When I said in the last post that I hadn’t done any art in the last two years, that wasn’t quite true. Here’s a graphic that I was lucky enough to work on earlier in the year with Patrick Ching. The Hawaii Audubon Society commissioned him to create an on-site informational display at their Freeman Seabird Preserve at Black Point on Oʻahu.
Patrick is a monster talent in my opinion, very exacting in his work, very hands on. But he trusts me enough to collaborate on projects with him sometimes, which is a great honor for me. He sends me his drawings and I do my best to render them, mostly in Photoshop.
Thanks Patrick for the opportunity…
Wow. Two and a half years since my last post. WTF? Embarrassing!
I wonder if I can remember how to do this?
Back in October of 2013 we had to close down our shop in Waimea, and along with it went my back room workshop/studio. Since then it’s been a non-stop hustle…moving and shaking and trying to keep our humble little enterprise alive. It’s been slow going, and my artwork had to take a backseat.
Meanwhile, something interesting and unexpected came about that has been satisfying my otherwise suppressed creative urges. I started making furniture out of old construction waste. I don’t even remember how it started. I think it was when we opened our Kona store in a space formerly occupied by a strip club. I had to demo the stripper stages and found myself with all this scrap lumber. I made a stout worktable out of it and then on to the next thing and then the next.
I was inspired by my Uncle Mana, who learned from his dad, who was a plantation carpenter. These guys would come in, find out what a family needed and BAM there it was – a house full of furniture made from whatever material was at hand.
Anyway, here’s some of the pieces I’ve made recently…
So here’s the first carving I made since the big shake-up at the Artists’ Guild, which doesn’t mean anything to you because I hardly even bother keeping up with this thing. In fact I’m not sure if this post is even going to work.
So one time I was knee deep in the river that runs through Waipiʻo Valley, helping my friend scatter the ashes of his young son in the water. OK. That was random. But there was this old Hawaiian man with us and he said something very comforting. He told us what Waipiʻo means. It means circling water. Not like in a whirlpool. But like how it comes down as rain, and falls off the cliffs in those long waterfalls, and runs down the valley in the river and out to sea, where it goes back up into the sky and starts the cycle all over again. What a good thought to have when you’re saying goodbye to a daerly departed, as he winds his way out into the waves.
After I was finished carving this piece, the name of it seemed obvious to me: Waipiʻo
This started as one fat piece of cowbone and now itʻs four pieces all linked together. Pretty steep learning curve, but it ended up alright.
Can’t believe how fast this year is flying by. I can get downright morbid when I think about it.
Teeth flying out of my head like rats off a sinking ship.
There’s a list of images in my head that need carving or painting or drawing, and I feel the need to get to them before I, you know, croak or something. So these are the kind of thoughts that go through my mind when i’ve been too busy to do the art.
But here’s one I finished a couple of weeks ago.
- Mo’o Wahine – Cow Bone
Patrick Ching just held two amazing oil painting workshops over at the WAG studio space this weekend. Two one-day sessions were held upstairs in the printshop with five students in each. The youngest students were seven years old and the oldest was eighty four! Patrick is such a great artist and a wonderful teacher. I took a class with him two years ago and made my first ever oil painting. Never got around to finishing it because HOEA started two weeks later and I’ve been consumed with carving ever since. So here’s my second try, humble though it may be.
It coud be habit forming…
Merrie Monarch is right around the bend…
Don’t know if this gnawing anxiety is justified or not. Such visibility, and the need to impress in this of all venues. One quails at the thought. And then one has another cup of coffee. I mean itʻs just an art market right? And I’m an artist.
Thank God I’m coming out of so strong a corner. Thanks Beth, Aunty K, Nelson, Aunty Jenn, Mom and Dad. My God I might have to weep…
Anyway, while laying out a certificate of authenticity for these prints I’m making I got sidetracked. Ok I was procrastinating. But I came up with this trifle that I thought I’d share with you, my vast reading audience (Geoff):
Oh and er uh…In case you haven’t made it over to the carving page, here’s the last one, finished it last Friday:
Gonna try for one more before we go to the show next week.
Pretty stoked with this one. Just finished it today. It, along with the Lua Man and the Wahine*, comes from a book called Hawaiian Sculpture by J. Halley Cox with William H. Davenport (1974, University of Hawaii Press). The pictures in the book are intriguing and I’ve felt compelled to recreate some of them to the best of my ability. This one here was just wildly inspiring. Wish I could have seen the real things as references. But they’re interpretations, and I had a blast…
* Check out Lua Man and Wahine on the Carvings page.
Kala mai a mea culpa. I originally made this post last Friday and erroneously refered to the Merrie Monarch Festival and Invitational Arts Fair as a “crafts fair”. Sorry Nelson. The gang from Waimea Artists’ Guild has been invited to this prestigious event. We’ll be at booth #106 in the Butler Building. I donʻt have much inventory but together we should make a decent debut.
The photo and my rendition
The transfer to bone.
An early stage.
The finished pendant.
Ok so that’s it for now…
Here are some family portraits to cheer up my friend Steve Lum in the high cold Rockies. Chin up little trooper…
This is the latest piece I carved over at the workspace. It’s called Laulima, or Five Leaves in my mangled Hawaiian. We just had the advanced cordage workshop last weekend and Beau Jack Key lashed it for me. Thanks Beau for lashing something that had no thought at all put into how it was going to be hung. Well done.
And speaking of the workspace, we actually have a registered name for it now, “Waimea Artists’ Guild”, and here’s the logo I drew for it yesterday. We’s Bona Fide!
A bookplate I made tonight. Finished a carving two days ago after not working in the studio for two months. No pictures yet. Got two more started and drawings for about a dozen more. Good to be excited again…