Wednesday, November 30, 2011

90 in 90, Cat Nap, #59

     Watching a cat napping is extremely relaxing. The cat didn't move for hours and I nearly fell asleep painting. It might be better at reducing stress than an aquarium full of fish, which could have been what the cat was dreaming about.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

90 in 90, Avocado Seed, #58

     Ordinary objects glowed on the old fashioned sink drain in the ethereal light coming through the window. It's also a reminder to buy dish soap.

Monday, November 28, 2011

90 in 90, Goose Portrait, #57

     This goose stands about waist high. Yesterday filling it's water tub I had to keep it at bay with the hose to turn the tap on and off. How it stays white in a yard full of red dirt is one of the big mysteries of Molokai. I wanted to paint a sympathetic portrait, but geese are mean, it came out fairly accurate.

90 in 90, Molokai Farms, #56

Flying over Ho'olehua farm country, the newly tilled fields show off the red volcanic soil.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2012 American Samoa Calendar Images

Sadie's Hotels in American Samoa produced a calendar of images of my paintings. The calendars are available from, either individually or wholesale. 
I am offering 16x20" stretched prints on canvas for $275.00 including postage until December 16, 2011 (a savings of $40), please write to me at, payment is accepted by Paypal. 
Some of the original paintings are still available as well.

Waiting to Perform 
The girls were sitting at the cruise ship dock waiting for their turn to dance and the little ones were getting impatient.
Original painting is on display at Maria Watanabe's Warehouse in Kaunakakai, Molokai
24x30" framed, $3,400

Fatu ma Futi 
A famous landmark just outside of Pago Pago Harbor. Also known as Flower Pot Rock. It's a great place to stop and go for a swim. 
Original painting, sold to a private collector

The highest peak on the island of Tutila, it is a spectacular climb. This is the view from my backyard when I lived in Fagagogo. 
Original painting is on display at Sadie's by the Sea in Pago Pago, American Samoa
20 x 30", $2,400 framed (shipping by arrangement)

  Red Heliconia 
These giant flowers grew in my yard, but if you took them inside the whole house smelled like a swamp. The waxy leaves hold water and an entire ecosystem grows in the puddles.
Original, sold

A friend who used to perform at Sadie's in their Fiafia Night show, this week as the Taupo. The original painting was sold twice before Nia tracked it down and bought it for herself.

Walking to Olosega 
On the beach on Ofu, Olosega is in the background. The two small islands are joined by a bridge. One of the most lovely views in the world next to a spectacular 'blue hole', an area of deep water behind a protected reef. It is a National Park, but difficult to get to. Worth all the effort. They are two of the remote islands of American Samoa.
Original painting is on display at Sadie's by the Sea, Pago Pago. 
18 x 24", framed, $1,800
Named because everyone in the boat needs to stay in sync with the other paddlers or the boat slows down. In rough weather like the this the guys in back have to bail often.
Original painting is on display at Sadie's by the Sea in Pago Pago, American Samoa
24 x 30", $3,400 framed (shipping by arrangement)

 Pola Island
Also known as Cock's Comb and home to thousands of sea birds. Viewed from Tula, I went up on the roof of the climate station to take the picture I used for this painting. 
Original painting is on display at Sadie's by the Sea in Pago Pago, American Samoa
20 x 30", $2,400 framed (shipping by arrangement)

Women using a mirror to perfect the timing on their hand movements. 
Original is on loan and sale is pending, will need to check if it is still available
18x24", framed, $1,800

Samoan Coconut Tree
These bright yellow coconuts are the sweetest of all. The trees are so loaded it looks impossible. The traditional open fales in the background are community meeting houses. 
Original purchased by the Feliti Barstow Public Library in Utelei, American Samoa

Siva Afi
A fife knife dancer with the traditional Samoa pe'a (tattoo). Wicks soaked in white gas are wired to razor sharp machetes, then spun impossibly fast. The dance is as dangerous as it is spectacular. 
Original painting is on display at Sadie's by the Sea in Pago Pago, American Samoa

The men and women in the dance performances are lovely, but the kids are always charming, even if they miss their steps. Tiara never did, but she didn't always look like she wanted to be there. This was one of her good days.
Original painting is on display at The Sadie Thompson Inn in Pago Pago, American Samoa
16x20", $1,600 framed (shipping by arrangement)

Tin Roof Fale
At the end of the road, past Tula. Beach fales are found all over the island, but this one had the traditional roof made out or roofing tin and was lovingly painted. 
Original is on display at The Sadie Thompson Inn in Pago Pago, American Samoa
NFS, this is an oil painting and it has been damaged by mold and cannot be repaired
Wild Pig
I'm not actually sure pigs smile, but the one I photographed that came running out of the bushes looked like it was. American Samoa is a great place to live, of course the pigs are smiling!
Original, sold

The prints on canvas are hard to tell from the originals. The are coated with UV protection and printed with the finest, long lasting inks available. Look forward to hearing from you!

90 paintings on Molokai, Lime and Coconut, #55

                                         Hey Sis, this is waiting for you when you get here!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

90 paintings, Molokai Cowboy, # 54

      I took nearly five hundred pictures at the Junior Ropers rodeo today, but this wasn't one of them. I saw the kid's practicing a few days before and some of them weren't wearing shoes, although they all managed to find their boots for the competition. I admire the bravery required to get on a horse and charge around barrels. There's a lot more skill involved than just staying on including controlling large, strong animals that may or may not be having a bad day. Horses have tantrums, occasionally panic and just won't do won't do what you would like them too sometimes, pretty much like people.    

Thursday, November 24, 2011

90 in 90, Thanksgiving, Day 53

     If I could paint what I'm most thankful for it would have to be a mural of friends, definitely beyond the scope of this project though. Second runner up, a plate of great food. Many thanks to the Tancayo family for putting it all together, really fun to be there and good luck this weekend! I'll see you at the rodeo.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

90 in 90, Wild Turkeys, Day 52

     Wild turkeys can be found on Molokai if you know where to look, like the golf course. Except it closed so now I don't have a clue. One evening several flew in front of the car which was a surprise. Until then I'd only seen them running away. This time of year it's actually wise.

90 in 90, Farm Workers, Day 51

     Women at Kumu Farms weeding rows of herbs with a backdrop of papaya trees. The wind carried the aroma of a gourmet kitchen.  Laboring all day in the sun at backbreaking hard work and still the women were laughing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

90 in 90, Ti Leaves, Day 50

     Golden acrylics make intense liquid colors. Primary magenta made it possible to paint the bright edges of the leaves. These plants play many roles in Polynesian cultures, as versatile as they are varied. From formal ritual, to clothing to cooking ti plants are constantly in use. One Halloween in Samoa a friend cut the top off a ti plant, stuck it in the back of his sarong and went to the party as a rooster.

90 in 90, Puni, Day 49

     There's two dogs living in this house. This is the good one, although when the puppy gets out of hand she turns into boss dog. The puppy can eat her food, pee in the house and chew up carpets, but if he tries to take her spot on Paddy's lap fur is going to fly. This look is reserved for Paddy, revered Alpha Master of her Universe.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

90 in 90, Gecko, Day 48

     Gecko's don't stick like adhesive or use suction to adhere to surfaces. They bond. Seriously, millions of tiny hairs on their feet share electrons with the atoms in the surface they walk on. That's why they can stick to glass upside down or plywood. The bond is so effective they have to peel their feet off the surface, which explains that funny wiggle when they run. They feel strange when you hold them and you do have to peel them off, but I guess it's because they actually become one with you. Bug eating, chirping, bonding house lizards, gotta love them.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

90 in 90, Laundry, Day 47

     Roosters, red dirt dust, barking dogs, the whine of 4x4 tires on pavement and lots of wind fade into the background over time. They are as much a part of the island as diesel buses, sirens and the hum of freeways are to the city. Clothes dry fast and clothes pins get a serious workout. Thanks Heidi for the suggestion. I don't hear the roosters anymore and laundry flying is such a common sight it too is easy to overlook.    

Thursday, November 17, 2011

90 in 90, Monstera, Day 46

     Yesterday was the half way point in this project. Some days have been better than others. The harder a painting was the less I like it, so I'm not a good judge. Apparently muses take vacations and I get it, often I'd much rather go to the beach. The painting most looked at is the Lauhala Hat. After the United States, the most page views are in Russia, then Mexico, Canada and New Zealand. Wish I could meet some of the viewers and please feel free to leave comments. I'll post the next album to Facebook at 60 days. Also, if anyone has any requests don't be shy, I'd like to know what you want to see painted on Molokai. Thank you for looking!

90 in 90, Humback Whales, Molokai, Day 45

     This is the completely impossible whale moment, although you can easily spot this many in a day, it would be beyond lucky to see them all at once. I asked my friend Susan Forsberg if I could use one of her whale pictures to paint from and couldn't decide which, so included all of them.
      Susan and her husband run whale watching tours daily during the winter when the whales visit Hawaii. They know whales and the trip is completely amazing. Lots more info can be found on their web site. I went on the tour earlier this year and was just too excited when the whales swam up to the boat to take a half way decent photo. Thanks Susan, I have no idea how you got these shots! Did you train them to jump for you?

Photos by Susan Forsberg

Molokai Fish & Dive


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

90 in 90, Siloama Church, Kalaupapa, Molokai, Day 44

Established in 1866. In the trees just down the road, Saint Philomena originally built by St. Damien (Joseph De Veuster) in Kalawao on the windward side of the Kalaupapa peninsula. The two churches from the leprosy (Hansens's disease) settlement are due entirely to the dedication of the people who have quietly preserved them over the years. Just beyond Kalawao is a fantastic view of the dramatic sea cliffs of backside Molokai.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

90 in 90, Day 43, Ohelo, Molokai Rainforest

     In a previous post I described the unique rainforest environment on the top of mountains of Molokai. Thanks Paula for sending me the name of the flower!

I asked my brother, what it was and here is what he says:
1. n. A small native shrub (Vaccinium reticulatum),
‘Ă–helo, a Hawai’I endemic
So, it's called, Ohelo.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

90 in 90, Day 41, Ube Ice Cream

     Yup, for real, purple sweet potato ice cream and it's great. Get it at Kamo'i Snack-N-Go in Kaunakakai. Best potato ice cream in Hawaii.

Friday, November 11, 2011

90 in 90, Molokai, Day 40, Lehua

     Lehua wanders in and out of a friend's yard. She's tame, loves to be brushed, eats bowls of party snack mix and more recently the orchids. The deer on Molokai keep their spots as adults and their fur is super soft. Lehua is nearly thirty and they never know when she'll show up or how long she'll stay. Diane and Clay also have the colorful birds (see Day 24) so a trip to their backyard is like stepping into a fairy tale. I never know from one day to the next what I'm going to paint, thanks Woody for the idea and Heidi for getting me there. Only a true friend would hang around for an hour waiting for a deer to put her ears up so I could get a photograph.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

90 in 90 on Molokai, Day 38, Blowfish

     This could be a self-portrait, if fish had hot flashes. It was supposed to be whimsical, but it came out looking like I feel. Puffy, easily irritated and overly defensive. Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.

90 in 90 on Molokai, Day 37, Lauhala Hat

         Walking back from town wondering what to paint I ran into my friend Kulia wearing a hat woven from the lau (leaves) of the hala (pandanas) tree. The feather band is also an art form requiring special skill. Kulia used to own an art gallery so she didn't think it strange when I caught up to her in a parking lot and I asked if I could paint her hat.   

Monday, November 7, 2011

90 in 90 on Molokai, Day 36, Sweet Yellow Coconuts

     Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove is over one thousand trees strong. Planted by King Kamehameha, one for each of his warriors, there are enough coconuts in the grove to knock an army out. Walking around under the trees is a lesson in luck and it's actually not allowed, but that's what long lenses are for. The sun setting behind the grove is one of the finest sights on Molokai.

     If you want to embellish your own the Post Office in Ho'olehua provides coconuts and pens to create a masterpiece that you can mail anywhere or you can buy a hand painted coconut suitable for mailing at Kumu Farms from Heather Williams, another wonderful local artist. Clearly I woke up with coconuts on the brain.

     And Barb hand-paints coconuts in ways never thought of before. I almost did a painting of one of her painted coconuts, but her creations are so much more fun in real life. Probably the point of sculpture, it's just not the same flat. Pick up one of her wild coconut characters at the Saturday Market in Kaunakakai, seriously they will make you smile.

90 in 90 on Molokai, Day 35, Pig Farm

     When we stopped at the pig farm two things stood out, one of them be grateful I can't share. The diversity of animals running around in the field, clearly used to each other, was a surprise, especially the kitten sitting around with the pigs. But the air was so full of methane it probably wasn't safe to light a match. Pigs really aren't cute. This painting is to preserve the memory. It looked like a petting zoo full of happy animals, but in reality it was muddy, stinky and loud. The trick of painting is that only the best part can be preserved. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

90 in 90 on Molokai, Day 34, Pork Bau Bun Sandwich

     Today at the Food Expo in Kualapu'u I found a new home for the baby chicken. Not as a sandwich of course, but with a family whose kids will happily raise the lost chick. After staying up all night comforting the peeping baby I couldn't bring myself to paint a chicken dish, even though all the food was amazing. Quitting my potential career as chicken whisperer we left the expo and stopped by a pig farm to photograph baby pigs, so it's been a circle of life day. My friend who took me to the farm introduced me saying "Hey cousin, your pigs are gonna be on Facebook." I'm glad he laughed, I don't always know how to explain what I do.

9th Annual Molokai Chamber of Commerce Business and Food Expo
Sandwich Tribute:
Chef Chris Schobel–Hula Grill, Kaanapali, Maui
 Pork in a steamed bau bun with pickled veg, fresh cilantro and a smear of Hoisin, garnished with hot sauce.

Friday, November 4, 2011

90 in 90 Molokai, Day 33, Lost Chick

        The babies are hard wired to peep like the house is on fire as soon as their mother is out of sight. Walking back from town today, I heard the racket before I spotted a tiny chick on the side of the road, no mother chicken in sight. Of course I scared the baby and sadly it ran into traffic, missed getting flattened by inches and plunged back into the grass where it was soon hopelessly tangled. Great, still no Mom so I picked the chick up and and went looking. I set it down every now and then so it would make a racket and hopefully the Mom would respond, but no luck. After half an hour of this routine the chick was running back to me. Just to say, I'm typing with one hand because the peeping doesn't stop unless it's curled up in my other hand. I did the entire painting holding it (don't know how to tell if it's a boy or a girl). I've made a few calls looking for a home and I'm sure someone with a farm won't mind one more chicken.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

90 in 90, Day 32, Bird of Paradise

     Looking around the yard for flowers I found a huge Bird of Paradise plant, pulled the weeds out of it and cut a few flowers. The first time I came to Hawaii thirty years ago I was amazed by 'house plants' growing like weeds. In a storm huge chunks of philodendrons blew down the road. People use machetes to hack back hedgerows of plants and flowers that we baby indoors in colder climates. Giant clumps of grass grow out of the tops of stop signs and sprout from fence posts. I'm trying to grow vegetables, but the bugs like them as much as I do. The flowers seem nearly immune though.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

90 paintings in 90 days, Day 31, Mamo

     Puppies simply have to be cute to survive. If  a person chewed off the end of a quilt and pulled all the stuffing out, they would just have to move out. This little guy burns up all his energy chasing something seriously important like a gum wrapper, then passes out face down in the doorway. Time management isn't remotely part of his world. He is so happy that he wags fur off his tail. No kidding, his fur is wearing thin from exuberant wagging. I'd like to have half his energy, even if it meant jumping up and down for no apparent reason and doing naughty things. 

     First 30 days
      I've avoided ranting about what actually makes this project feel like a marathon, but here it is. It is way harder than I thought it would be. I'm a slow painter because I don't draw naturally well. I really have to work at it. I should have done a drawing everyday for a year before starting this. I stand up to paint simply because it's faster and my back would whine if I sat for six or seven hours a day leaning forward at an easel so my feet hurt instead. Some days I feel about as inspired as a banana slug. I'm at the point where I can't judge my own work very well, being critical apparently takes time and setting a deadline means I have to post something whether I'm satisfied or not. I see ways to improve all of them and so far I'm only completely happy with one of them. Plus I have the time management skills of a puppy on my best day. I never guessed that staying organized would be so absolutely necessary.
     Friends have asked to buy them or put them on Ebay for auction, but I can't do that right now. If they didn't sell I might loose my enthusiasm. As a learning project that has turned into a spiritual journey requiring me to forge the depths of my soul for motivation I doubt my fragile ego could survive public apathy. They'll be for sale eventually, after I've moved on to another project. Some of them may need to be used for ho'okupu (see day 30), to request divine inspiration. Only two months to go.   

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

90 paintings in 90 days, Day 30, Offering

      These ho'okupu are small objects tied in ti leaves. They're used for an offering, like lighting a candle in church, to ask for acknowledgement from God or a higher power, what you believe. The inside is personal. I used a flower lei that I'd worn to an event and left the offering among others in a special place.
For more information;

90 paintings in 90 days, Day 29, Moon

      New Moon
Janet, this moon is for you!
       Tonight I went to friend's house for dinner and we ended up chasing insects with a vacuum cleaner. A bloom of carpenter ants had taken over the house. Life in the country, I swear. They ran up my arms and I couldn't get them out of my hair. While I was chasing the bugs with a shop vac a gecko fell off the ceiling and bounced off my head. Actually, it was the perfect Halloween night complete with primal squealing. Forget ghosts, giant winged ants in Biblical numbers and falling lizards are way more creepy.