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

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A memento from me to you of the Prince Lot Hula Festival

18 07 2015

Perhaps you have chosen to spend your precious weekend at the Prince Lot Hula Festival today and tomorrow, July 18 and 19, at Moanalua Gardens in Honolulu. Good choice! The link above explains details.

“Kamaipuupaa” by Rebekah Luke

It is taking place as I write. I hope you will love this spot as much as I do. Would you like a beautiful and long-lasting memento of the experience?  For yourself, for a special gift for a friend or a favorite hula dancer, or for your kumu hula?

My image of the hula mound Kamaipuupaa, painted in 2013, is available as a giclée reproduction from an original oil painting in two sizes: 16″ x 12″ and 20″ x 14″. I have five in stock and would love you to have one of them. They are made with LUCIA pigment ink on Lexjet Sunset canvas. Each is $150.00 and ready for framing.

Please contact me at rebekahluke@hawaii.rr.com if you wish to purchase. I will happy to work with you and advise you on framing, if you wish. Mahalo!





Lifelong learning about my art process

10 08 2010

Kaaawa Valley Morning

Some things take a long time. Waiting for an oil painting to dry is one of them. Here is “Kaaawa Valley Morning.” I painted it in May and varnished it this week. It’s already sold to a happy family waiting patiently to hang it in their home!

Oil paint takes at least three months to dry. A painted canvas should be bone dry before adding a protective varnish coat, for best results. So when commissioning an original painting, allow at least six months for delivery. That would be the technical aspect. As for the practical aspect, each artist has his/her own process that varies from artist to artist. Perhaps plan on a little longer.

Last Thursday I was happy to see Kit Kowalke, among other lovely friends, at our art reception at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden. I first met Kit, an artist and art educator, when she was teaching at Honolulu Community College and I was in university relations. She was always cheerful, always a pleasure to be around, always sharing and helpful, always fun! And she still is.

She asked what medium, I said oil, she asked how do I paint, I said one at a time. That is, I like to finish one painting before starting another. And that my paintings take a long time to dry. Oil painters often switch to acrylic because the medium dries quickly, and they can get their work out on the market faster. Personally, I’ve been partial to oil because of the way the colors mix and look.

What I didn’t say was that I don’t like the state of unfinished-ness, or that unfinished projects are stressful to me.

“Oh!” Kit told me, “no need to paint one at a time, you can paint more than one at a time. Like two or three.”

“I can?!” 😕

“Yes!” she said. “Sometimes you might want to let an oil dry before painting on it some more. While you wait, start another one. Go back and forth.”

Well, that’s a perspective I’ll consider. And, I think that will ease my stress over things like unfinished home and garden remodeling projects. I can think of them as works in progress!

She asked more questions and gave me more tips, even volunteered which classes and workshops I could attend nearby. Which is what my intention was when I first left art school—to regularly keep my eye in training by always taking part in a studio class.

It is the advice given also by my tai chi sifu Alex Dong, who advocates not waiting until you have mastered a set before learning a new one because there are aspects of each set that help in understanding other sets. Or, (my interpretation) you will always be improving on the basics. Clicking on the above link to his website takes you to his journal article about the subject.

Somewhat similarly, when I was taking beginning kumidaiko (Japanese ensemble drumming) lessons and had an interest in composing, I asked the master Kenny Endo at what level one could start composing. How long must I study taiko before I would have enough knowledge to write drum music? He replied he believed one could start composing at any level.

Some things to think about. In my case, they still may take time because that’s my process. So far.

Copyright 2010 Rebekah Luke

Quite a few images are ready to leave the studio; these paintings are dry!  See my PAINTINGS page. If you are on Oahu, visit the art show at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden during August 2010. Please see my previous post about seven artists.





If it’s Thursday, it must be Ho‘omaluhia!

9 07 2010

View of the Ko‘olau Mountains from Ho‘omaluhia

My painting group and I are busy putting together an August exhibition of our artwork at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden Visitor Center in Kaneohe, Oahu. It opens on August 3, with a punch-and-cookies reception on August 5 (Thursday) from noon to 2 p.m. If you are in the area, please come to see it! If time permits, see the garden too. You may click on the garden link above to read about the garden, and on the link below for details of the art show. – Rebekah

CLICK FOR THE INVITATION








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