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





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





Pictures of me and my parents

27 03 2017

Nine cousins including me met for lunch as we occasionally do, and today Millie brought an album of old photos and sweet memories. Here she is with Eileen (center) and Eileen’s daughter Marty, at right. What are they looking at that is so interesting? Why, it’s me, little Rebekah, with my dad Arthur and my mom Fo-Tsin! That watermelon sure looks good.





Cover art

2 03 2017

A group of classmates packed and fulfilled the early orders for our reunion book today. It was my honor to design the 164-page volume. God designed the cover shot of a Kaaawa sunrise. I just happened to be lucky enough to capture it with my iPhone!

Punahou School Class of 1967 50th Reunion

Punahou School Class of 1967 50th Reunion





Reflections ’67: yay, team!

9 02 2017

Read the rest of this entry »





For the family record books: Women’s March, Jan. 21, 2017

22 01 2017
Women's March participants at the Hawaii State Capitol: Pete, Perrin, Rebekah, Ayla

Pete, Perrin, Rebekah and Ayla gather at the Hawaii State Capitol on a rainy morning for the Women’s March in Honolulu. (Photo by Valerie J. Lam)

Mom and Dad had to work, so Papa (DH) and Popo (I) brought Perrin and Ayla with them to the Women’s March for the history-making demonstration the day after the 45th President was inaugurated. The 5-year-old was engaged. Her older sister, who reads signage well, seemed to take it all in with a guarded attitude. We marched in solidarity with millions of others who marched on Washington, D.C., and around the world.

Excerpt from the Mission Statement of the Women’s March on O‘ahu: “In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in solidarity to show presence in numbers too great to ignore, to elevate and advance issues that are important to women, families, children, and communities.”

January 21 is my mother’s birthday. If she were living, she would have turned 100 yesterday!

Hawaii Capitol and the State seal and motto: Ua mau ke ola o ka ʻāina i ka pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness.

Hawaii Capitol and the State seal and motto: “Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono.”  The life of the land is preserved in righteousness.

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Perrin, 5, put a rainbow on the flip side to match her dress.

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Our Aunty Pat and Aunty Karen, life-long activists, display their adult messages in bold type. Photo bomber flashes the shaka sign.

 





Art in the reading room

7 07 2016

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The main branch of the Hawaii State Library on 478 S. King Street at Punchbowl street, downtown Honolulu, is the venue for a showing of art by the Windward Artists Guild. The works of sixteen artists, including me, are represented here in the Reading Room through July 29. It’s a tight show; all of the pieces are pictured in these two photos. Juror Richard Duggan awarded Wendy Roberts the top prize for her triptych, pictured below.

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My father brought me to this library nearly every weekend. It was a 45-minute car ride from Wahiawa in those days when I was a child. A library rat, he loved the periodical room and non-fiction. I explored the juvenile section and, when I was older, the stacks. I pored over the scripts of musical shows and was fascinated by the collection of music scores. I found the Hawaii and Pacific collection, and that became my favorite. All of that is still there, although the card catalog drawers have given way to computers, and the green-painted Adirondack chairs in the central courtyard are long gone. Funny how my art has brought me back to the enjoyment of reading ink-on-paper books.








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