Aloha, Aloha

aloha theater detail

It’s time to say aloha, to the Aloha Theater painting. No, it is not sold yet-but it is finished. In a fit of “I can’t stand to see it on the easel any longer mood” I stayed up most of Friday night to finish it. There will some embellishments that will happen later I am sure, but they are not obvious now so onto the inventory wall it goes.

In my past life as a faux finisher, I often worked on large projects. The clients who were soooo accommodating and happy to see you on daily basis would suddenly snap, realizing they need to move into their new house immediately, no matter what stage of incompletion it was at. And woe be unto the poor construction worker who was holding up the show. Those were always diplomatically interesting times. Well that is how I finally felt looking at the Aloha Theater. Finish it or die. Gotta move on to another piece NOW. Aloha, Aloha Theater, say hello to Quan Yin.

It struck me today how this hyper realism process shares some common ground with abstract paintings. It is still a matter of feeling. In painting an abstract it is all about bring out the emotional quality inside to a manifestation on a canvas. Having to clear through the extraneous to get to the core position and give it the opportunity to come out via technique, color and composition. In the hyper realism style it is still about feeling. Not necessarily painting what you are feeling about the subject (as after all it is looks to most people to be a snapshot in time), but of being present in feeling the subject matter itself, coinciding with it, of then seeing/feeling the brush as it moves on the canvas exactly where it needs to go. Let your mind wander and the car tire looks more like donut than anything else. I need to discipline myself to strongly practice seeing the subject matter. At that point seeing and feeling become one and the same- not an objective exercise but a non-opinionated subjective participation.

Speaking of creativity, my good friend Aaron Nakagawa has put together two videos of his music and my artwork. I am completely over the top biased, but they are good and we are hoping for a call from Robert Redford anytime now. They will be posted to You tube in the next day or so. The first one was inspired by an earlier work of mine called ” Samsara Bay” and uses select abstract pieces I created between ’93 and 2000. It has a happy ending too. The second video is called Kannon from the Japanese term for temple and it uses my current paintings. One extremely enjoyable aspect of this is seeing someone else take your artwork and work with it in their own medium, giving it a new life and viewpoint.

You may notice there is a now website link at the top of the LIP. Although the website still needs work, we put it online to stick a foot in the e-door. Hopefully you will enjoy it and pass it along , and even look forward to the new improved site to follow. Dorothy Hall has been building the site along with Aaron who worked on photos, graphics and layout. I stuck my nose in often enough to feel part of the process. Both good friends have done this pro bono. Well, I did buy them a cheap dinner once. Part of my ashram life here on Kauai is about living more simply. That is a euphemism for having no money. That makes the gift of creating a website from your friends something special and greatly appreciated. And if I shut up and stop writing now I will have some time to actually paint. That way we will have more paintings for you to digest on the next serving of Website Dinners.

Thanks for taking some LIP from me,


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