Monday, June 29, 2009

A VAST Encounter with Silk Painting

Melanie from The Creators Palette and Marionette

Belonging to VAST, an online art group through Etsy, has brought me several blessings. I met my good friends Schar and Dava (who both live on Kauai), and now I have had the pleasure of meeting in person Melanie , a wonderful lady and artist! She and her husband came to Kauai on vacation last week, and one of the activities that she made time for was my Silk Painting class! We had a great time talking story about art, Kauai, and life in general. Here's a peek into the class:

I teach the French Serti Technique and this is what Melanie is doing to create her lovely plumeria design. From Dharma Trading Co: "The Serti (closing or fence) technique is the silk painting technique where designs are formed with gutta or water-based resists, which are applied to white silk that has been pre-washed, dried and stretched (on a stretcher). Once the gutta or water-based resist has dried, it acts as a barrier for the dye or paint—keeping the color within the outlined areas of the design and allowing you to achieve sharply defined borders. (Without this barrier, the dye or paint would flow into more of an abstract, undefined pattern.) After the dye or paint has been properly set, the clear gutta or resist is removed and a defining line the color of the original fabric remains. Colored guttas and resists are also available that are meant to remain in the fabric."
I decided to paint a silk scarf with Koi fish. You can see my underdrawing (the purple pen) where I made some changes while applying my resist.
Here Melanie is applying her silk paints beautifully to the plumeria design.
My koi fish are now ready for a colorful background!
Here Melanie is using my "secret weapon" to make the designs in the background of the scarf. Can you guess what it is?
The background is still wet, but it is almost complete!
Melanie's plumeria scarf is gorgeous as it dries on the frame!
Hope you can join me for a Silk Painting class one day! For more info on classes, please visit my art class blog at .

Mahalo for visiting!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kauai Bon Dance

Every year I get so excited as Bon Dance season approaches. It is a very unique experience. The music is very relaxing and fun, and the food booths offer such delicacies as saimin, flying saucers (which can only be found on Kauai), BBQ teriyaki on a stick, and lots, lots more! I also enjoy the very colorful kimonos the ladies wear. I'm not Japanese or Buddhist, but I make it a point to attend one or two of these dances per year. It's just plain good old fashioned family fun! Here are some wonderful photos and a video of the actual dancing from the Hanapape Bon Dance in June. Enjoy!

Two young ladies enjoying the games at the dance.
A lovely kimono.

The entrance to the dance is draped in flowers.
Enjoying a nice hot cup of saimin! Where else can you eat soup with chopsticks?

More colorful kimono.

For more information about Kauai's Bon Dances, please check out this Garden Island News article and this year's Bon Dance Schedule.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kauai's Majestic Na Pali Coast

Recently my good friend and fellow artist, Schar, treated me to a Na Pali boat cruise for a special day! Mahalo Nui Loa Schar!!! We met at Blue Dolphin Charters at 7 a.m. We were blessed with clear skies and a calm ocean that morning.
Marionette and Schar
This is Olokele, the last operating sugar cane mill on Kauai. Owned by Gay and Robinson, they will soon be shutting down around October once the last of the sugar cane is harvested and processed. It's a real end of an era.
We were lucky enough to stop the boat and see two pods of dolphins. Here they are swimming right next to the boat. What fun to see them jump and play in the clear, ocean water!
The famous Na Pali coast with rugged and beautiful cliffs. This used to be home to the ancient Hawaiians. "Na Pali" translates to "the cliffs."
Here are some sea birds taking flight.

We were truly blessed on this boat trip with a sighting of several sea turtles swimming near by. See him poking his head out of the water? They are known as "honu" in the Hawaiian language.

Look how clear and blue the ocean is here! This is truly paradise on earth!
This is how close you actually get to the coast! It's like stepping into a movie! Speaking of movies, the Na Pali coast can be seen in famous movies such as Jurassic Park, King Kong, 6 Days & 7 Nights, Thorn Birds, South Pacific and I just learned that the beach scene at the end of Contact was filmed here.
Just one of many sea caves seen on the trip.
Ahhh! Another wonderful view. I have to admit, I took over 300 photos with my digital camera, and I wish I could show them all. We are truly LUCKY TO LIVE KAUAI! And, if all of this wasn't enough, we ended the trip with a one hour dip in the ocean to snorkel.

Mahalo to Schar and Captain Chris for this wonderful trip!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Kalalau Valley's Pihea Trail

On Sunday my hubby and I decided to do a little hiking at the famous Pihea Trail which is all the way at the end of the road in Kokee State Park. The views of the Kalalau Valley are gorgeous if you are lucky enough to catch a clear day.

This is the 'ohi'a lehua flower. My hubby says that if you pick the flower, it will rain. Here's the story (from Wikipedia): "ʻŌhiʻa and Lehua were two lovers separated by the goddess Pele. Pele desired ʻŌhiʻa and when she could not have him she turned him into a tree. Lehua was devastated by this transformation and out of pity the gods turned her into a flower and placed her upon the ʻōhiʻa tree. Separating these united lovers is not encouraged, and it is said that when a lehua flower is plucked from an ʻōhiʻa tree, the sky fills with rain representing the lovers' tears." I guess he was right!
This is a beautiful 'ohi'a tree just teeming with flowers!
Another spectacular view!
Here's my hubby on the trail!
And here we are on the edge for a photo op. Look out! No guard rails here!

Hope you have enjoyed this slice of Kauai! I'm sure there will be a future painting or two coming from all of the photos I took!

Aloha from Kauai,