Fiery volcano collages & doodles

8 12 2018

Volcano series

19 06 2018

‘ŌHIʻA LEHUA diptych
24″ x 12″ Hand-dyed Tissue Paper Collage
Volcano Series NFS

Fascinated, rather, mesmerized by the Kilauea volcano eruption at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on Hawai‘i island, during the past month, I have embarked on a fine art project goal to collage a series of diptychs for exhibition in January 2019. I started at the end — the ‘Ōhiʻa Lehua flower that is one of the first plants to naturally emerge and grow out of a fresh lava field.

I am reserving all the collages for the exhibit, and, therefore, they are not for purchase until that time.  Please click on the PAINTINGS menu tab to see more!

~ Rebekah

Breadfruit Ma‘afala

20 04 2018

While the inspiration for my latest art was a leaf from the Ma‘afala breadfruit tree outside my window, the finished pieces look little like the actual plant.

The leafy model

My medium—hand-dyed tissue paper collage—lends itself to abstract images. It is tricky to determine the final color of a section that has been layered with the tissue, and the final result is rarely what the artist had in mind in the beginning. When stuck in the creating process, my teacher the late Susan Rogers-Aregger would say, “Glue another paper over it!” But because of all that, surprising results of color and luminescence can be had.

Several folks commented they liked a preview of the finished collages that I posted as photos on social media just before I took them to the frame shop. I was so excited to finish and show them. I admit they were a tad tacky from the final varnish. Framers don’t like that, but this time it was darn near dry!

The actual dimensions are 22″ x 28″ each, and the two were designed as a diptych to hang together, yet each panel can stand alone. I started with a palette of greens and reds and soon changed it to  a triad of complementary colors: violet, green, and orange. I haven’t even given the collages a title yet. Hmmm, maybe it will be “Breadfruit” and “Ma‘afala.”


Dried and fallen

Validation of an artist

4 04 2016

People who make fine art often work alone. Like writers and composers, they start with a blank canvas and require solitude to put their ideas down. Sometimes, when they think they have taken their work as far as it can go and prior to publishing, they work with a team. Working with others helps artists to develop a thick skin because one is surely to receive criticism, constructive or not.

When an artist is brave enough and has the guts to put work on display for others to see—others besides family and close friends—that is a milestone. The next step may be to price the art. Imagine: someone may want to purchase it!

Along the way, colleagues and mentors will help. Mine, Susan Rogers-Aregger, taught me everything I know about finishing paintings so that they are ready for exhibit, how to market art, and how to manage a gallery. I am so very grateful. Yesterday, her tutelage reached another high point with the opening of the group exhibit “Collages and Clay” in Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu.


A sparkling collage painting and ceramic masks by Susan Rogers-Aregger greet visitors to new exhibit

A sparkling collage painting and ceramic masks by Susan Rogers-Aregger greet visitors to new exhibit at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden.


A dozen artists, all influenced by Susan who also works in clay, combined their hand-dyed tissue paper creations and pots for an exciting display. Friends and family came to celebrate at the reception. No longer alone, we met each others’ human support system and became better acquainted with the lives of the rest of the team.



My sister artists and new friends at the opening reception—Hiroko, Maite, and Dottie. The fat cat in the background is my creation entitled “Living Large.” It has sold!

Bob and Tommy of The Band Tantalus entertained guests with acoustic sounds. Warm to cool palettes grace the gallery walls.

Bob and Tommy of The Band Tantalus entertained guests with acoustic sounds. Warm to cool palettes grace the gallery walls.


By the way, artists love sales. A sale for one is a sale for all! Selling our work is how many of us make our income, and it is wonderful encouragement to keep going. Thank you!

Recently I received two emails, sent separately by two individual buyers who photographed my work in their homes and shared the images with me, to show me how they used my paintings in their decor and their artistic eye. That kind gesture took why we make art to another level of appreciation and enjoyment.

If you go— “Collages and Clay” runs through April 29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden Visitor Center, entrance at the end of Luluku Road, Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu.

Copyright 2016 Rebekah Luke

Water lilies in paper

18 03 2016

Aloha studio fans, art patrons and appreciators! I’m taking this, my latest creation, to exhibit at Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden for the month of April.

Water Lilies in Paper, 18″ x 24″ hand-dyed tissue paper on canvas, copyright 2016 Rebekah Luke

The opening reception for “Collages and Clay at Hoʻomaluhia” is from 1 to 4 pm, Sunday, April 3. Entertainment by The Band Tantalus. Please come!

This is a newish art medium for me, a departure from landscapes in oil paint after 25 years. I hand-dye the tissue paper with my colleague and teacher Susan Rogers-Aregger at her workshop (it takes a small crew). Folks say they prefer the collages because of their translucence and vibrancy of color. I like the way the technique lends itself to abstract images. What do you think?

Calico cat

28 01 2016

Something totally different from me, studio fans. Yes, a cat! I created this piece with hand-dyed tissue paper and framed it just in time to offer it to the Punahou Carnival Art Gallery, open during Carnival hours 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on February 5 and 6. Half of the sales collected is donated by the artists to the school’s financial aid fund. I love this kitty!


Below are two more creations of mine that will be in the exhibit, too.

18” x 24” Hand-dyed Paper on Canvas by Rebekah Luke

Bromeliads (paper)


Life at Ka Punahou (oil)

Copyright 2016 Rebekah Luke

Have commission, will travel

23 08 2015

He didn’t actually say “yes.” The client, about a painting I did on spec. But as my father’s caregiver used to say, “Artur,”—his name was Arthur, and she was a Filipina—”silence means yes.”

My high school classmate Wil, renovating his childhood home in Waialua, saw my art work and said he really liked the view of Mount Kaala from the war memorial at Haleiwa Beach Park and thought a painting of it would be nice. I knew almost exactly what he was referring to because I was reared in Wahiawa, situated on a plateau in the middle of Oahu, and “the beach” meant Haleiwa Beach on the North Shore. When my parents and I rode down through the sugar cane fields toward the ocean, we could see Waialua and Haleiwa in the distance. There were many a family picnic at Haleiwa, and my dad, a dump truck driver, often took me on his last run to Mokuleia to pick up a load of sand or rock , driving through Waialua.

One day I drove from my studio to Haleiwa, made some photos of Mount Kaala that is the highest peak on the island, and emailed them to Wil. We started talking about the details of what he liked about the panorama. He was very specific about the ridge line, not so much about whether he liked morning or afternoon light. We were in the middle of the discussion, and I said, “I have an idea. Let me try it in a new medium I’m working in, hand-dyed tissue-paper collage, and maybe you’ll like it. And if not, that’s okay.”

A few days ago I felt the piece was finished. DH thought it was my best. Really? It’s hard to critique my own work. It’s tempting to keep fussing, but an artist needs to know when to stop. Less is more. Especially when working with abstract shapes, tissue paper, glue, and a knife blade.

I emailed a photo of it to Wil for his consideration, immediately regretting it, because the photo was not like the original where the ocean shimmers in the light. He emailed back, “That looks great! Let me think about it, but it is exactly what I was looking for!” and then 20 minutes later, “Your collage is now my backdrop on my computer! It looks great!” (Uh-oh.) I replied, “Yes, but you should see the original.”

And then, silence.

Usually, I like to give the client the option of selecting a frame if I know they will be acquiring a painting. Anxious to apply the final varnish coat to “Mount Kaala from Haleiwa”, meaning no more changes or additions, and to take it to my framer, I phoned Wil.

“I sent you a photo. Do you have any questions?”

Mount Kaala from Haleiwa Beach

© 2015 Rebekah Luke / All rights reserved

“Yeah. It looks great. It’s exactly what I want. You read my mind. Why don’t you get it framed.

“You want me to pick the frame? Okay, I’ll have it framed and bring it to your party next Saturday.”

“That’s great.”

Perfect. Oh, Wil, what color are your walls?”

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