Friday, October 31, 2014


Napali Mist, 9 x 12 oil

A studio painting based on photographs of Kauai.  Every moment, the mist pattern changed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Windbent Pines, 6 x 8 oil
This studio painting is based on a plein air sketch of the same composition.  In this piece I used red in the underpainting and warmed up the greens.  Different light, different day.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Point to Island, 6 x 8 oil

After almost 25 days of sunrises,I am getting up later and later.  This is happening partly because I am staying up later, but also the sunrises are beginning to repeat themselves in my paintings.  I am looking for a different light, some long morning shadows, maybe a different color pattern.  And just 15 minutes later gives me a whole new palette to work with.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


West Maui at Dawn, 6 x 8 oil

This little coral mound houses a colony of Hawaiian Dascyllus.  They gather in a range of sizes, from the two-inch almost-black adults to younger fish with white on their dusky sides, to tiny disks the size of my pinky fingernail, that are mostly fin.  These itty-bitties have a neon-blue stripe across their nose.  They all flutter in and out of the coral like Nemo in his anemone home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


West Maui Dawn and Cottage, 6 x 8 oil

The winds of Kihei blow with a fine red dirt.  Like something out of the midwest dust bowl, it comes in the windows and settles on every horizontal surface.  It covers lampshades, sifts into carpets, stains tile.  I've been driving with the car windows shut and still red dirt gets in the car.  I try to clean a spot on the upholstery and learn the hard way that you have to vacuum first, or red dirt will leave a ring around the clean spot.  Maui red dirt makes cleaning a neverending process.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Tropical Moonset at Sunrise, 9 x 12 oil

I come upon an octopus in pretty shallow water.  He retreats behind a head of coral.  But he just can't resist sticking his eyes up to see if I'm still there.  I am.  He slides farther round the coral.  Up come the eyes.  If I stay back, he just looks at me.  If I approach, he retreats.  But always, the eyes come up.  Just checking.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Kamaole Sunset, 6 x 8 oil

I am constantly amazed at the versatility of the trumpetfish's coloring.  I've seen them pattern their tails to mimic the peacock grouper, turn green enough to blend in with the coral, and even brighten to a blue that matches a parrotfish.  Today's trumpet is being yellow.  There are some yellow tang nearby.  I hope he doesn't think he looks like one of them.  He doesn't have the figure for it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Dawn Palms, 8 x 6 oil
Something has shifted on the beaches of Hawaii.  Used to be you'd see lots of people lying in the sun getting tans.  Now more people are sitting in the shade, and many wear long-sleeved shirts while snorkelling.  Different beliefs for different times.

Monday, October 6, 2014


West Maui at Sunrise, 8 x 6 oil

When I think of fish, I think of flexibility.  The boxfish is as rigid as they come, a fixed skeletal box of a body, with little fins and tail attached.  To make up for his stiffness of body, the tail must bend a full ninety degrees at times, the fins make intricate ruffling patterns like the skirts of Loie Fuller.  Even his mouth seems rigid, fixed in a surprised pout.  There are not a lot of these fish on the reef I've been visiting.  Maybe rigidity is not a very successful strategy.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Sunrise Burgundy, 6 x 8 oil

There are swells from the south today, and water shifts back and forth over the coral.  Tiny juvenile butterfly fish are stationed above the coral heads, like swarms of moths.  They flutter tails and fins madly to stay in place over the coral, then with the surge, spin around like a flock and flutter the other way.  
  A turtle glides by, barely moving his flippers in his slow climb.  I move more like the turtle, holding station by gently waving my fins.  Is it because I am big that moving through the water requires so little effort?  After all, how much muscle can there be in those tiny fish bodies that are mostly fin?

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Seaside Cottages, 6 x 8 oil

At this particular beach, divers enter the water on the sand, and follow the edge of the rocks outward to the deeper coral.  As I am floating above the rocks and corals and fish, I see them about 15 feet below me.  Their bubbles make mumbledy sounds in my ears.   Bubbles appear as blobs, that join into bigger blobs.  They expand as they float upward, shaping themselves into jellyfish domes.  There is a huge amount of air from just two divers; a volume that we, in the above-water realm take for granted.