Thursday, November 05, 2009

Weekend in Kohala

Nikko attended a retreat with Rimpoche Anam Thubten, a young Tibetan teacher, up at the Starseed Ranch in Kohala. I went to the introductory talk at the library in Waimea, and even though I liked the Rimpoche a lot, I decided to use the weekend to paint the landscape up north. Since the ranch is very close to the end of the road, I set up my first canvas at the Pololu overlook which is the classic Kohala scene. Then the next day I did it again! I'm attaching some of the "in progress" photos for a look at the technique which I learned from Roger Montoya which is such a great method that I can't seem to find a better way to start a painting. To cut to the chase you just apply the paint right out of the tube before smearing it around with solvent. The trick is to pick out paints that will mix together to give you a mid-range tone from which you can remove highlights and add darker details with a minimum of fuss.

I hooked up with Mary Sky Schoolcraft, a plein air artist who has established a very successful new gallery in Hawi, the Living Arts
Collective. We spent the usual long period of stopping at various locations before finally settling on a view down at Keokea Beach Park. I painted the distant headlands which at first had a clear shot of Haleakala mountain on Maui in the far horizon.

The next morning we trundled down the coast to a spectacular cove called Kapanaia, which was formerly much harder to get to over badly rutted dirt roads. Now it's paved and graded and we could drive right to the overlook. In every direction was a splendid subject for a painting, so I decided on another vertical cross-section of a deep vista from the foreground water to the distant summit of the Kohala Mountains, with the gap of Pololu Valley slicing in from the left.

A big shout out to John and Prakash Flynn, my friends of decades, who own a beautiful, fantastic shop in Hawi called Elements. They were wonderful hosts to Nikko and me and a constant source of inspiration for the professional way they organize and run their gallery.