In my world and why we create

14 08 2016

In my world, much of what I do is creative. Creating interesting and beautiful things brings me satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, joy. I don’t initially do it for money although, come to think of it, most of my income has come from making fine art and from designing and writing publications and lesson plans. I’ve yet to turn a buck composing or singing or cooking!

Last night a volunteer appreciation party at Kaneohe Yacht Club for Pacific Cup race workers reminded me of other benefits of creating and of involving others in the process. Those benefits are respite and therapy.  I led a crew of 25 in making lei garlands for the arriving boats from San Francisco.

When I arrived late to the party (bad highway traffic), I learned it was announced the free drinks were courtesy of the monetary donation I made from partial proceeds of the lei that happens to be a product we sell. Well, that is not exactly the kind of therapy I was thinking of ;-), but we did make money, and it gave me satisfaction to spend a morning writing checks to the lei makers and two organizations that collaborated for the activity. We made lei!

Carol Silva
During Pacific Cup time I’ve noticed, or sometimes the lei makers tell me, some come to make a lei or two or three in order to take a break from a difficult situation at home.

A family member was in the hospital, or a spouse was ill, or they got childcare so they were free to come. They made the time or they took the time to come and do something they loved to do and be among other people. That they would tell me this touched my heart, and I am so very glad and grateful I could provide the creative outlet.

Creating interesting and beautiful things also brings freedom and peace. Namaste. ~ Rebekah





Sunny rain

14 03 2015

This is the oil I’m working on now. A tiny diptych. Two times out on location en plein air. Somewhat of a limited palette. I like the looseness of a sketch. It’s not finished. Being careful to not overwork it. Not too likely since my painting hand has limited mobility from overuse. Sunny :-). Rain :-(.

width="510"

“Sunny Rain” © 2015 Rebekah Luke

 





Sweet memory—“Blue Koolau Mountains”

25 05 2014
Blue Koolau Mountains by Rebekah Luke

“Blue Koolau Mountains” by Rebekah Luke. The study of shapes and values and their relationship is what makes this oil sketch abstract.

The afternoon of day 2 of the Native Hawaiian Arts Market in Honolulu. Many visitors to the Bishop Museum have stopped by the display of my landscape paintings and admired them, but no sales. The sky is threatening thunder showers, and DH who is my “easel” is hinting to pack up.

My things are high-priced items for the average craft fair, so I don’t expect any volume. If I make one sale, it is a good day. I make up my mind that the next person who stops will go away with a new piece of art. It’s a young couple.

“You know,” I say, “I haven’t sold anything all weekend. If you are art collectors and you see something you like, I’ll work with you on the price.”

They discuss something and then show me an image on her iPhone.

“Do you have this one?” she asks. It’s my “Blue Koolau Mountains” from my website. A tiny 5″ x 7″ oil sketch made in 2008!

“I do! But it’s not here. It’s a small one. If you’d like it I can deliver it tomorrow. Where do you live?”

They explain that they live in Minnesota and are leaving Honolulu tomorrow, Memorial Day. They saw my paintings at the Native Hawaiian Arts Market last year when they lived in Hawaii; then they moved to Minnesota. They explain they were looking for something with the colors of “Blue Koolau Mountains,” found me online (obviously), read that I would be at the Bishop Museum today, and came looking!

Oh, for goodness’ sake! “If you want it, I’ll ship it to Minnesota for you at no extra charge,” I say. I close the sale, and everyone goes home happy in the rain. Some things take a long time, but I’m willing to wait. I hope they like the wide gold frame I chose.

Thank you, Lovey! Mahalo e ke Akua!

Copyright 2014 Rebekah Luke

 

 





My paintings at the Punahou Carnival

2 02 2014

20140202-213237.jpg
“Kaaawa Beach Park”

20140202-213649.jpg
“Makapuʻu”

20140202-083720.jpg“Red Trunks”

Good morning, art lovers! I am offering these three recent oil painting originals of mine to the Punahou Carnival for sale in the Art Gallery booth this weekend! Feb. 7 and 8.

The deal is 50-50. Half of the money is donated to the student financial aid program (that’s how my parents could afford to enroll me at Punahou) and half is paid to the artist.

Art is just one of the scores and scores of attractions at this annual Honolulu event. Good eats, music, rides, games, crafts, plants, white elephant, variety show, midway, and more.

The main walk-in entrance is at Punahou and Wilder streets. But here’s a great tip: Park your ride at Central Union Church (Punahou and Beretania) and walk.

Bring moola to spend. It’s for a good cause. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Copyright 2014 Rebekah Luke





Pictures of an exhibition

3 11 2013

Thank you — friends, supporters, studio fans, and patrons — from the bottom of my heart. These are a few images of yesterday’s enjoyable opening day of “Hana Hou: Then & Now” at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden.

20131103-130137.jpg

20131103-130155.jpg

Panorama Hana Hou

20131103-130403.jpg

20131103-130452.jpg

20131103-130524.jpg

20131103-130544.jpg

20131103-130559.jpg

20131103-130615.jpg

20131103-130627.jpg

20131103-130656.jpg

20131103-130716.jpg

20131103-130751.jpg

20131103-130807.jpg

20131103-130830.jpg

20131103-130845.jpg

20131103-130857.jpg

20131103-130910.jpg

20131103-130929.jpg

20131103-130939.jpg

20131103-131002.jpg

20131103-131038.jpg





Travel: the journey

27 10 2013

Let me suggest travel. Travel away from home for a change of scenery. To view another culture. To make new friends. Alone, with a buddy, 5 miles or 5,000 miles, it doesn’t matter. Just go.

For me, traveling forces me to focus and experience the present. It often makes me uncover inner resources I didn’t know I had. It’s great for clearing the fog in my mind, allowing more space there to observe and consider life’s options. Travel to the new, different, or unfamiliar presents other perspectives to weave into our future.

I’m giving this some thought this Sunday morning while getting ready for an art show I’m installing on Friday. I thought of some examples:

• My second to the eldest cousin K.Y., in his 80s, and his wife traveled every year since they were married, always taking the kids. Their philosophy was, why wait until we’re retired. Now their adult children and their children are of the same mind, happy and well-balanced. The whole family also has a love of hiking into the mountains or to the seashore, an activity also begun when the children were young. I paint with K.Y. almost every week. He’s a fascinating conversationalist and very kind.

• My teacher, colleague and friend Lori is coming back the day I install the art show from a month of driving, alone I think, across the continental US where she had some space (as contrasted to living on an island), called on former college buddies and sampled the regional cuisine. They’re foodies. Aren’t we all? She reports on Facebook every day, but I can’t wait to hear her stories in person.

• My other teacher Alice Anne, a professional psychic (both Lori and Alice Anne attuned me to Reiki), advised me that the periods of growth in my marriage would be during times of travel. We’ve found that to be so, away from the routine of daily living. She helped me interpret a recurring childhood dream of mine. Aunty Ethel who I was afraid of–she was my mother’s eldest sister, single, a missionary, and stern–was in the dream. Anyway, the message was that I should climb walls, cross barriers and venture out across the ocean to see “the big wide world, no be scared.” Aunty Ethel was my ally.

• My latest trip abroad was a month in Italy, you may have read. I wrote about it, including the recipes, on my travel blog. You don’t actually have to make the food. Just reading about it might make you hungry. This was my second trip in a year to Italy. DH came along and so did a villa-ful of my painting students. A short, spur-of-the-moment jaunt traveling solo to Oregon to sing and learn about choral music conducting from Rod preceded this. And along with that, closer to home in Hauula down the road, a writing/performance workshop taught by Mark who was on his way around-the-world for his 70th birthday. I’m so grateful for the remarkable experiences I’ve had this past summer. Traveling!

Which brings me to a call to action for you. Yes, you are encouraged to travel this Saturday to Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe, Oahu. I am surprised at how many people I know who have not visited there. It is a beautiful cultivated garden at the foot of the Ko‘olau Mountains. You can take in the spectacular scenery, read the plant labels, take your kids to feed the ducks or try their luck at catch-and-release fishing. The entrance is at the end of Luluku Road.

AND, I invite you to attend the opening reception of “Hana Hou: Then & Now,” a new art exhibit of oil paintings at Ho‘omaluhia park by Yours Truly and gourd artist Tamsen Fox. Saturday, November 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Visitor Center Lecture Room. The collection features two versions each of eight Hawaiian landscapes, painted once, and then a second time when I revisited years later. The show will be up until Nov. 29 from 9 to 4 daily. On Tuesdays we will be there and you can watch us make art. When you see the landscapes you can imagine yourself traveling even farther to a different time and place. So it will be with the 3D pieces that will reflect both contemporary and ancient cultures.

We’ll take you there. It’s fun.

Hana Hou invitation.inddCopyright 2013 Rebekah Luke




Returning to the basics, or learning them for the first time

18 02 2013

BCCC © 2013 Rebekah LukeThe child got up from her chair in the middle of class, twice, sat on the floor in the lotus position, closed her eyes and ohm-ed audibly. In the bucket-list painting class, an adult began to doze. Out in the landscape I wondered if my suggestions were simply going in one ear, if at all, and out the other.

I don’t have a Hawaii fifth-year university teaching certificate, but I do have a few years experience in the field under my belt and consider myself in the “working professional” class of faculty, like the teachers who taught me—desirable by a top art school I know and distinguished for excellence from the rest.

But in the first Saturdays of February, I see I can still learn something about human nature and various styles of learning. I’m finding it a challenge. And I like challenge! Like DH who’s developed an immense respect for mothers since taking on the role of caregiver for his two granddaughters, now ages 3 and 1, since their birth, now I have a huge respect for classroom teachers.

We each come to “class” with different paradigms, different backgrounds and existing points of view, and previously learned behaviors. Somewhere, sometime, I hope the twain will meet.

If I may generalize, there are two approaches to teaching/learning art. One is by beginning with the basics and then allowing our abilities and talent to develop. The other is for students to freely express themselves, uninhibited, and color “outside of the box” right from the beginning.

I advocate starting with the basics. By learning the basics, what follows is so much easier. In visual art, much is about the logic of light. In life, much is about kindness, gratitude, and respect.

One of the reasons I decided to offer art lessons to kids in the neighborhood is that the public schools allegedly do not teach it anymore. It appears there is more than art that they aren’t teaching anymore, i.e., I see what other educators describe as “out of control” in my own studio. The other reason is I want to pass on what I know how to do and give something back to my community in return for what I have received.

There are two adult students this semester who wanted to join an advanced class without taking the basic courses. Before giving the okay, I asked to see their portfolios or that they enroll in Painting I—in fairness to the other students who have done the lessons in sequence and to have everyone on the same “page.” I am so glad I did because it prepared me for their added and different energies, and to spot what is missing.

Both my youth and adult classes are designed with the same curriculum, but the lessons naturally vary. For the children, who are bright youngsters, I know I must change the activities often to accommodate their attention span and high energy, as well as to challenge them so they don’t get bored and act out. I give them individual attention, rest breaks, and try to make the time fun with surprises. They really keep me on my toes!

As for the adults, I understand that we are older now and perhaps our brains are starting to slow down, so I will be patient and offer reinforcement, such as assigned chapters to read in the textbook in addition to demonstrations. I’ll encourage them to remain open and to try something new, even though they are used to doing things in a familiar way.

Colds and flu have been reasons for absences already, but, yes, please stay home if you are ill and you can catch up later. We will wash our hands when we first arrive, just as we learned in early ed.

I wish we would all get a good night’s sleep on Friday and eat breakfast before coming to class. Do meditate first. Then, please show up with your tuned senses. I am happy to share what I know. And as your aunty and kumu (teacher), I am so very grateful to learn from you.

Copyright 2013 Rebekah Luke







%d bloggers like this: