So here I am trying to adapt this European take on Japanese art for a Polynesian legend, quite a strange train of influence. This painting is for prints which will be hung over a kitchen bar area in time share units, and so it should hold up to scrutiny at close quarters. I tend to feel my way through these projects not really knowing exactly what I am doing, so it's not an automatic guarantee that the brushwork will be much to look at but hopefully the overall feeling will be nostalgic and evocative.






Here is Alaina deHavilland's poster for a coffee festival this Saturday over at the Four Seasons in Ka'upulehu, north Kona, which I'll be attending with Tuko as token artists displaying our work and hopefully drumming up some interest in the gallery.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

my commission


I always thought it would be fun to document a painting in progress, maybe hourly, and make an animation showing it all coming together. Now actually of course on YouTube you can find thousands of way more interesting visuals. But anyway here, in the spirit of that idea, is an updated photo of my current canvas, acrylics on linen.

(This is for some timeshare units in Waikoloa)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Gail a'paintin







I stayed overnight Wednesday at the gallery so I could meet with a model Thursday morning. She is a fine Hawaiian beauty named Alona and she agreed to model for my Mo'o figures in my current commission. Mo'o are the Hawaiian lizard creatures in legends and can be fierce, but these particular mo'o took the form of beautiful women living happily in a brackish pond in north Kona (South Kohala, really). Pele heard how beautiful they were, and of course sent lava down to destroy their world and turn them into rocks, where they remain to this day. Alona and I met at some beautiful brackish ponds in Keaukaha, Hilo's balmy oceanfront neighborhood.

Coincidentally the Hilo plein air group was meeting in the same place -- Leleiwi Beach Park -- and so I did my usual painting alongside Gail. I remembered to get a picture of Gail but forgot to get one of me and my version right next to her. Maybe I'll add it later.....