Saturday, January 21, 2017

Dappled Alabaster

Dappled Alabaster
19.5 x 25.5
Pastel on Sennelier LaCarte Grey

This is the first of many paintings inspired by specimens in the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island of Hawaii. On our recent visit to the Big Island, my significant other found this garden was there, so we designated one day of our trip for a visit vs going sea kayaking/snorkeling. If you are interested in botanical gardens, I strongly recommend this garden. We are all blessed by the devotion and vision of Dan Lutkenhouse who founded the garden. 

When we arrived on the windward side of the island on Onomea Bay, we found a little pull off prior to the gardens and hiked down to a quiet little cove with black rock beaches. I was moved to tears by it's beauty. 

Little did I know what I was in for when I went into the gardens. For this botanical artist, it was Nirvana. Of course I expected Gingers and Heliconia. But there was also "Bromeliad Hill", Anthurium Corner", and the orchid garden among many other things. The website and folks at the front desk say it's about a 1.5 hour tour. Yeah, not for us. I spent at least 30 minutes in the orchid garden alone. As I culled the photos, this particular orchid jumped out at me. I knew this was the specimen that would begin the Hawaiian series. i'm not done documenting the painting plan for this visit and I'm already up to 55 potential paintings. 

It had been over a week since I had painted when I started this orchid and she seemed to thwart me at every turn. I finally had to walk away for a few days. Since we had been gone for a week, I should have known to start with a small warm up painting. But I was so inspired by this orchid, I went big. When I came back to the painting, 6 days later, I felt much clearer on what needed to be done, and she just "bloomed". I expect there will be many many more blooms to come. Here's the progress shots....

End of Session 1

End of Session 2 and Run Away
I did NOT like this