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!”





Fiery volcano collages & doodles

8 12 2018

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

A balance of light and energy

20 01 2012

For the past few days I’ve done the things I like to do. There seems to be a balance of energy around me, and I feel well! This is my 200th blog post to you!

A photo panoramic view of Lanihuli peak from Luluku on a sunshiny winter day. I've made several paintings in oil of the vicinity. I like to paint in the landscape as much as I like to blog. Access is from Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden. Please see the painted images below.

I had a Reiki client this morning, too. That is great for my being. Then I was glad to get some nice email from some folks I hadn’t heard from for a while.

The studio is clean, that is, clean enough that I’m not going crazy with clutter, and I’m expecting my cousin Jim this afternoon when we will continue working on a new book about our family, my grandparents’ clan.

I’m on track with writing the lesson plans for the Painting classes I’m teaching starting February.

DH and I are sleeping very well since moving our bed back to the original master bedroom that we vacated to accommodate my aging father (1914-2003) and later Miss Marvelous, while her parents worked and she was not yet in school. Anticipating the kids’ move to Italy in a month or so, we disassembled the crib and moved back in after almost 10 years.

The feng shui is better in the living area, thanks to a simple rearrangement of furniture to allow for a freer flow of energy.

I’m eating more sensibly since the holidays, though enjoying Chinese New Year food, and, at this very moment, the aches and pains of aging are non-existent. I’m listening to soothing harp music and not a ball game on TV.

Yesterday I painted with the Thursday group and got some good critique from Val and Naomi, who paint differently from the way I paint, but they have good eyes and suggestions to improve the canvas I’m working on—a morning scene of Kuilima Cove on the North Shore.

I was sorry I didn’t bring a large blank canvas, for the vog gave way in the morning to clear skies and a spectacular landscape in the top photo that I should have been painting instead. I snapped two pictures with my iPhone. After posting them on Facebook, Kelley commented the mountain scene was so beautiful to her. I agreed. Nature in the right light. Yo posted she almost mistook them for one of my paintings.

In fact, I have painted scenes from this place on other occasions, and surely will paint another now that I can see the mountain up to the top, for there were few clouds, and definite form and cast shadows from a point source—the sun!

"Banyan Shade," 16" x 20"oil on canvas

"Clouds Lifting Over Lanihuli," 16"x 20" oil on canvas

"View of the Koolau Mountains" by Rebekah Luke. Richard Guy Collection.

"Golden Retreat at Ho'omaluhia," 11" x 14" oil on canvas

Reiki blessings to you!

Copyright 2012 Rebekah Luke

Remaking an oil painting

11 09 2011

As an oil painter I’m often asked, “How long does it take to finish a painting?” In the same vein artists will remind each other, “You have to know when to stop.” We like to avoid overworking a piece.

My “Clouds Lifting Over Lanihuli” demonstrates these points. First is a photo of the painting mid-way, in the field. On a clear day, there are no waterfalls in the scene, but just after a big rain when the clouds lift, there they are! To paint en plein air I headed to this place to study the scene when it was raining, time after time. I took this snapshot from the trunk of my hatchback where I’d taken shelter.

In the field, in the rain

I wanted so much to finish the painting. Below is what I published, i.e., what I thought was ready for market, a few weeks ago. Oils take a long time to dry—up to six months before they can be varnished. In the meantime I can look at a painting every day. As I kept staring at this piece (it’s staged above the TV cabinet) something bothered me. It wasn’t finished.

Not quite finished

I decided to correct the areas of the painting that were “wrong.” In a representative piece, although it is impressionistic (I label my style as “impressionistic representationalism”) I want to paint a scene so that it looks logical.

To really finish and complete this painting, I did three things:

1) I added pigment to the center clouds area to hide the waterfall behind it.

2) I widened the same center waterfall at the bottom because it is closer to the viewer (and so should appear larger).

3) In addition, by very very carefully scraping with the long edge of a palette knife, I knocked down some objectionable relief areas I originally painted of the mountain ridges at the top and touched up the clouds to make them softer and smoother looking.

“Clouds Lifting Over Lanihuli” looks better now. I hope you agree!

Finished: "Clouds Lifting Over Lanihuli," 16" x 20" oil on canvas

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke

Clouds lifting over Lanihuli

5 08 2011

I wonder if it is true that in olden times the waterfalls of windward Oahu ran all the time. Olden times meaning before water was diverted to the Ewa plain for sugar cane and land development. At the present intersection of Kahekili and Likelike highways, while waiting at a red light, a rain storm typical of our wet season had just stopped and the clouds lifted to reveal a spectacular scene of the Koolau mountains. I was on my way to Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden at Luluku and made up my mind to hold the vision in my memory so I could paint it. For in just a few quarters of an hour the sun came out again and the waterfalls disappeared.

"Clouds Lifting Over Lanihuli" 16" x 20" Oil on Canvas (unfinished)

UPDATE, September 11, 2011: As you will see in my 9/11/2011 post, I have made some changes to this painting, and I think you may like the finished work better. Thanks for visiting Rebekah’s Studio.

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke

If it’s Thursday, it must be Ho‘omaluhia!

9 07 2010

View of the Ko‘olau Mountains from Ho‘omaluhia

My painting group and I are busy putting together an August exhibition of our artwork at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden Visitor Center in Kaneohe, Oahu. It opens on August 3, with a punch-and-cookies reception on August 5 (Thursday) from noon to 2 p.m. If you are in the area, please come to see it! If time permits, see the garden too. You may click on the garden link above to read about the garden, and on the link below for details of the art show. – Rebekah


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