Nightclub Bowling

Did you know that there was such a thing? I didn't.

To be honest, after spending many mornings each week of my childhood trapped in a bowling alley waiting for my grandmother (who was in a league), I'd grown to loathe bowling alleys. But, to be fair, this was a tad different. First of all, they had martinis, which made up for the really bad hip-hop being blasted out the speakers at dangerous levels.

Plus, more importantly, they had blacklights!

Hush . 8x10 inches . 2010

This was sort of an accompanying piece to Whisper. (not as a set, just in how my mind worked while painting them.)

1. natural lighting (near a sunny window)
2. artificial lighting (regular interior lighting)
3. combined uv and artificial lighting
4. uv lighting only (with a black light)
5. no light (glow in the dark)

I loooove the way it glows in the dark. :o)

I began this piece with the idea of wanting to paint "blacklight colors" in regular lighting, which in my mind meant a lovely, bright, bluish purple.

It was clearly about the moon itself, so I decided to let it stand alone, without any stars or background noise cluttering the view. Like Whisper, I was practicing the art of simplicity with this painting, wanting to keep the single, solitary circle above water the only focus.

There is a bit of crushed glass around the moon, so it does sparkle when you move past it, kind of like the moment when evening stars first begin shining in the sky. But when the lights go out, there's nothing but the full, glowing moon on the horizon.

Totally coincidentally, last night's moon was full and bright and almost blinding to look at. I watched it out my bedroom window for awhile. No stars. Just a huge, majestic, quiet moon.

Hush is now available in my Etsy shop.

The Big Island Chronicles - More Waipio Valley

I told you there would be more. :o) Truthfully, I could talk about Waipi'o Valley all day.

The area floods frequently, which our guides claimed to enjoy. I guess it really cleans the floors in their house. Actually, the area used to have tons of permanent residents (as opposed to the 50 that live there now), up to about 10,000 people. They had churches, restaurants, schools, hotels, a post office, even a jail. But then the worst tsunami in Hawaii's history cleaned the whole place out in 1946. :o( A few moved back in, but then in 1979, it flooded so badly that the whole valley was covered in 4 feet of water from side to side. Fun. Now only the truly dedicated remain.

There was this little doggie -clearly the happiest dog in the entire world- that followed us around throughout the whole ride. He knew the valley inside and out, and would dart sideways into the jungle and disappear, only to reemerge 10 minutes later somewhere else. The horses didn't seem to mind. At one point, our guide instructed him to corral one of the wild mules who was eating the food of the stable horses. This basically involved running up to the mule and barking at it while dodging the mule's hoof as it attempted to stomp on the dog. Though somewhat alarming, the doggie knew what he was doing and wasn't ever in danger of getting squished.

A small point, but he made our horseback riding experience all the merrier. :o)

One of my favorite parts was riding through the little rivers that zigzagged around the valley. Definitely not something you could do easily if you weren't on horseback. Although at one point, poor Kristen got drenched because the river suddenly got so deep that we all had to adjust on our saddles so our legs weren't hanging in the water up to our knees. She was the first person in line, so she took the fall for the rest of us. Thanks, Kristen. My dry shoes appreciated it.

Apparently the locals that live in the valley aren't too keen on tourists invading and poking around. I can understand that. It's a truly bizarre and spiritual place. I wouldn't want anyone who disrespects it coming in either. That's part of why we chose the horseback ride. I think they give more cred' (and have more patience) for the guides who live there, and therefore don't (openly) mock the tourists that are with them.

If you ever decide to take this trip through Waipi'o Valley, I recommend going on the morning ride. The sun making its way up and over the cliffs and then pouring through the trees was something truly magical.

The Big Island Chronicles - Waipio Valley

Pardon the dorky helmets. It had to be done.

Waipio Valley was maybe the most awesome thing I've seen in Hawaii (outside of my magically incredible wedding, of course.) I think we were all stunned into silence.

The trip began after a 2 hour drive from Kailua-Kona early in the morning. We arrived at an art gallery, where we were to be picked up by a guide. Keoni, our guide, grew up in the valley. Much of his family still lives there. He told us not to buckle our seat belts in the 4 wheel drive van. We thought he was kidding until he made it quite clear that he was not. You see, the drive down into the valley is at a 25% incline, and the road is, shall we say, bumpy. Oh, and there's a sharp cliff off one side of the road that leads to the valley floor. His exact words were, "if the brakes fail and we need to bail quickly, you don't want your seat belt fastened."

Okay, Keoni. I trust you.

Either way, we became instantly mesmerized as we made our way down into the valley. At every turn, the awesomeness grew. Waterfalls snaking down the cliffs in all directions, rivers running over the roads, gigantic tropical trees of all varieties, taro farms surrounding the few houses we passed. There's no electricity in Waipio Valley, and only about 50 people actually live there.

Here's the valley view from the ocean, taken from

So we get to the horse stables, and Keoni points out all the wild horses that don't belong to them that like to mill around the stable horses. He encouraged us to take one of the mules home with us. Maybe next time. After a brief lesson in horse riding, Keoni's cousin Rachel brought out horses one by one, which Keoni chose for each rider, based on our height and weight, I think. My horse was named Stoney, and he was AWESOME.

After we were each all horsed up, we set off into the wonderland. And thus began the silence. It was hard to say much, I just couldn't believe everything I was seeing down there. "The light scatters differently here." (Sorry--LOST reference.) But, actually, no, it really does.

We rode down rivers, up trails, and through gorgeous green jungles for about 2 hours. At one point Keoni pulled a perfectly ripe avocado off a tree and cut up slices for each of us to taste. Maybe my brain was a little wonky from the blurred dimensions I was experiencing down there, but I swear it was the tastiest avocado I've ever had in my life.

Truly an amazing experience.

I have more pictures and more stories, but I have to save those for later. The best pictures, which I haven't shown you, will be made into prints. They're so good, I need to save them for later.

I cannot wait to go back to Waipio Valley.

Whisper . 8x10 inches . 2010

1. natural lighting (near a sunny window)
2. artificial lighting (regular interior lighting)
3. combined uv and artificial lighting
4. uv lighting only (with a black light)
5. no light (glow in the dark)

I know this is just a (relatively) little painting, but I've been super excited about it since I started it. I don't even have a particular reason why. I just feel happy when I look at it.

If you've followed my art for any length of time, I'm sure you're aware that I really love shades of teal and aqua. I just want to float around in them. They look so peaceful to me.

Plus, I get a very Zen vibe from the design. Actually, this was straight up an interpretation of a simple enso, or Zen circle. I specifically intended to make a piece that represented as much simplicity as I could handle at the time. Simplicity is often difficult for me to grasp, but it's a style I find intriguing. It's something I'd like to practice occasionally.

Anyway. That's not why either.

The real reason I'm so happy with this painting is because it turned out exactly like I imagined it would. Exactly like I wanted it to. That never happens. Even on paintings that I adore. They always end up somewhat different than I intended, because of various factors that I simply couldn't account for ahead of time. This piece followed my direction every step of the way. :o)

Okay, maybe "never" is an exaggeration, but it's rare. The process is invigorating when it happens though. There is no struggle, just freedom in the art. I'm allowed to step away from the actual work involved to create the painting and fully enjoy the fluidity of my imagination.

To an artist, that's very exciting.

Whisper is available in my Etsy shop.