Sunday, September 22, 2019

Waimea Valley Botanica Gardens and the Famous Waimea Bay

Gardens and flowers 
have a way of bringing people together, 
drawing them from their homes.
~Clare Ansberry

Lucinda Keller
Sunset Beach, O'ahu (2018)
Oil on wood panel with metal leafing

The painting of plumeria was done for my December 2018 solo show, Through Time and Place: 5 Decades.

Waimea Bay 
Spring 2018

This first shot of Waimea Bay was looking from the side of the Kamehameha Highway. As you can see the notorious waves of Waimea aren't always pumping. Sometimes it's the perfect place for a swim! In fact, as mentioned in my Sea Turtle post, this is where I got to swim with one!

The next two photos are from the Haiau up above Waimea Bay and Valley and looking toward Kaena Point.

Below, the Waimea River has run into the estuary.

There is a road you turn on from the Kamehameha Hwy that leads you up the river. You'll be greeted by the Waimea Valley Geese, no doubt!

So gorgeous and lush!

Waimea Valley Botanical Garden
"Waimea Valley is a botanical garden, historic and cultural site with a 45 foot waterfall located on the North Shore of O’ahu, Hawai’i.  It is a 1,875 acre ahupua‘a, a division of land stretching from the mountains to the sea.  Waimea Valley has gone through many changes throughout its history and today many of the historic and cultural sites are surrounding by a world class botanical garden stretching over 300 acres ... Waimea Valley is the home of more than 5,000 documented kinds of tropical and subtropical plants including native and endangered Hawaiian plants."

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that both times I was there I went to the farmers' market and never made it all the way in to the Botanical Garden, nor the hike to famous waterfall. You'll see, however, that just being in the Peacock Pavilion area, it is filled with birds and incredible flora.

During the Thursday night Farmers' Market there was a wonderful man playing Hawaiian music, food, produce and artisans selling handmade jewelry, clothes and all sort of other goodies. 

You can tell that Shannon and I were enjoying ourselves!

Alae ‘Ula
also referred to Hawaiian Moorhen or Gallinula
status: Endangered
total population: 300-500 individuals on Kaua'i and O'ahu

This little guy was so friendly and just sat there while Shannon and I took a bunch of photos. He changed positions, turned around and walked up and down the vine covered fence. I had no idea this species is so endangered! 

"The Hawaiian Common Gallinule was listed as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1967; it's also listed as endangered at the state level. The filling, dredging, and draining of wetlands in Hawai'i has greatly reduced the amount of habitat available for the gallinule, limiting their distribution and abundance. 
Introduced predators such as cats, mongooses, bullfrogs, and turtles are another problem for the ground-feeding birds. And climate change, particularly rising sea level, threatens the  species' low-lying coastal habitat." - American Bird Conservancy   

Individually, we are one drop.
Together, we are an ocean.
~Ryunosuke Satoro
Peace lilies! These are great for your home air quality!


Spot the bee in this next one? I don't think Trumpet flowers are endemic to Hawaii but they sure are groovy.

More on the Botanicals in the Valley and gardens ...

Queen Emma Lily

Ti plant, Cordyline fruticosa

You can see how beautiful it is! Waimea Valley is also an incredibly important religious and cultural area for Hawaii. This video shows shrines, a temple site, deities, a cooking house, old original walls, and other places of historic importance for the Hawaiians. 

Alpinia Purpurate, Red Ginger flower. It was magnificent!

Spider lily, Crunum

Tiny Red Crested Cardinal

OK, so this next little guy was kind of hilarious. Truth is, at first it looked like a chicken running around with his head cut off. Actually, I thought maybe he was hit by a car in the parking lot and was still running around! He was a cool little feller who hid his face in those black feathers. I looked online and it looks quite like a silver laced Polish chicken.

I love the black and white scalloped feathers on his back and wings. Reminds me of a certain vintage Dior gown from the 1950s, but I digress ...

This red hibiscus was spectacular!

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly
our whole life would change.

Waimea Bay Estuary

Waimea Bay Beach Park!

I love to get a sketch session in whenever I can. It slows down the moment and helps me to be present, even when it's just a very loose and quick scribble!

There is so much more to explore in Waimea Valley. I hope to go back one day and take in more of the culture and see additional rare and endangered species that they are working so hard to preserve.

Here's a fascinating documentary by the American Bird Conservancy narrated by Richard Chamberlain. It explains how birds and other flora and fauna first came to the Hawaiian Islands and how they adapted and evolved. But, it also explains how "Thirty-three of Hawai‘i's remaining 44 endemic birds are listed under the Endangered Species Act; 11 of those have not been seen for decades and are likely extinct."

This a pretty good overview video of visiting Waimea Valley but it's by Hawaiian Airlines so the touristy nature of the voiceover leaves something to be desired. If you are enjoying the views and want to see more of what's in the Valley then I think it is worth watching. ;-)

Hope you enjoyed the visit!

Waimea Valley Falls and Botanical Garden

Blessings, Light and Aloha!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Honolulu Museum of Art ~ Art Inspiration of the Islands

"Many things are so beautiful that they don’t seem real. 
My idea of the world—nature—things that grow ... "
~ Georgia O'Keeffe, 
letter from Hawaii to her husband Alfred Stieglitz

George Rickey
Two Open Rectangles Excentric, 1977
Burnished steel, 31' x 11'
(Balanced with counterweights, it moves with the wind!)

Honolulu Museum of Art
Opened to the public in 1922

This is a wonderful museum in Honolulu with a beautiful and varied art collection. I actually joined the museum when I was there, hoping to be able to spend more time. If I was an O'ahu resident I think I would practically be living there! You'll see why.

"The museum’s permanent collection has grown from 500 works to more than 50,000 pieces spanning 5,000 years, with significant holdings in Asian art, American and European painting and decorative arts, 19th- and 20th-century art, an extensive collection of works on paper, Asian textiles, and traditional works from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas." - from the website

Beautiful flowers as you enter the museum ...

"That our children of many nationalities and races, born far from the centers of art, may receive an intimation of their own cultural legacy and wake to the ideals embodied in the arts of their neighbors....that Hawaiians, Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Northern Europeans and all other people living here, contacting through the channel of art those deep intuitions common to all, may perceive a foundation on which a new culture, enriched by the old strains may be built in the islands."
—Anna Rice Cooke’s dedication statement, which she read at the opening of the Honolulu Academy of Arts on April 8, 1927    

"The museum is really lovely—white— rooms not too large—open courts here and there—open to the sky—a lovely building ... The Chinese room very beautiful—much more human feeling than what we do with such things in the East—flowers and grass seem to get in—they help in a museum ..."  ~ Georgia O'Keeffe, letter from Hawaii to her husband Alfred Stieglitz

There's a building for the "Arts of Hawai'i" which is so lovely to experience while you are in Honolulu. Here is a very small sampling of those works. 

Theodore Wores
The Lei Maker, 1901
Oil on Canvas

Chris Campbell
Strike a Pose III, c. 2005
Oil on canvas

"It is hard to tell about the island- the people have a kind of gentleness that isn't usual on the mainland. I feel that my tempo must definitely change to put down [or paint] anything of what is here- I don't know whether I can or not- but it is certainly a different world- and I'm glad I came." ~Georgia O'Keeffe

Lionel Walden
The Torchlight Fishermen, Waikiki, 1930
Oil on canvas board

Lionel Walden
Hawaiian Fisherman, 1924
Oil on canvas

William Twigg-Smith
Hilo Sampans, 1917
Oil on canvas

"One of the things I find myself thinking most often is that there is some thing so perfect about the climate here that it seems a bit ridiculous— even if you walk in the rain as I did yesterday up on the side of the mountain . . . it is neither hot nor cold and I love slushing through the water—Such lovely rainbows too ... "  ~ Georgia O'Keeffe, in a letter to her husband Alfred Stieglitz

Robert Delaunay
The Rainbow, 1913
Oil on Canvas 
(I love his piece!!!)

If you'd like to get to know more of Robert Delaunay's work check out this slideshow (with music) someone uploaded to YouTube. I actually adore his wife Sonia Delaunay's work, as well.

Alexander Calder
Hi!, c. 1928

Hans Hofmann (American, 1880-1966)
Fragrance, 1956
Oil on canvas

I love this vibrant work of abstract impressionism! In person it has even more a sense of energy, light and movement! 

Detail of Fragrance

Kevin, below, enjoying art of the 19th century. Van Gogh to the left, Monet's Water Lilies directly in front and a lovely Camille Pissarro, Rouen Saint-Sever Morning, to his right.

Vincent van Gogh
Wheat Field, 1888
Oil on canvas

This next photo was one of my favorite rooms. I want this room! Haha! I could have sat in there for hours with my journal or sketchbook. How cool do the orange walls look with the incredible (and very large) portraits, crystal chandelier, and lucite chairs? Yum!

On the left
John singer Sargent
Mrs. Thomas Lincoln Manson, Jr., 1891
Oil on canvas

On the right
James McNeill Whistler
Arrangement in Black No. 5: Lady Meux
Oil on canvas

Alex Katz
Ada With a Black Scarf, 1966
Oil on canvas

There's also a wonderful Alice Neel painting in that room!

And, of course, when there are Italians present I must include a couple of those! Check out the look on Baby Gésu's face below.

Follower of Benozzo Gozzoli
Madonna and Child with Angels (detail) 15th Century
Tempera, gilding on wood panel

Workshop of Fra Fillippo Lippi
Two Saints, Mid 15th Century
Tempera, gilding on panel
(And velvet?!)


I love this garden area! So peaceful and the pond has koi fish! I want to go back and sketch there too!

The beautiful area above leads you into their wonderful collection of Asian Art. 

I don't have any photos of the Japanese Woodblock Prints because (for preservation) the room was too dark but they have the most incredible and expansive collection. More than 10,000 prints which is the 3rd largest in the United States! You can see many of them on their website including Hokusai's The Great Wave.

What I did get were photos of some of the other beautiful artifacts and exhibits that were on display.

Japan, 15th century
Wood, gold

Bodhisattva Seishi
Japan, Heian period, 10th-11th century

The figure above is one of the main attendants of Amida Buddha and symbolizes the power of wisdom.

Anonymous Empress
Japan, Edo period, 19th century
Porcelain, paper-mâché, wood, hair, 
silk, cotton, metal and pigments

Attributed to Tankei (1173-1256)
Eleven-Headed Kannon
Japan, Kamukura period, 13th century
Wood, bronze, gold

So delicate and the face is exquisite!

OK, so keep in mind this next sculpture is large. As in ... life size. The room lights are dim and as you enter the room it's presence is so powerful. As you'll see, it sits there washed in a warm glow of light in the "royal ease" positing. Stunning.

Guanyin ~ The Bodhisattva of Compassion 
c. 1025
China, Northern Song or Tangut Xia dynasty 

The Hawaiian wood works and textiles were almost impossible to photograph behind glass. It was too dark and there was too much glare for my iPhone but if you get there, they are definitely worth seeing.

When I came around a corner and saw these paintings I took a long breath and exhaled. Beauty in green! There's nothing else like a Georgia O'Keeffe. Here, she seems to pare the paintings down to their absolute essentials and the result is captivating. You have all the information you need about these beautiful scenes.

Georgia O'Keefee
Waterfall-No. III-Iao Valley, 1939
Oil on Canvas

" My paintings are all sharp green valleys with waterfalls. Today was very rainy so the valley is full of mists—It is queer to sit out there in the rain painting and not mind the rain till it really poured so hard I couldn’t see much ..."~ Georgia O'Keeffe, in a letter to her husband Alfred Stieglitz

Georgia O'Keeffee
Papaw Tree, 'Iao Valley, Maui,
Oil on Canvas

Georgia O'Keeffe 
Waterfall-End of Road-'Iao Valley, 1939
Oil on Canvas

"Such deeply wrinkled mountain sides with such high waterfalls could be seen through breaks in the trees across the valley—It is really a beauti-ful world . . ." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

There was a whole show of O'Keeffe's Hawaii paintings at the New York Botanical Garden last year! Wouldn't that have been great to see? Well, we may have missed it but here's a great little video explaining her time in Hawaii. The video also shows more works that she did while she was staying in the islands as well as works she painted when she got home that were inspired by her visit. 

(The sound cuts out for about 10 or seconds near the beginning but it kicks back in so don't give up!)

"It all just doesn’t seem real—a lot of different kinds of waterfalls—mostly very thin—tumbling way down from way up high—Then the trees—such wonderful trees  ... " ~Georgia O'Keeffe

"The shade is sort of thick and light at the same time—the sun pale—a long dreamy blue sort of a mountain raising up out of the ocean to the right and on the other side of the house a nearer mountain rises up so abruptly it is startling—it has a look like a sort of mossy rock.—palm trees—other trees—flowering things—many birds. I think I am going to like it."  ~ Georgia O'Keeffe
  1. The letters are in the Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O’Keeffe Archive in the Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and copyright © 2012 by Yale University. Per O’Keeffe’s request, the correspondence was sealed until 2006, twenty years after her death. 

    Hope you enjoyed the museum visit! For more information about the Honolulu Museum of Art, click HERE.
 Blessings, Light and Aloha!