Friday, January 30, 2009

What does Valentine's Day Mean to You?

For my Valentine's Day post, I wanted to do something different, so I decided to feature the art of my online "sistahs" from VAST (Visual Artist Street Team). This is a team of artists who all have their own shop on We communicate daily through an online forum, and even though I haven't met many of them in person, I feel a closeness to them through our common desires to create art. I asked each of them to tell us, "What does Valentine's Day mean to you?" I think you will enjoy reading their answers!

Mahalo to all of these artists for contributing their art and words! Please check out their shops for more wonderful art!

Karen - "My beloved husband of twenty years passed away suddenly at the age of 45 in March 2008, and this will be my first Valentine's Day without him here with me. I have given a great deal of thought to love and life this year, and have come to the conclusion that love really is the only thing that truly matters and that love takes many forms. My husband told me and both of my children how much he loved us every single day without fail and that is a very powerful thing that sustains us.

I've found a few favorite quotations that sum it up for me. "The refusal to love is the only unbearable thing." - Madeleine L'Engle "Love is the heartbeat of all life." - Paramahansa Yogananda And this passage from a book of meditations on grieving given to me by a friend in a similar situation: "Love is not a finite, limited quality, any more than the energy set loose in creation can be fully contained, sealed, or spent." (Martha Whitmore Hickman)

It helps my healing a great deal to paint hearts and send them out into the world to others who may be heartbroken or looking for a way to express their love."

Jean - "Valentines Day is a special day for me and my sweetie. He always brings me something special, often stuffed animals, sometimes plants and flowers --nooooo candy! We've been together for 30 years and this is one day that he never forgets!"

Melanie - "The love of my life is the man I most admire in all the world. He's gentle, kind, generous, extremely loyal and faithful. His beautiful blue eyes look deep into my soul and his loving arms reach for me any time I need comfort or a hug. On Feb 11 I will be celebrating 25 years of marriage to the love of my life. Every year, that week in February is a full week of celebrating - anniversary, his birthday and the finishing touch - Valentine's Day."

Cynthia - "For me Valentine's Day is a time of remembrance - a quiet time to reflect upon all the things I am grateful for and all the people I love. Over the years anonymous gifts seem to have the most lasting value: slipping notes of appreciation in a neighbor's pocket, enclosing little love notes in my children's lunches or make ornate hand made valentines as keepsakes. It is important to me not to make the day into a routine, commercial time, with obligatory gifts and sentiments, so I try to spread out the love over the whole week, keep it simple, thoughtful and handmade."

Shonna - "Valentine's Day to me is about reflecting on the people you love in your life (not just your significant other). I plan on letting the people I love know how much they mean to me. The love of my life is my family. I feel so blessed to be surrounded with a loving family. I know there are so many out there who are lonely and sad and I think it is important to really be thankful for the people in your life whom you love."


Angie - "Hmmm - what does Valentines Day mean to me? Tough one! I suppose I'd like to see it as more than an obligation to buy cheap chocolates and cards with mass-produced sentiments! It should be a chance to really think about and appreciate all the love in your life, and to make sure that those that you love know how much you value them. It can be easy to take people for granted day to day, but it's important to stop now and again and take the time to treasure those that make your life brighter. I also really like this quote - "To laugh often and love much... to appreciate beauty,to find the best in others, to give one's self... this is to have succeeded" (Ralph Waldo Emerson). "

Diane - "To me Valentine's Day is a celebration of love of all kinds ... and especially the love of a life partner. Each day I want to treat everyone in my life, including my daughter and partner, with love, respect and delight. I would prefer that each person's life is enhanced by contact with me ... I want to keep bringing love into this world. Valentine's Day is the symbolic time to honor love each and every day."
Aloha from Kauai and Have a Wonderful Valentine's Day!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Let's Go for a SWIM!

Newly listed in my Etsy Shop are these two hand-painted silk scarves.


Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle (detail)

All of my silk scarves on sale for $55 each.
Silk Scarf Section

Aloha from Kauai and Have a Warm and Sunny Day!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Baby Beach Bungalow" Step-By-Step

A few weeks ago I received a commision painting job from Sherri. She and her husband were visiting the island of Kauai on their honeymoon (Congratulations!), and she wanted to have a painting created of the bungalow where they stayed.

She came across my website and loved the style of my Kauai Coffee Visitor Center painting and wanted something similar. After a few emails (we've never met in person), I took my camera and headed out to the famous "Baby Beach" of Kauai's south shore. I snapped several pics of the house and also a few of the beach itself (look for an upcoming painting of this one in a future post).

Well, I always wanted to capture the "steps" that I take to create an acrylic painting. So I remined myself to take a picture every so often while working on this piece. In my acrylics classes, I always stress the importance of blocking in the major colors and shapes before painting the details. This is what you see in step #1. I love the bright blue color of the sky here in Kauai!

Step #1
Next, I started to slowly develop the painting. Added a few details, but mostly working on the underpainting. Acrylic paint can be very opaque especially when mixed with titanium white. Therefore, if you make a mistake at this point, you can cover it up and keep on paintin'!

Step #2
In Step #3 I started to develop more of the house, porch and garden. I didn't like the blue color I put on the left-hand side of the house because it looked too much like sky, so I greyed it out a bit. This was challenging to get the right shade.
Step #3
Finally, I started to work more on the palm trees on the sides. I wanted to get a lot of detail in the underpainting part of the trees. Lots of details in the background without worrying about the foreground until last.

Step #4
In Step #5, I worked on more detail of the house and palm trees. I also painted the adorable coconut that was so appropriately placed near the entrance to the house!

Step #5
Drum roll please! LOL! Here's the final version of the painting! I hope Sherri likes it! I spent lots of time on the palm tree details. Whew!

Baby Beach Bungalow
11"x14" on Canvas (painted on the edges in a Gallery Wrap Style)

Baby Beach Bungalow (Detail)

Hope you have enjoyed this demo of my acrylic painting technique! I offer classes in acrylics, watercolor, silk painting, scratchboard, drawing, and soon to add a class in pastels! I teach Tuesdays through Saturdays at my Waimea studio on the island of Kauai! All materials are provided so you can drop in anytime to experience the "Creation of ART"!
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