Art and wine inspire us to keep going

19 05 2013

Imagine my delight when my oil painting students announced they wanted to exhibit their art work. I love to support initiative. It would be at Nani’s house. They would invite just family and a few friends for a private showing.

Each of us would bring heavy pupu which means hors d’oeuvres substantial enough for dinner. Wine would be served. Personally, I think it was an excuse to drink wine. Only people who drank wine would be invited! they said.

Grouping of paintings includes images of Moanalua Gardens. At left: Prince Lot's cottage by Leinani Keppeler-Bortles. Center: Kamaipuupaa hula mound by Rebekah Luke. Bottom: Chinese Hall by Rae Gorman. Right: Kalo (pu‘epu‘e style) by Rae Gorman.

Grouping of paintings includes images of Moanalua Gardens. At left: Prince Lot’s cottage by Leinani Keppeler-Bortles. Center: Kamaipuupaa hula mound by Rebekah Luke. Bottom: Chinese Hall by Rae Gorman. Right: Lo’i kalo (pu‘epu‘e style) by Rae Gorman.

Some background: This is the first cohort of students, now in Painting III (Landscape En Plein Air). They completed Painting I and II  in the studio. Now students have graduated and are painting on location for the first time. They go out with me two times each to five locations, for a total of ten outings. After that students may finish their paintings on their own. It will be typical to repeat this course until they are comfortable in the landscape with its constantly changing light and weather.

Setting a show date turned out to be good incentive for finishing the paintings. We had paintings in progress from Moanalua Gardens, Byodo-In, Kapiolani Park, the farm at Castle High School, and Kaaawa Beach Park.

I kept out of the planning until about a week ago when Nani asked how best to display the art work.  I took interest because (a little ego here ;-)) an invitation went out with my name printed prominently. I had not seen any of the finished paintings.

My reply was something like: “Usually a curator will look at the entire collection, and then decide where to place the pieces in the space. I will help you. Bring the work a day early so we don’t have to rush the installation. Hopefully the paint is dry, and your work is properly framed and wired for hanging.”

This is something I teach later, but in this case, students learned “on the job” by trial and error as we staged Nani’s home to look like a gallery. It reminded me of a restaurant opening, at which the carpenters are still hammering away as the first guests walk in the door.

About 50 people came to the show, expressing thanks, congratulations and compliments all around. It was a happy occasion, as you can tell by the smiles in the photos.

The students begged for a critique, so here it is. It will likely be the same whenever you ask:

Good work! I am so proud of you. Keep going! Continue to turn the form. Darker darks and lighter lights. Warm it in the light. Cool it in the shade. Avoid comparing your work to others’ because each artist has her own line. Paint what you see, paint what you know, paint what you feel. Oh, and drink wine!

Copyright 2013 Rebekah Luke
Linda Haynes Abbott 2013

Linda Haynes Abbott with her artwork of Byodo-In at Kahalu‘u, a favorite location to paint en plein air (Jan McEwan photo)

Nani Ho 2013

Nani Ho captured the peacefulness of the Byodo-In with this wonderful composition. (Jan McEwan photo)

Leinani Keppeler-Bortles 2013

Leinani and her stylized painting of kalo and mai‘a (Jan McEwan photo)

Rae Gorman 2013

Rae Gorman challenged herself to paint this view of the temple and the bell house, stream and hillside. Good job! (Jan McEwan photo)

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4 responses

21 05 2013
Rebekah's Studio

Thank you. Byodo-In was the second outdoor location for this class. I was impressed too. One more perspective is still on my easel. You may see that in person when it’s finished. 😉

21 05 2013
Becky Covert

I was quite impressed with the quality of the paintings and the different perspective each brought to their canvass. Nice work Rebekah.

20 05 2013
Rebekah's Studio

They are serious about learning, and they have fun at the same time. We can always learn something new. Thank you, Gayle, for the encouragement and for stopping by the studio!

20 05 2013
Gayle hardin

Wonderful to see these “students” expanding and exhibiting. You are doing an awesome job teaching!

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