How did it begin for you?

20 06 2021

I had a lovely conversation yesterday with a man, an M.D., at the art reception. He was the spouse of one of my painting students. He admired the hand-dyed tissue-paper collages and seemed intrigued as I explained our art group’s process of creating unique paintings with this medium.

Was I always an artist? he asked. That question made me pause. I had to think back to so long ago.

I’m a writer, I said, starting my career as a general assignment reporter for the daily news, then magazines, then university relations. I am a pen woman. The National League of American Pen Women is made up of women in letters (writing and editing), arts, and/or music (e.g., composition and arranging). What we have in common is that we all start with a blank page or canvas. When I became a Letters member, I met artists and I thought they were “cool.” I wanted to be one of them, so I took lessons.

The music element caught his ear, so to speak. What kind of music do you write? he asked. Love songs, I said. They come from my heart, and I have to be in the mood. I can’t just crank them out. This man had a gentle way of coaxing out information.

He was understanding when I told him I had developed a wrist injury from holding a paintbrush overhand for more than 30 years—the reason I switched to tissue collage. Assembling collages is quite different from painting outdoors in the landscape.

Do you still paint? he asked. Ahh, now I’m teaching painting!

He said, “It’s the same in medicine!”

Be well.

~ Rebekah

“Breadfruit,” Copyright 2018 Rebekah Luke





Braving the outdoors

30 03 2021
The windward side of the Koʻolau Range as seen from Luluku, the location of Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Gardens. Plant enthusiasts, take note; everything is labeled!

A surprising number of people were in the park at Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden this morning where my collage art-making group gathered under the pavilion at parking lot #5 — I think the correct name is Kahua Nui — for a re-orientation, general get-together, and literally some fresh air. We met in part to talk about a “Collage and Clay” group exhibit on tap for June 2021 in downtown Honolulu. The notion of planning a scheduled in-person public event again, after a year-long hiatus because of COVID, is exciting.

L to R: Dottie, Joy, Peg, me (in jeans), Karen (in hat), Flo, Maite, Robyn, and Faye.

Joy brought coffee and sweet nibbles, Dottie brought bananas from her tree, and Peg brought ceramic objet d’art favors for us to take home. Kristi, bless her heart, presented us with small bottles of hand sanitizer for our purses. It was like old home week in the space of less than a couple hours.

Peg’s clay creation has a hole in the bottom, so I think it is calling for a plant.

I didn’t bring anything (tsk, tsk). Some of the gals brought their creations for critique as is customary, but I hadn’t made anything new in hand-dyed tissue paper for the collages in a year, so nothing by me to critique. I did remember to bring a length of white shoji paper for Maitē who needed some to depict breaking waves.

These friends used to get together weekly to make art. Soon, after we’re all fully vaccinated, we may be able to resume that schedule.

It was so nice to see everyone again.

~ Rebekah





Hello 2021

2 01 2021

Hello studio fans,

No resolutions, no affirmations. This first post of the new year is more like a personal inventory—a pause to take stock of my likes and what brings me joy, as well as my wishes.

Just looking around, I see I like flowers and fashioning lei. I like to garden and grow food. Cook food, bake fruit pies. Play music, sing. I like to play with my dog; I know he understands English, he’s just not able to speak it. I like to create, as in making art, I like to write and make photos.

I enjoy visiting with our two granddaughters and hope I can be a good example for them.

I enjoy connecting with friends and relatives, remotely at this time. I look forward to a time when I can see them in person. How will we have changed?

And as for my wishes, but no promises, I wish to be kind. a good listener, an understanding mate, lighter all around.

Stringing kou flowers into a lei

Sweet potato stems peeled and prepped for cooking. Tasty!

Mountain apple pie

At the Yamaha

JJ the family dog

My most recent oil sketch with red and green complements

Our moʻopuna

 

Happy New Year!

All the best,

Rebekah





Good-bye 2020

27 12 2020

As one last hurrah to close out 2020 and welcome the new year 2021, I present “Painting One Mini Series 2020 A.D.” Two faithful students, Robin and Kristi, came for 10 continuous Wednesdays to my Painting I class in Kaaawa, and I painted the tabletop sets with them. The most recent session was on December 23.

Actually, I would call my work “oil sketches,” as I did them with a palette knife and relatively quickly.

Yellow and black pigment make green

Blue-green and red-orange complements

Yellow/violet color complements

Blue/orange color complements

 

Red/green complements sing for the holidays

 

As the unusual year comes to a close, I’m all ready to toast in 2021 that hopefully can be more harmonious. How about you?

~Rebekah





Odd Christmastime

21 12 2020

Christmastime 2020 seems odd to me. I can’t articulate my feelings well, except to note that Kilauea volcano started to erupt at Halemaumau last night. The video footage I saw was beautiful.

The conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, the “Christmas star” seen over the manger 2020 years ago, is happening again.

We’re exchanging gifts of home-baked cookies with neighbors and friends, but with face masks on and from a distance because of the pandemic; no hugging.

I am making a pecan pie for my two painting students who are bringing lunch on the 23rd. It’s the final class of Painting I, and coincidentally the studio setup is comprised of the complements red and green Christmas colors.

Chef Logan, who usually delivers our mid-day meal, is taking a break, only to make it up by providing an intimate Dinner for Two for my darling husband and me on Christmas Day. We don’t have to cook!

All this seems odd to me because all I really planned to share was the reindeer Rudolf that my father-in-law—whose father’s name also was Rudolph—made to wish us a Merry Christmas.

“Crater View,” 40” x 30” hand-dyed tissue-paper collage by Rebekah Luke
Holiday cookies

Chef’s creation

Christmas colors

Rudolph

~ Rebekah

 





On obligations

19 11 2020

Besides taking care of your family, what regular activities during this unusual year of 2020 amidst the coronavirus pandemic are you doing that you classify as obligations? I mean obligations in a good way. What commitments do you enjoy? I have four:

The first is the weekly class in fine art painting that I teach in person on my covered deck. Two faithful and lucky adult students gave me the honor to teach The Gloria Foss Color Course for what is probably the last time in my art career.

• Next is my study of Hawaiian language, ʻŌlelo Makuahine (mother tongue), with Kumu Keoua Nelsen who teaches the Kealaleo method for people who have tried to learn Hawaiian many times without success. 😃 Nowadays the three-hour Saturday class is online via Zoom, but it works and we have homework.

• I’m a citizen of Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi and it’s political action committee (KPAC) as “kupuna adviser.” Age has its privileges. We have facilitated community education, such as “how to navigate the legislature,” monitor bills, and write testimony.

• Last but by all means not least is choir practice with the Windward Choral Society directed by Susan McCreary Duprey. It, too, is on Zoom (I’m getting used to the technology, hated it at first), but our director is creative and an “Energizer Bunny.” She makes it work. Among other scores, we are rehearsing George Frideric Handel’s Messiah for a 4 p.m. December 13 performance on (you guessed it) Zoom. I love to sing!

 

Happy and safe holidays, everyone.

~Rebekah





Happy Mothers Day!

10 05 2020

“Tiare in a Royal Cup,” oil on canvas by Rebekah Luke

Since the 2020 coronavirus season began, approximately, I have published to my Facebook wall one artwork of mine per day. This is fine-art posting #36, “Tiare in a Royal Cup.” Many pieces of this historical China pattern used by The Royal Hawaiian Hotel found their way to thrift shops. One time I saw a sample in a display case along the hotel corridor on the way to the Surf Room. A tiare, or Tahitian gardenia, found its way to my souvenir teacup. This painting is in my own collection. I wish Happy Mothers Day greetings to everyone! ~ Rebekah








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