Monday, July 27, 2009

Family Portraits

As most artists, I have done my share of family portraits and I would like to post some of them here. I’ve already posted a few of them such as “Captive Audience” and “Mo’opuna” (both in the post of Sunday, June 21, 2009) which are paintings of my grandchildren. Most recently, “From Whence I Come”… a portrait of my son showing his ethnicity (post of Monday, July 20, 2009).

"Soul Mates"
Private Collection
(16x20 oil...son and wife)

Private Collection
(11x14 oil…oldest grandson)

Private Collection
(11x14 oil…youngest grandson)

Private Collection
(18x24 portrait of oldest sister)

I’m getting ready to ship my sister’s portrait to her. Hope she likes it.

Aloha…that’s it for now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

From Whence I Come

My niece, who is a Kumuhula (teacher of dance) has become one of my followers…Welcome Mo’ikeha. She posted this comment in response to the latest posting of “Make A Joyful Noise.” She is an exceptional hula dancer and teacher…who was born and raised in California and now resides on the Big Island of Hawaii. Not being raised in Hawai’i has not lessened her “Hawaiianess;” the love for her people and their history…her mother kept that alive for her and her siblings. On this subject she is very passionate. That explanation aside, I want to post her comment here as my blog entry for today.

Aloha Auntie Loke…I love your blog site and your paintings. Especially, the ones depicting your sisters. When i started reading your bio i was offended and i will tell you why. First off I don't know if you wrote the bio or someone for you, since it is written that way, but here goes: Yes, we are related to Ali'i of Hawaii, which there are many, but the famous Navigating King Mo'ikeha is not a name that is "meaningless today", ask any Kumuhula or historian of Hawaii and they all know very well who you are speaking of. I don't want any of your readers thinking this way, because our Kupuna Mo'ikeha had a son named La'amaikahiki and who brought to Hawaii the 'temple drums'. Never before in Hawaii. This is very significant to hula and hula is not just another dance. It is the most stunning and meaningful of all of Polynesian dances. Hula documents the history of Hawaii, its environment and its people. It is poetry in motion. So La'a brought the temple drums to Hawaii and taught the hulas that go with them. Some believe that Laka, who is an important god of the hula was really, La'a, but that over the years names were changed as dialects change. I know Auntie you understand how important this is to Hawaii. There is a chant that is known by every Kumuhula (hula teacher). It is 'Eia Hawaii', also known as 'the Mo'ikeha' chant. Kamahualele, Mo'ikeha's astrologer/seerer, chanted this upon their arrival for the first time to Hawaii. A very significant chant that is still used today.
THE NAME MO'IKEHA CAN BE DESCRIBED AS ONE WHO FOLLOWS A COURSE OF ACTION, TO MASTER SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE, TO ATTAIN GREAT HEIGHTS, TO OVERCOME OBSTICLES AND SUFFERING..Ka Heke O Na Pua...the greatest of his descendents. I carry this name with great pride and for the reader who doesn't know Hawaii, a name is never forgotten.....God Bless you, Auntie Loke and all who took the time to read this long comment!

(Translations: Ali'i = royalty; kupuna = ancestors; La'a = dedicated, set apart for special purposes; La'amaikahiki = saying La'a was from Tahiti.)

To Kumu Mo’ikeha…I do know all you state above, but thank you so much for saying it with so much passion so that those who visit my blog will know that it is this passion I strive to show in my paintings. I know I come through the line of Mo’ikeha, the mighty Polynesian navigating king, a fact that I am so very proud of. I am extremely proud of the fact that my maiden name is Mo'ikeha and even if I don't use that name in everyday, I KNOW it's importance in my culture.

In this blog and in my bio I am speaking to people from all cultures who may or may not know their roots, but have pride in who they are and where they come from. Those of my culture hopefully know, through my paintings, what speaks to my heart.

Private Collection
Son’s portrait showing his ethnicity

This article has given me the opportunity to show another of my paintings…it goes right along with the topic. A painting idea I carried with me since my son was very young. I’m not totally happy with it, so plan to either rework it or do another. I'm sure an explanation is not necessary here, but just in case, the Indian image is Cherokee.

I have been looking for other topics besides painting to add interest to my blog and I think the history of my culture would be very interesting. Maybe even some childhood stories, legends from my Tutu (grandmother), and maybe adding a painting or sketch along with the story. Let me know what you think about this?

Aloha until next time…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Make A Joyful Noise - Finish Part 1, Start Part 2

This is it…finally finished (with minor adjustments after it dries). If you recall back in my blog post of June 13, 2009, I gave the history of this piece. I witnessed this powerful event in 1992 and decided that someday I would attempt to paint it. I did a piece from memory last year and titled it “Reconciliation;” it did not reflect, for me, what I had in mind. It did; however, serve the purpose of conveying the message that Hawaiians turned from their gods and goddess of old to accept the one Christian God. I stumbled on the negatives of the photos, which I couldn’t believe I still had, developed them to be used as reference…coming up with what you see above.

18x24 oil on stretched canvas
Available for sale

Now, moving on to part 2 of this diptych…here is the start.

That day on the rim of Halema’uma’u there were about 30 dancers, so you can just imagine the power that emanated from the chanters and dancers …SPECTACULAR. These three dancers symbolize those 30 dancers. The pose is in praise of the Almighty, their features are of myself and my sisters. In searching photos for features for the dancers, I thought why not use our features…we were, after all, hula dancers from the time we were kids into adulthood. Using our features, I thought, would make it extra special…a family heirloom…maybe!!

A little story behind that… growing up, it was expected that young Hawaiian girls learn to dance the hula. My Auntie Hilda was recruited for that job and was a tough taskmaster. There were five of us…four girls and one boy. The boy was the youngest (poor kid) and I was the youngest of the four girls. My older sisters were ruthless and harassed me constantly about my dancing ability. So much so that I grew to hate the hula, and vowed to develop into a better dancer than any of them were. Whether I was able to accomplish that would be a matter of opinion among the four of us.

I don't want to bore you with the progress, so I will post this painting again when totally completed, unless I hear from someone to the contrary.

Aloha until next time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

These paintings were done as a birthday gift for my daughter-in-law, but I'm posting them here so that you can see other works that I have done. These are 9x12 oil on stretched canvas.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

More...Make A Joyful Sound

To those following the progress of this painting, it looks like I may be able to complete it in a few days if I persevere and paint instead of spending time on the computer. This is a diptych so I am anxious to begin sketching the companion painting.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Available Paintings

"Mahalo Ke Akua"
18x24 oil on stretched canvas
Photo credit to Richard A. Cooke III
Photographer with National Geographic

"Can't Hide From Him"
18x24 oil on stretched canvas
Photo credit to Phil Pegg, contributor to Image Library

16x20 oil on stretched canvas

This painting was created from my imagination for a challenge to reflect the
scripture...Psalm 40:2

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Juried Art Show

A few days ago I received the expected rejection letter from the organization that I submitted work to for consideration for selection to a local art show. All submitted works were reviewed by a one-man jury. It is an art show that I have attended in the past, which I really enjoyed and also one that I submitted pieces to last year…was rejected then also. I looked back over last year’s submission and realized that I was not ready and that the rejection was a fair one. This year I felt I was much improved and my paintings reflected that. However, I was not optimistic about being selected at the onset, but thought I would go ahead and submit my work, along with the fee and an artist’s statement. I told myself I would not be disappointed if I was not selected, considering the hundreds of exceptional artists, locally and out-of-town, who submit each year. All that being said, I was more disappointed than I thought I would be. Did my “pity pot” for a couple of days and am back at it with renewed vigor. I recently read an article on rejection that helped immensely. Below is an excerpt taken from Tony Moffitt’s blog, written by guest blogger, Heather Brown Truman. Visit Tony’s blog at - he has some great, invaluable information to help artists at all levels deal with every aspect of the art world.

Rejection, it’s Good For The Ego. How does one deal with the inevitable rejections that we get along the path of the creative? Well, one of the best ways to deal with rejection is to embrace it. Yes, I said embrace it. Learn to love rejection, failure and disappointments.
Rejection is our friend; it tames the ego, creates drive and ambition, and clears the mind. Rejection is always part of the path, for any endeavor, creative or not. You will encounter it at every turn, even if you are the most creative, most skilled and most passionate person in the world. Rejection is a numbers game. I feel pretty good when I get a rejection notice. Why you ask? Why good and not bad or self-pity? Every single NO is another no on the way to my YES. You have to accept that fact. If you allow yourself to take rejection to heart, you will die, wither on the vine of life and give up. If you fear rejection you will never succeed.
Your ego is not that fragile, your work is important to you and the world. We take rejection because it is part of living; it is part of the equation of life itself. It only matters what you think of yourself, your own work, and your desire to accomplish whatever it is that you are working towards. Never ever, let anyone disrupt the relationship you have with yourself; it is the most important relationship you will ever have in this world.

So, fellow artists…embrace those rejections…don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. Here are a couple of the paintings I submitted, they are available.