The Bathhouse (Kaʻaʻawa)

15 08 2017
“The Bathhouse (Kaʻaʻawa)” oil on canvas by Rebekah Luke. Private collection.

This photo arrived in the email today. What a surprise and a thrill! “How much is this painting? My mom wants to know. She got it in 1991,” the inquirer wrote.

There was a photo of the back of the painting on which I wrote “1991,” but on looking at my record book, I saw that the painting (no. 29) was purchased in 1993 by a nice couple of Kaʻaʻawa who collected memorabilia of our town.

Some years afterward I looked for the buyers to ask if I could make a digital photo of their painting and was told they had moved. But now, I have a photo!

I told Tj*, who emailed me, the amount I sold the painting for, and to whom, and the average price of my paintings today. (Watching “Antiques Roadshow” on TV, I really should raise my prices! 😉)

The painting was part of a series of images of all the manmade public structures in Kaʻaʻawa, including the two bridges. They were unveiled at Swanzy Beach Park where park director Patty Greene had the kids hand paint and put out a sandwich board sign that read simply “Everybody Come.” I still have that sign. Minnie Akiona from the Kaʻaʻawa Country Kitchen across the highway brought over a tray of Chinese noodles and other refreshments.

Then the pictures were shown at an exhibit entitled “Painting the Town” in conjunction with the play “Chicago” at Diamond Head Theatre. Some of the paintings were bought by neighbors, and at least two pieces of the collection (the 8 a.m. flag raising in the school yard and the bookmobile) are hanging in the Kaʻaʻawa school office because the principal bought them.

So much for no. 29. My most recent oil painting “Glass Full of Daisies” was no. 202. I sent it to Texas in June as our wedding gift to Aunt Ross. It’s good to keep records, and I am happy to provide the provenance of an art piece.

* Epilogue: Tj emailed back to say her mom is the daughter of the original purchasers of “The Bathhouse…” and that the painting is still hanging in the house.

~ Rebekah Luke





Making your mark

2 08 2017

“Making Your Mark” is part of an artist development workshop series developed and taught by artist-author-educator Emily McIlroy in Honolulu. I attended on July 30, and the following are my reflections. Interested persons may contact info@emilymcilroy.com to ask about future sessions.

Workshop venue

“Making Your Mark” was thought provoking and caused me to wonder how to think out of the box when making art.

In the future instead of looking at my past work to discover if I subconsciously included a mark, I plan to intentionally start creating a mark based on ideas, feelings, and themes that I am attracted to; yet going with the flow during the process and allowing for chance. Experimentation.

For many years and until recently I painted Hawaiian landscapes in oil — impressionistic representationalism in green hues. (As I write this I realize the skill of painting green has been my mark!) Injuring my wrist from the repetitive motion of applying paint to canvas (I suspect) caused me to take a rest from that activity. 3D pieces, big installation art, and manipulating fabric into fashion would take me out of my comfort zone and are three areas I might explore.

• I like the idea of working on more than one art piece simultaneously in the studio, with a mark being a unifying theme and the end result being a body of work.

• I like the notion of an exhibition that is read three ways–the overall view (such as the photographic long shot), the art works themselves (medium study), and the artist’s statement (a close up). It causes me to wonder whether it is more efficient to start with the artist’s statement before creating the art pieces.

The workshop ideas are applicable to all the arts, I feel, not only the visual arts. Pen and paper were all that were needed to make notes, but not even that was necessary as Emily McIlroy offered a complete PowerPoint presentation and accompanying handout.

The notes I made were my brief observations of my own thoughts during the four hours. The small class made for intimate discussion; I was pleasantly surprised to have already been acquainted with three others out of our total seven attendees who I met in the art world previously. The 4-hour workshop with breaks was perfect for my needs, although I did not know that going in.

Thank you, Emily McIlroy, for offering this workshop. I recommend highly these workshops to my drawing and painting students and anyone interested in elevating their particular art.

© 2017 Rebekah Luke

 





Eulogy

30 07 2017


Remembering Susan Rogers-Aregger (June 28, 1951-July 2, 2017)

We were all blessed to know Susan and share her life. I will cherish her friendship always. Susan was my friend, teacher, and colleague. She taught me most everything I know about making art with tissue paper, marketing and selling art, and how to run an art gallery and co-op—all of which I have managed to do over the many years we knew each other.

I want to tell you about a bond we had. We had the same mentor, the colorist Gloria Foss. Since Gloria’s passing, Susan carried on her legacy of teaching collage; and I continued Gloria’s method of teaching oil painting and how to turn the form. Susan co-authored their textbook entitled Paper Dyeing for Collage & Crafts, and I had the privilege and honor of doing many of the photographs for How to Paint by Gloria Foss. We both loved to quote her to our students in class: “Gloria says . . .” Ahaha. But we go back further than that.

I first saw Susan when she was introduced by Ramsay Goldstein at a meeting of the Honolulu Branch of The National League of American Pen Women. At that time she was working at Ramsay Gallery in Chinatown. She flashed her big, cheerful smile, that toothy grin, happy to meet other artists, writers, and composers. I could see instantly that she was someone special. She looked like she would be good fun!

At that time I was a Letters member only, working with words, not images. Susan joined as an Art member. The Pen Women Art members were such an inspiration. I gravitated to learning about color and how to paint—from Gloria! Shortly after I had the guts to hang my paintings at the Honolulu Zoo Fence, Susan invited me to join the Arts of Paradise Gallery at the International Market Place, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I remember one day when Susan called and told me how sick Gloria was and how she was at her bedside urging her to hang on to life. No luck. Similarly, when I visited the Aregger home it was two days since Susan had lapsed into a coma. Dan and her hanai sister were there, as were two caregivers. The doctor had left, and they said he would come again the next morning. It was a beautiful day as I watched their whirligig in the wind on the beach, the wind blowing the clouds and the palm fronds, too, reminding that life is a continuum. I gave Susan some Reiki.

Hawaii’s poet laureate Don Blanding (1894-1957) wrote this poem I would like to share:

“Somehow”

I’ve tried for many an hour and minute
To think of this world without me in it.
I can’t imagine a newborn day
Without me here . . . somehow . . . someway.
I cannot think of autumn’s flare
Without me here . . .alive . . . aware.
I can’t imagine a dawn in spring
Without my heart awakening.
These treasured days will come and go
At swifter pace . . . but this I know . . .
I have no fear . . . I have no dread
Of the marked day that lies ahead.
My flesh will turn to ash and clay
But I’ll be here . . .
Somehow . . .some way. —Don Blanding

Rebekah Luke
July 30, 2017
Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Gardens, Oahu





Hōkūleʻa comes home

18 06 2017

After visiting 23 countries and territories around the world over the past three years, the double-hulled sailing canoe Hōkūleʻa has returned to Hawaiʻi and was greeted yesterday at Magic Island, Ala Moana Park, Oahu, by an estimated 50,000 people. A friend and his wife invited me to their hotel suite 26 floors above for a bird’s eye view of the homecoming.

Magic Island is the green peninsula in the middle of the photo, above Ala Wai Boat Harbor.

Seven other double-hulled waʻa (canoes) came, too, in this historical event to honor Polynesian voyaging and celestial navigation.

Graphic courtesy of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs

The best way for me to emphasize the importance of Hōkūleʻa (Hawaiian for “Star of Gladness”) is to share with you the address by Hawaiian voyager Nainoa Thompson to the crowd. It is the speech of his life. Powerful. You may hear it here. For the children. http://www.kitv.com/Clip/13421484/nainoa-thompson-speaks-at-hokulea-homecoming#.WUa4gg2bsMQ.email





Joe Kaakua and a snippet of my high school reunion

13 06 2017

Our Punahou School Class of 1967’s 50th reunion is now a pleasant memory shared with a gazillion photos and well wishes on Facebook. After many activities on both Hawaii and Oahu islands, including the annual Alumni Luau on campus that honors the 50th Year class especially, the finale was a picnic at our classmate’s family’s large rural estate.

Me and Joe after the Memorial Service for our classmates who died. Joe played his ukulele for our choir that I directed.

Hats off to my buddy Joseph Kaakua who organized the event and his wife Joann (we call her Girly), his right hand. Joe requested my now-celebrated mountain apple pie for the picnic. “Maybe two,” he said. Well, you can’t say no to Joe.

But was he kidding? That’s not enough for 150-200.  So I made more than two!

Mountain apple (ʻōhiʻa ʻai in Hawaiian) pies. The fresh fruit tastes a bit like a pear. My pie resembles rhubarb.

(Copyright 2017 Rebekah Luke)

(Photos by Valerie Lam)





Our most recent Punahou graduate

4 06 2017

Lei and more lei for James. So many that he is about to present me with one of white ginger. His older sister Anna came from Minnesota.

Eleven thirty Saturday night. Just returned from Honolulu where my hanai nephew James David Yoshimura Sinclair was graduated with honors from Punahou School. I am so proud of him. It was a long commencement ceremony but very exciting for the grads. They will be partying until morning. The Blaisdell arena was filled to capacity. Our seats in the balcony gave me a bird’s eye view, too far for me to get good close-up photos. Here, instead, are images of James being greeted by his family afterwards.

Grandma Ivalee Sinclair and James Sinclair

Anna, mother Dawn, James, cousin Trinity, uncle Karl, and father Dr. Brian Sinclair, MD

Immediate family: Parents Dr. Brian and Dawn Sinclair, sister Anna, and James

James and his Aunt Ruth Sinclair

Me and my hanai mom Ivalee Sinclair, James’s grandmother

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

 

 





June morning haiku

2 06 2017

Walked down to the shore.

High tide. Looming offshore rain.

Walked beach anyway.

 








%d bloggers like this: