A show that celebrates peace and calm

6 01 2018

The Hoʻomaluhia New Year Invitational 2018 art show opened today with works depicting—you guessed it—Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden! At the base of the Koʻolau Mountains on Oʻahu, the park’s natural beauty is a “can’t miss” subject for any artist.

Go to the visitor center main gallery between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. any day this month through January 26 to view an inspired collection of works, including two of my oil paintings pictured below. Many are for sale. Greg Pai is the juror.

The public is invited to a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 14.

Hoʻomaluhia means “let’s make peace and tranquility.” Enter the park at the end of Luluku Road in Kāneʻohe.

Mahalo for taking an interest in art! ~ Rebekah

“Clouds Lifting Over Lanihuli” reveal fresh waterfalls. 20″x 16” oil on canvas by Rebekah Luke

“Rain Fantasy,” 24″ x 18″ oil on canvas by Rebekah Luke

Family time and touring with adult siblings

30 05 2016

The third leg of the trip “abroad” was a visit to Pennsylvania where DH Pete’s sister lives and his brother works.

(For the first and second legs, please head back to rebekahstravels.wordpress.com for my travelogue.)

The siblings were born four years apart. Their parents planned it that way for the purpose of affording college tuition. The one other time they toured together as adults was in 2004, after both parents died in Winter 2003. We arrived to spread Dad’s remaining ashes on Memorial Day and went back to the geographical middle of the state and found the family farm of yore.

So last week’s reunion was a special occasion. Penny and Paul took time off from work, and Paul drove in from New Jersey. We were honored.

I am not going to bore you with the family dynamics because every family has them. Suffice it to say that everyone was on their best behavior, and we didn’t discuss religion or politics! 😉

We had fun touring several visitor attractions in the area. Here are the pictures.

The Wharton Escherick Studio in Malvern, PA, work place of the late artist, is open as a small museum showing his architecture, wood furniture, sculpture, and two-dimensional creations. Escherick was a master of free form design.

Stone, wood, and stucco comprise three sections of the artist's studio built in increments as they were needed.

Stone, wood, and stucco comprise three sections of the artist’s studio built in increments as they were needed.



Color was mixed into the stucco for the tower. The fresco design represents sky, trees, and tree trunks. A free form deck emerges in the back and to the right.



Workshop painted the color of the workers blue jeans, left, and the garage at right.

The boys were in heaven at the C. F. Martin & Co., Inc., factory in Nazareth, PA, where 250 new guitars are made every day. The fabrication, assembly, and finishing is done by human hands as well as by robots. But how does a Martin guitar sound? Visitors get a chance to play them.

Paul and Pete, two boys in a candy store, try out the Martins.

Paul and Pete, two boys in a candy store, try out the Martins.





Winterthur is the mansion of the late Henry Francis du Pont. There he founded the premier museum of American decorative arts. Du Pont collected whole room interiors of period design and re-installed them in his own home. One time we visited at Yuletide, and the rooms were decorated as they would have been during the particular period. Very pretty! Only some floors are open for tours. There is just too much, impossible to see all of it. My favorite room was the Chinese Parlor where the wall covering was paper, hand painted in China.


Longwood Gardens is the must-see for everyone, and particularly appreciated by horticulturists, landscape architects, and lay plant lovers. Beautiful! Everything at their prime. Like Winterthur, it’s impossible to see all the acreage. DH wanted to see the Italian water fountains, and I enjoyed the views of blooming rhododendrons along the way through Peirce’s Woods, named after the family who owned the land prior to Pierre du Pont, who maintained the designed of the “rooms,” as he called the gardens within a garden.

Plein air painters enjoy lots of subject matter

Plein air painters enjoy lots of subject matter.



Italian Water Fountains



Peirce’s Woods in bloom


Brother Paul treated us to a private tour of Philly Shipyard where he works. It is perhaps the largest builder of new commercial ships (like Matson container ships vs. military ships) in the US. Small pieces of steel are welded to larger pieces that are welded to even larger pieces, etc., until the vessel is finished and launched. They are humongous.


I have to give a special shout out to Richard, Penny’s fiancé, who allowed us to ride with him in his pick-up to the Saturday-morning garage sales in Phoenixville and Collegeville. The hunt is his passion. Although the pickings were slim Memorial Day weekend, he found me a pair of brand-new Eddie Bauer shorts for a dollar. Just in time as Spring had turned to Summer in just a couple of days with temps reaching 90 degrees F.!

In between the visitor attractions we spent quality time catching up about our respective families (kids and grandkids) as well as seeing old and new friends. Hoagies, Thai food, and delicious home-cooked meals by Penny and Paul with ingredients from the fabulous Wegmans megastore…I have to mention those.


Pete, Penny, and Paul

Pete, Penny, and Paul

Thanks Penny and Paul for your hospitality. We had a great time. Now I’m back in Kaaawa, Oahu. It’s great, too.

Wonderful experience of opera

28 10 2014


Aloha! Ticket information is now posted for the premiere of Emalani 2 in Honolulu! It is my first-ever, up-close-and-personal experience with opera. This wonderful work in both Hawaiian and English was composed by Herb Mahelona with the Hawaiian chant text from He Lei No ‘Emalani edited by Puakea Nogelmeier.

The opera is about the second half of the life of Hawai‘i’s Queen Emma, her life after the death of her husband Alexander Liholiho (Kamehameha IV) and their son Albert Edward Kauikeaouli. The first part of her life was performed two summers ago in Mahelona’s ‘Emalani. Both operas were commissioned for the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus.

So, it is a youth opera with the principal characters played and sung by talented young people. By serendipity, I am singing in the chorus. You can see in the flyer above the amount of collaboration and support there is for this event.

My excitement comes from hearing the music itself and singing it, from reading the book (the lyrics) that is biographical, and from the thrill of realizing what a magnificent and delightful short-hand learning tool opera can be. I am enjoying studying Mahelona’s composition skill and how he structured the music. Hooray for ʻōlelo makuahine and the English translations. I am very thankful for the chance to learn from this type of art.

There are rehearsals in music and dance happening all over town right now. ‘Emalani 2 is quite an undertaking. Just one choral practice remains for the group I rehearse with before the combined “tech/dress” in St. Andrews Cathedral on performance day. I heard the cast numbers more than 100, and that the production of 10 scenes will be staged as theater in the round. Can’t wait! Nola A. Nahulu is the artistic director, and Mathias Maas is the stage director.

Here is Queen Emma’s prayer that I like, excerpted from Scene 2:

God give me courage beyond my own to venture on to a path unknown,
Vision beyond my sight to see each step in thy light.
God give me wisdom beyond my years to speak with firmness in spite of fears,
To live for all to see, to leave a legacy,
Fill my heart with love ever true, my race to bless, thy will to do.
God give me patience and clarity to trust in things I cannot see,
that when my work is done, I will see my husband and my son.

(from ‘Emalani by Herb Mahelona)

Copyright 2014 Rebekah Luke

Pictures of an exhibition

3 11 2013

Thank you — friends, supporters, studio fans, and patrons — from the bottom of my heart. These are a few images of yesterday’s enjoyable opening day of “Hana Hou: Then & Now” at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden.



Panorama Hana Hou




















Punahou Carnival 2011

31 01 2011

This Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4 and 5. All the fun is bounded by Punahou Street and Wilder Avenue in Honolulu, from 11 a.m to 11 p.m., and I’ll be there. If you’re visiting, this is a great travel tip!

The big tent and the thrill rides are up, and they’re getting ready for the Punahou Carnival again. I’m here to plug my alma mater, with notes on my contribution and my favorites. It’s a humongous fundraiser put on by the junior class to raise scholarships. First-timers wonder how they do it. I’ll tell you how.

The school ropes in all the parents of the junior class and alumni to donate their time, labor, talent, and supply goods so that everything spent at the Carnival is profit for students.

The Carnival is such a bonding experience, you remember it for life and return every year to support it. There’s fun for all ages.

Banyan in the Park, an original oil on canvas by yours truly, for purchase at the Punahou Carnival Art Gallery. 16″ x 20″.

My contribution

For the past several years I’ve placed my paintings in the Art Gallery—50% of sales goes to the school, and put my time in at the Hawaiian Plate “booth.” I also help serve up the meal (5 to 8 p.m. Saturday).

Last year my graduating class was the second oldest still working the Carnival. We report to Dole Cafeteria and don aprons and hats to plate the meal of Hawaiian food. For anyone not of school age who isn’t interested in the midway carnival rides, it’s a nice place to relax because there is air-conditioning, there is continuous live music, and there are real bathrooms.

We used to prep and cook the food, and in years before that we worked the famous malasadas booth with Mr. Bowers until we were banned for making non-regulation sizes and shapes ;-). And frankly, I don’t remember what we did prior.

My favorites

Usually I carpool with DH and his daughter, also an alumna. We each arm ourselves with an empty shopping bag and an umbrella. We go to a secret parking place if the lots on campus are full. Tip: take the bus if you can or prepare to park and walk from neighboring streets.

These are some of our favorites:

  • Silent auction—Items vary from year to year, and sometimes we’re lucky. We scope this out first.
  • Art gallery—Always like to see what other island artists are doing; it just makes me want to paint more, though. A great collection.
  • Plant booth—I’ve donated bromeliads and small avocado trees. For my garden I’ve bought herbs, red and pink ginger, native Hawaiian species, water plants, and turf grass. They will hold your purchase for you to retrieve later, if you wish.
  • Malasadas—Of course, with a hot cup of coffee at night.
  • Jams and jellies—E.g., red pepper jelly and mango chutney. I think it sells out in the first hour on Friday 😦
  • Books—At the end you can fill up a bag and get it all for something really cheap.
  • White elephant—Quick survey. You never know what you might find.
  • Food—Whatever your heart’s desire, a separate booth for each. Gyros, corn on the cob, fruit smoothies, fried noodles, pizza, teriburgers, veggie stuff, Hawaiian food, chicken, Portuguese bean soup, ice cream, saimin and meat sticks … oh la la.
  • Produce—A crew goes to the Big Island to pick. I do my next week’s fruit and veggie shopping here.
  • Games—The kiddie games are a world apart. It’s fun to watch the little ones. I think it’s time to take Miss Marvelous there. There are games for older students and teens too. My Facebook friend Yo and her husband are parent chairs of the prizes this year.
  • Will call—You can check your loot here until time to go home.

So c’mon to the Punahou Carnival, alumni or not. Spend your money. It’s for a good cause!

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke

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