Inspiration is not always timely or convenient for me. I knew I wanted to enter something into the Hawai'i Nei art show opening this friday at the Wailoa Center in Hilo (opening reception 5-7), but I didn't know that when the impulse congealed it would be in the form of three huge canvases, 4' x 6'. I'd always wanted to depict one of the massive koa trees that grow in isolated locations on the Hawaiian Islands. These trees are so huge and old that often their limbs bend down to the ground in graceful curves like branches in a Japanese screen. So I finally decided, "if not now, when?" and got to work.
Into the branches of the koa tree I painted a Hawaiian Hawk, or io, and a few i'iwi and amakihi songbirds. I'm not sure that the little birds would actually fly so close to the fierce bird of prey.
I had to deliver the painting in separate components which I screwed together into a big folding screen since none of the walls at the center are large enough. While there I was surprised to find that several other gallery artists had entered and gotten into the show!
The Hawai'i Nei show just moved from its original location at the Volcano Art Center, and was shepherded to its new home by the familiar gallery personnel Ter and Fia. It's a great showcase for native species lovers, regardless of their professional experience.