Monday, November 12, 2012

30 paintings in 30 days, American Samoa, Day 13

I took the photograph this painting is from many years ago, but it is still one of my favorite images.

Karen, my friend in California, wrote and asked;
What is it about the South Pacific that draws you to paint images from there?

      There is nothing short of stunning beauty in any direction you look from steep jungle covered mountains to the clear blue ocean. Green dominates the landscape in every shade from deep emerald to neon lime. Above and below the swath of crazy vegetation blue competes with shades of teal and cobalt layered over ultramarine. Flowers break up the raucous competition between sky, mountains and ocean with violent bursts of candy orange, coke red, Hello Kitty pink and every shade in between. Samoans do not willingly fade into the background; they embrace the rainbow in fabric and paint dressing themselves and their buildings with condensed elements of the landscape as if to say "Ha, we'll show you!"
      The riot of color and light is inspiring. I take pictures constantly. It is the perfect place to use the tubes of paint that languish in the bottom of the box in more muted climates and a challenge to make the paintings as bright as the landscape. Being here feels like a gift that I want to return in kind. I was told way back in college that painting what one is passionate about makes the best paintings. But I can also say that being passionate about a subject seems to make the paint flow more readily off the brush and feeling joy while painting makes time fly by.

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