Spring equinox 2019 update

20 03 2019

Greetings, studio fans ~

What’s happening? For me, Spring is better than welcoming a new calendar year. I like to survey the garden around the house as well as the garden in my mind. It’s a time for trimming, plucking, and weeding out the old; and for planting new, more desirable seeds.

This morning I tended the basil, pinching off the flowers from most of the sweet herb because I want to use it instead of letting it go to seed. I left some of the flowers on the plant for the bees. Everyday I check the side yard to see if any of the avocados from my neighbor’s tree have fallen, and to pick up and toss old breadfruit leaves from the ground. I strip off the bottom layer of all the ti leaf plants that I’ve cultivated mostly to make lei. The kou tree, planted for its shade and orange lei flowers, makes a lot of rubbish with its palm-size leaves and ball-bearing-like seeds, so there’s raking to do. Looking up, I see the avocado tree is finally flowering!

Actual Ma‘afala breadfruit tree

Then, I’m revisiting the studio’s purpose “Old-fashioned letters, painting & healing.”

Letters. I’m honored to be invited to coach the Ko‘olauloa Hawaiian Civic Club members tomorrow night in writing autobiography. I intend it to be a fun activity as we write individual anecdotes and craft pretty booklets. I have chosen as jumping off points these questions: “What was your best birthday?”  “Who is your strangest family member?” “What is your greatest fear about falling in love?” “What is the craziest thing you have ever done?” And then for the brave, “How?” and “Why?”

Painting. My collage group (painting with hand-dyed paper) is exhibiting its artworks the month of April starting April 3 in the main gallery at the visitor center of Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden, on Luluku Road in Kaneohe, Oahu. I’ve agreed to design the look of the “Collages & Clay” that also includes ceramics. I’ll draw on the memory of observing how Susan Rogers-Aregger and Noreen Naughton placed pieces for a show.

Hand-dyed paper collage of breadfruit leaves by Rebekah Luke

Healing. It has been exciting to teach, attune, and certify five new Reiki Masters and Reiki Master Teachers. The Reiki Intensive training spands eight days, with the current program ending next Sunday with “Journey into Mastery.” I am team teaching with Reiki Master Teacher Lori A. Wong. I am reminded that “Yes! I am a Reiki Master!”

 

Aloha,

Rebekah

 





A menu worth repeating

7 01 2019

Oh, the food! Does the food make the party? In the case of last Saturday’s art show opening, yes! Kealoha and Kahikionaokalā Domingo of Nui Kealoha caterers outdid themselves with its farm-to-table menu, supplemented with basic additions of punch and cookies made by me.

Here we share the Nui Kealoha’s menu for the January 5 “Fiery Volcano Collages & Doodles” and the recipes for the cookies and punch, giving credit to their origins. Easy peasy and refreshing.

Kids loved these as well as seedless grape clusters on the side. Take precaution with grapes, a possible choking hazard, for very young children. For the punch, look for a ginger ale without high fructose corn syrups at the store.

Clockwise from lower right: classy menu, poke ʻulu, koʻele pālau tartlets, burnt ʻuala canapé.

 

I found the recipe for chocolate cookies on the back of the Western Family Baking Soda box.

 

Punchbowl recipe by my cousin Elly. From Everyone, Eat Slowly: The Chong Family Food Book (Chong Hee Books, 1999)

Enjoy!
~ Rebekah





Celebrate artists and art today

5 01 2019

Itʻs today! Today is the Opening Reception for “Fiery Volcano Collages & Doodles” at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden at four oʻclock. My co-exhibitor Kalei Nuuhiwa is on Oahu, and we are spending the morning preparing to welcome our friends and supporters who are coming to view and celebrate our latest artworks.Weʻre gathering flowers from the garden to decorate, and we’ve coralled our best buddies to help out with refreshments and musical entertainment.

I am so very honored to show with soon-to-be Dr. Nu‘uhiwa, a PhD candidate at the University of Waikato.

From the show catalog:

THE ARTISTS began creating and assembling the pieces for this exhibit in May 2018 when the longest Kilauea Volcano eruption since 1924 began. News photography and reports and the energy of Pele herself inspired the work. While Rebekah worked with dye, tissue paper, glue, and a knife on large canvases, Kalei used colored pens to doodle in a very small 35-page book. The two women first met on a Kaho‘olawe access trip for Makahiki in the late 1990s, Rebekah coming from O‘ahu, and Kalei from Maui.

The art exhibit runs until January 27. Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden is on Luluku Road in Kaneohe, and it is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Many thanks to the inspirers and the helpers, including the folks at Sunshine Arts in windward O‘ahu for my picture frames, pianist Joerg Alfter, Olive at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden, my girlfriends Becky-Lori-and-Peg, and my “easel” Pete.

~ Rebekah

 





Fiery volcano collages & doodles

8 12 2018





The gift of lau hala knowledge

1 12 2018

The gift

For our ʻŌlelo, Hawaiian language, class today Keoua Nelsen, our kumu (teacher, or source), decided his Christmas gift to his haumana (students) would be making lau hala bracelets. Besides teaching Hawaiian, he is a lau hala weaver. Most of us had not woven lau hala before. He introduced us to weaving with an oli, or chant, tracing the origins of the pandanus from its growth to its usefulness.

Kumu provided kits of the materials, having already done the hard part for us—gathering, cleaning, cutting off the thorns, stripping, and softening the lau hala. The kit included 1) a backing that we wound around all five knuckles that our bracelet would have to pass over,  2) a dark-colored warp already stripped into seven quarter-inch widths (see photo) starting about one inch from one end, and 3) a whitish-colored weft.

From top to bottom: backing, warp, weft

The start. The rolled-up backing and the end of the warp are clipped together. The light-colored weft is inserted behind the warp as pictured, and the long end will be folded around and into the inside, to begin the weave from the LEFT.

Chart indicates design steps. You can do the design plan on graph paper.

As it happened, I didn’t follow the design plan exactly. Oops! I unknowingly wove a happy result. It’s called “Nene,” the name of the goose that is the Hawai‘i State bird, because the design resembles the wings!

I repeat my Nene design all around the bracelet. With my fingernail I’ll push the weft strands closer to minimize gaps. Lightly misting with water keeps the work pliable.

Kumu Nelsen shows how to finish the bracelet by hiding and trimming the left-over ends.

Kumu reminds us that learning the Hawaiian language is a gift that you give to yourself. The same can be said of learning how to weave lau hala.

Copyright 2018 Rebekah Luke





Holoholo to Volcano

1 11 2018

Kīlauea Caldera with Mauna Loa beyond

A fast overnight trip from Oʻahu to Hawaiʻi island this week reminded me of how easy it is to get away from it all. I accompanied my friend and high school classmate Martha Noyes to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park where she gave an interesting talk on cultural astronomy.

At the Kīlauea Visitor Center we met dedicated park rangers who provided us with maps and the lay of the land before we checked in to our cabin at Kīlauea Military Camp, five minutes away in our rental car.

This was my first time staying at KMC. One can rent very reasonably priced accommodations here, even 3-bedroom cabins, with sponsorship from a military veteran. I thought, hmm, maybe for the next family reunion?

The cabins are rustic yet clean and furnished with enough creature comforts for your stay, including flashlights! A cafeteria, bar/lounge, and bowling alley are nearby.

Row of one-bedroom cabins at Kīlauea Military Camp. Cabin window below.

Exploring is what one would normally do at a national park. Hawai’i Volcanoes is now reopened since the volcano eruption subsided. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Park. But Martha and I preferred to sleep in late and catch up with conversation while drinking coffee.

Nēnē geese, the Hawaiʻi state bird, outside our cabin

ʻŌhia lehua leaves. We wondered if the black stuff was a symptom of rapid ʻōhiʻa death.

Sulfur steam vent

Top: ʻōhiʻa lehua.
Bottom, l to r: laukahi, hinahina moss, orange-colored trunk, uluhe fern.

Panorama view of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater from Volcano House. Click for a larger view.

To get there: Turn left when you exit Hilo Airport onto Highway 11 and continue until you reach the park entrance about 28 miles away (40 minutes).

Martha Noyes, author

Martha Noyes’s next talk is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., December 7, 2018, in the Kanaina Building on the Iolani Palace grounds in Honolulu.





October cactus flower

2 10 2018

Cactus flowers

Are you enjoying our wela (hot) and ikiiki (humid) weather in Hawaii? It seems these plants in my garden do! The cactus that my friend Yo gave me is thriving, and so are the red ti plants put in the garden by Hailama. There are two seasons in our Islands—kau wela (dry season) and hoʻoilo (wet season).

Red ti blossoms

Copyright 2018 Rebekah Luke








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