Sunday, December 30, 2012

Final Day: Departure

Watching the sun set in the lava rock field.

It's time to leave this paradise. One more trip this morning to the beach to soak in the very last rays of sun before I fly into those Northeastern snowstorms. What an amazing adventure this has been. I'm on a creative high which I hope propels me into new art adventures in the new year.

None of this would have been possible without my baby brother. There are not enough words to gather and put together to express my gratitude for such an amazing opportunity to grow as both and artist and person. So I will just say, "Thank you."

Driving to the beach with my baby bro!

Day Ten: Rocks

Im a rock picker. Needless to say the beaches of Maui provided many coral and stone inspirations. Although I "picked" some stone on the island, Im leaving the stones I picked as there is a myth here that states if you remove stones from the island you'll have bad luck. No need to tempt superstition so only the coral will come home with me. What I'll do with it remains a mystery, but Im extremely inspired by all of it. Im going to make something with it all, I just don't know what yet.

Beach in Maui where I found the
most beautiful coral pieces.

Im very inspired by all these pieces.

And yup, some were even heart shaped!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Days Eight & Nine: Lessons

Days eight and nine found me experiencing many lessons on many different levels. Every experience you have and every person you meet along your journey is suppose to be on your path for varied reasons.

Some lessons within the last two days have been strange yet, also healing in a way. In the evening of the ninth day I found myself in a very loud and happy bar. There was a huge variety of people to draw and I of course had my sketchbook handy. I was most pulled to people of Hawaiian decent because their facial features were unlike anything I had ever drawn before. They posed a most difficult challenge for me because the features broke drawing rules I had become comfortable with. The first of the drawings below successful capture what I was trying to draw. This was, by far, my most difficult live bar sketching session ever.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day Five, Six and Seven: Ocean

Entrance to Little Beach.

The last few days have been about the ocean. I have not wanted to go anywhere else on the island but to the beach. There has been something so very soothing and healing in both the water and the rays of the sun on the Maui beaches that I fear once I have to leave the island I will crave these moments the most. I felt it best to get as many beach days in as possible. The beach is especially nice when I hear its snowing back home. Sand on my feet instead of snow in my boots is so much more welcome.

Of course I had to try my hand at a classic beach scene. Such scenes are difficult and in reviewing the painting process of this one Im not sure what makes them so difficult. Is it the contrast of color between the blues and whites of the waves? Or is it just such a worn out scene that has played in the minds of men for centuries that makes such a scene a challenge. I have no answers but it was a fun exercise, none-the-less. I documented the painting process.

Little Beach.

Big Beach

Painting Step-by-step

"The Ocean"
4" x 4"
Acrylic on canvas.

Monday, December 24, 2012

"Christmas Eve"
Graphite and pencils on paper.

....not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse....

An Extra Thought on Day Four

Fire dancing on Little Beach.

No matter how young or old never forget your passion or let anyone steal it from you.

Out of all the fire dancers I enjoyed watching last night on Little Beach, this young boy was my favorite. He had amazing passion, even after burning himself slightly.
I was thankful for the reminder.

Young fire dancer.

Day Three & Four: Hana

Days three and four found me traveling up into the mountains of Maui along the smallest and windiest road I've ever been on. An enormously long and tiring trip all to get to the teeny town of Hana which features both black and red sand beaches. The road to Hana also provided some of the most breath taking waterfalls.

Although I was most excited to see enormous waterfalls, the stops that were "tactile" were my favorite and I found some strange healing in both the sands of the black sand beach in Hana and of the trees deep in the rainforest. I had never seen anything like either of these amazing sights. I couldn't stop touching the trees and the black sand beach was something I just had to see and feel on my feet one more time before making the three hour venture off the mountain.

These are only a few of the many photos I took on the excursion:

Black sand beach in Hana.

Contrast of feet in the sand
on the black sand beach of Maui.

Another shot of the black sand beach.
Beautiful contrasts.

Red sand beach

Amazing tree in Maui.

Bamboo forest in Maui.

Waterfalls in Hana

Heart shaped coral and rocks found on far.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day Two: Color Overload

Makeshift workspace.

I woke early around 5 A.M. to find that I couldn't contain my urge to paint all the colors I had seen the previous day. I can work from both photographs and real life and since I had taken many photos the day before I decided to pick one view that I loved the moment I viewed it.

This was a lookout point where we went whale watching. This area is where the whales come to have their babies. Saw a few come up out of the water and that was exciting. What I loved (and hated once I started painting this piece) was the texture and colors in the mountain. It was an extreme challenge to paint. I've actually restarted the piece on a bigger canvas as I don't feel 100% happy with this result.

Painting Step-by-step

"Lookout Point"
Maui Hawaii
Acrylic on canvas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day One: Breaking Misconceptions

Locals place a bowl in the sand and fill it with fresh water for the birds. I was intrigued. We are bringing a bowl of our own tomorrow.

I have a scar from a c-section. A necessary evil from a very frightening experience that if not done would have resulted in the death of two people. See, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my son's neck three times and the only solution was an emergency c-section. Since that day I've been extremely embarrassed by my scar. It changed my body and the perception of who I was forever. I was a woman with an embarrassing scar and a woman who couldn't give birth naturally.

I've hated my scar for years now. I've been utterly embarrassed by it so when my brother mentioned we'd be visiting his favorite beach on the island of Maui during my vacation to Hawaii I got scared. The beach that he held close to his heart was a nakkid beach and I'd have to own up to my hating of my body and of hating my scar. So much time had passed from the day they cut me open to pull out my son and so much had changed in my life that I was confused as to why I hated my body so much, but like a lot of women I had to now confront my dislike and deal with whatever bothered me. The reality was my brother was taking me to a nakkid beach and I was to own up to any feelings I had for the body and circumstances God had given me.

After I fed the Sparrows half my sandwich
they nestled in the sand and napped next to me. I was in heaven.

Sketching on Little Beach

Everyone on the beach was nakkid. Old, young, thin, fat, hung, small, big boobs, small boobs, fake boobs and all the in between were on that beach enjoying the natural surroundings and the calm the ocean of Maui brought. As I sat there with my clothing on I realized how much I wanted to be free of these ill thoughts of my body. When I looked around with my artist's eye I realized that there was not one body that wasn't beautiful enough for me to draw. That all before me was as God made it...and that was, good. God made us good. We are the ones that distort the beauty.

I lost my bathing suit and found myself in the soothing and healing waters of the Pacific with everyone else. There were men, women, and children all nakkid in the water. We were all playing, talking, splashing and diving waves. Some of us were even body surfing. We were all as God made us and there was a sense of freedom in this experience. A freedom from all the garbage media and life has thrown into the works which muck a beautiful, natural flow. A flow that God intended. I finally found love for my body at this beach. I am how God made me. Perfect even with my scar and all my other imperfections.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Now Boarding

Rough sketch. Ball point pen on paper.

The whole process of air travel both intrigues and scares me. As I type, I am currently watching the plane I'll be on being led to the loading area. I have no idea what the proper names of all this "stuff" or "formalities" are called all I know is that plane is pretty big.

I wish I could just close my eyes and be there or better yet click pretty shiny heels, or I just had wings to take me to where I want to go, but Im afraid I'll have to endure air travel on a huge metal plane.

Gate 45 now boarding.

I guess I'm leaving on a jet plane.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winter Landscape

I really haven't been in the holiday spirit this year, but I have longed to see more snow. The colors that appear when and after the snow has fallen are so beautiful. It has only snowed once so far this season. I eagerly await the next snowfall. The colors from this painting were taken from my memory.

Acrylic on Archival Bristol Board.

Sonnet XLVI
Pablo Neruda

Of all the stars I admired, drenched
in various rivers and mists,
I chose only the one I love.
Since then I sleep with the night.

Of all the waves, one wave and another wave,
green sea, green chill, branchings of green,
I chose only the one wave,
the indivisible wave of your body.

All the water drops, all the roots,
all the threads of light gathered to me here;
they came to me sooner or later.

I wanted your hair, all for myself.
From all the traces my homeland offered
I chose only your savage heart.