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

 





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.”

Pattern

Dried and fallen





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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