The "art world" in Hawaii is pre-occupied
with "Postcard art"... art that addresses current times and I was Here! Holiday
or post card art. I would like to think of my work as art of the "eternal
now", a state where one becomes one with the experience of the moment.
My abstract art Attempts to draw on an inner world and
produce the most absorbing paintings that bring across the feeling of a
highly beautiful transcendental universe. Are my works masterpieces? Well, maybe some of them - indeed
respected artists have told me when visiting my studio - "This work is a
masterpiece - do not sell it, at least not for a low sum." It is hard to
say what is a masterpiece - especially in this day and age when the focus on
the quality of workmanship and craftsmanship in art has changed. Are there
masterpieces being produced today? Have I painted a masterpiece? This
is not for me to say, and only for history to judge, which I hope will be
kind to me.
Trees: Banyan Trees, Palm Trees, Koa Trees, Mankind has a
connection with trees since the earliest time... this is born out in Bible
with the references to the different trees in the Garden of Eden.The tree paintings are an allusion to the human condition...
roots anchored in the ground, head in the heavens... arms (branches)
reaching to the sky. The paintings of trees are an exploration... the search
continues.... painting trees goes on and is not related to the ethnic group
from which the artist comes. Is this "Hawaiian Art?" Definitely, as
the term "Hawaiian Art" and "Hawaiian Painting" defines the geographical
location from where the art comes, and since the work is of the Hawaiian
landscape, this also relates to the content of the paintings.
Plein air: Working directly from nature, from direct
observation is the essence of plein air painting. Nature is the teacher,
provides the answers, lighting, color, lightness and darkness and values. No need to invent - rather, in plein air, not to impose the
artist's ego on nature, yet to be receptive, observant. In plein air,
through developing the powers of observation, a greater sensitivity to
visual nuances emerges.
Portraits: I paint faces but not portraits. The human face is
possibly of the most fascinating landscape, each line, shape and angle
revealing a lifetime of experience, thought and emotion. It is all there -
we just have to look and put it down on the canvas, Normally, we may not
gaze at a person's face, as it is impolite, disrespectful and elicits
difficult responses. Yet, the portrait painter receives a license to do
this, and in painting the paintings are the record, the universal spirit
recognized in all beings and creation. From this level of awareness,
phenomenal manifestation of the play of the forces existent in creation.
Expressionist: One sees these as but mere labels, tags, attached names, which people fight over and in a more
fundamental level of reality have no real existence, but are mere appended
labels. Is there really a "Hawaiian art" or is their just "art" per se with
no labeling? Is there a "Hawaiian artist" or is there just an artist? When
you contemplate an artist or any human being, he/she is only a human...
there is nothing "more Discerned in his/her biology. So one producing
"Hawaiian art" or "Any art" is producing art whose content transcends the
labels of "Hawaiian art" or "any other art". Universal art is the basis.
Critics and political beings may attach the labels. Shouldn’t we strive for
that which is pure?
Painting is not dead, nor should working with paint on canvas
be considered anachronistic. The tradition of painting is a continuing and
developing one. Progress is yet to be made, building on the work of the
great painters of the not-too-distant past.
It would seem that the advent of the "ready-made" earlier in
the last century, has usurped the value of craftsmanship in art. I believe
that this is a detour from the path. It is only a matter of time in which
innovation for the sake of innovation alone will fall by the wayside. The
true values of art will survive, as art strives for eternity.
My landscapes are both painted in the open air and my studio.
The work progresses through the direct process of observing nature. Opening
the eyes so greater depths of color and spatial relationship appear. While
in the field, what takes place on the canvas seems as a reduced reflection
of all that is experienced. Yet when viewed back in the confines of the
studio, it is clear that the canvas has brought back the vitality of the
Sometimes I feel that it is the landscape, which has painted
itself, not the by me. I have been but a medium through which the landscape
has been painted as a record recorded of its presence.
One of the joys of painting is the endless combination that
the paint, color and texture manifest on the canvas. When successfully
different colors go into vibration or oscillation with each other. Layers of
paint are built up with various degrees of transparency creating
unpredictable new effects. I like a good, textured, painting which gives you
the sense that there is something more than the image itself. Monet is said to have put each canvas aside, and pulled it
out when the particular atmospheric/lighting effect appeared. A particular
canvas was earmarked for only a certain atmospheric effect, and thus he
would not work on it under a set of conditions different than those he had
decided to be suitable for that piece. This is wild, but I haven't
completely figured it out as yet.
I have continued with the same canvas under varied
conditions, all of these conditions adding up in terms of layers of paint,
one over the other, contributing to an unforeseen final mood which is born
from all the different painting sessions coming into harmony not without
conflict having taken place between these same layers/sessions, and their
traces evident along with their resolution. I have held back some canvases
for over fifteen years waiting for the right moment to finish it
Hawaiian Reef #42 Humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua'a is one of them .
Time seems to be an indispensable element of the work. Time has no meaning.
The span of time from the beginning of the canvas until the realization of
its completion has no predetermined time line. Time is necessary to see all
the subtleties in the work and develop the feeling for what alterations or
modifications are to be made for all the parts of the painting to live
together in harmony.
This time is also necessary for separating the painter's labor of the
painting from the intensity of feelings that accompanied the earlier act of
bringing the raw unfinished painting to be on the canvas. At that earlier
stage is identified with the stimuli outside of the canvas, and during that
period, when viewing the painting, I will see more the external stimuli,
than the work itself on the canvas. This could be for better or for worse...
Yet, the same canvas may communicate absolutely nothing to another viewer.
Thus, only once I have put the work out of his sight and over the course of
time allowed that memory of the experience to fade, and then I would be able
to once again look at the work and see it on its own merits and make
decisions on how to proceed.
It would seem that this passage of time is in effect another layer of paint
- in this case invisible, but not entirely intangible - which goes on to the
canvas and becomes part of the totality of your work.
Most of the paintings are for sale. An artist must survive, and as such he
must sell works to buy time to create new paintings. So, please be
encouraged to buy my works and become a part of this creative process.
Paintings that are no longer available are indicated in the caption below
the image as being sold, however, if prints are available it will be
About lighting: Light is the key - lighting varies with time of day and
accents different shapes and features. Light through clouds like a spot
light on one area of the landscape highlighting it in contrast to the
surroundings. Lighting of the paintings is of utmost importance - good
lighting will make the painting work, poor lighting will hide what is there.
Atmospheric factors change the light and the softness or hardness of view.
Monet and the Impressionists including greats like Pissaro, Sisley, Morrisot
showed us to connect with nature in a fresh way. Kandinsky showed us the
Spiritual in Art to be true to our inner self.
Modern Impressionist painting and impressionism in landscape painting and
landscape paintings also has elements of expressionism and/or expressionist
tendencies contemporary art. Figurative art and figurative painting is a
non-abstract where the paintings are a window to the world. Representational
art and representational paintings more specifically.