Validation of an artist

4 04 2016

People who make fine art often work alone. Like writers and composers, they start with a blank canvas and require solitude to put their ideas down. Sometimes, when they think they have taken their work as far as it can go and prior to publishing, they work with a team. Working with others helps artists to develop a thick skin because one is surely to receive criticism, constructive or not.

When an artist is brave enough and has the guts to put work on display for others to see—others besides family and close friends—that is a milestone. The next step may be to price the art. Imagine: someone may want to purchase it!

Along the way, colleagues and mentors will help. Mine, Susan Rogers-Aregger, taught me everything I know about finishing paintings so that they are ready for exhibit, how to market art, and how to manage a gallery. I am so very grateful. Yesterday, her tutelage reached another high point with the opening of the group exhibit “Collages and Clay” in Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu.


A sparkling collage painting and ceramic masks by Susan Rogers-Aregger greet visitors to new exhibit

A sparkling collage painting and ceramic masks by Susan Rogers-Aregger greet visitors to new exhibit at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden.


A dozen artists, all influenced by Susan who also works in clay, combined their hand-dyed tissue paper creations and pots for an exciting display. Friends and family came to celebrate at the reception. No longer alone, we met each others’ human support system and became better acquainted with the lives of the rest of the team.



My sister artists and new friends at the opening reception—Hiroko, Maite, and Dottie. The fat cat in the background is my creation entitled “Living Large.” It has sold!

Bob and Tommy of The Band Tantalus entertained guests with acoustic sounds. Warm to cool palettes grace the gallery walls.

Bob and Tommy of The Band Tantalus entertained guests with acoustic sounds. Warm to cool palettes grace the gallery walls.


By the way, artists love sales. A sale for one is a sale for all! Selling our work is how many of us make our income, and it is wonderful encouragement to keep going. Thank you!

Recently I received two emails, sent separately by two individual buyers who photographed my work in their homes and shared the images with me, to show me how they used my paintings in their decor and their artistic eye. That kind gesture took why we make art to another level of appreciation and enjoyment.

If you go— “Collages and Clay” runs through April 29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden Visitor Center, entrance at the end of Luluku Road, Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu.

Copyright 2016 Rebekah Luke

Water lilies in paper

18 03 2016

Aloha studio fans, art patrons and appreciators! I’m taking this, my latest creation, to exhibit at Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden for the month of April.

Water Lilies in Paper, 18″ x 24″ hand-dyed tissue paper on canvas, copyright 2016 Rebekah Luke

The opening reception for “Collages and Clay at Hoʻomaluhia” is from 1 to 4 pm, Sunday, April 3. Entertainment by The Band Tantalus. Please come!

This is a newish art medium for me, a departure from landscapes in oil paint after 25 years. I hand-dye the tissue paper with my colleague and teacher Susan Rogers-Aregger at her workshop (it takes a small crew). Folks say they prefer the collages because of their translucence and vibrancy of color. I like the way the technique lends itself to abstract images. What do you think?

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 :-(.


“Sunny Rain” © 2015 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.



Panorama Hana Hou




















Kuilima Cove

29 03 2012

"Kuilima Cove," 16" x 20" oil on canvas, by Rebekah Luke

My most recently finished oil painting — except for the lessons I’ve done with my students the past month — deserves a more visible place than the corner of the studio where I stashed it while waiting to varnish it, don’t you think?

I started it as a demonstration at the Hawaiian civic club convention at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore in October — my gosh, was it that long ago?! — and worked on it little by little with my weekly painting group. Okay, I can be a little pokey sometimes.

From the second floor window of the hotel lobby was the sunny morning view of the cove below and the shoreline in the distance. A cultivated tropical garden juxtaposed with a wild undeveloped coast.

In general, I’m less fond of my demo pieces, but I was determined to turn this canvas into something I liked. So I kept at it, correcting mistakes and bothersome spots, and accepting valuable constructive criticism from my painting buddies. Not wanting to overwork it, I put my brush down as soon as it finally felt right.

As I tell my students the same thing my teachers taught me, “Paint what you know [the logic of light], paint what you see, and paint what you feel.”

Copyright 2012 Rebekah Luke

Is painting on your bucket list?

4 01 2012

Painting is on my friends’ bucket lists. They’ve inspired me to teach some fundamentals and techniques and offer a course. As promised, I will open my Kaaawa studio for Oil Painting Lessons starting February 2012. Registration is open now and enrollment is limited.

The “Painting I” course consists of 12 weekly lessons on Wednesday from February 1 to April 25. Class sessions will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include a lunch break. Tuition is $100 a month. Cost of materials is additional.

I just noticed it’s leap year, so you’ll either get a bonus or won’t have to feel bad if you miss one class.

Students will learn impressionistic painting in oil. Lessons will generally follow those taught by the late colorist Gloria Foss, my oil painting teacher, and as found in Foss’s guidebook How to Paint. I’ll add my own experience as a fine art painter and photographer to show you what to do.

I’ll teach you art fundamentals and the logic of light to give you a solid foundation to pursue painting as an avocation or a vocation.

What you’ll learn

Here’s just some of what you’ll learn in my Painting I:

• Basic drawing — perspective, shape, value, light and shadow
• The world in black and white
• Basic color theory—monochromatic, analogous, complementary color and full palette
• Using color charts and the color wheel
• Modeling of forms

Each lesson will consist of a brief lecture on art theory, a demonstration, hands-on still life drawing and painting in the studio, homework, and critique.

Each week we will build on the previous technique learned, and eventually we will apply what we have learned in the studio to the landscape.

Gloria Foss and me

I first met Gloria Foss at the Honolulu Branch of the National League of American Pen Women where she was an Arts member and I was a new Letters member. She was a UH Mānoa student getting her Master of Fine Arts degree. She wanted to teach. She said if all of her art teachers had explained some things from the very start, it would have been a lot easier. She was about 60. Teaching was on Gloria’s bucket list!

After I finished the black-and-white photography curricula at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (I didn’t complete color photography), I sought a studio class to keep my eyes trained. By then Gloria had designed her own “Gloria Foss Color Course” and opened the Foss School of Fine Arts in Honolulu.

Then I had the honor and delight of making the photographs of the studio lessons in her book How to Paint. It’s now my desire to share what I learned, then and since, with others.

Tuition, materials and supplies

Your investment will be the cost of tuition—$100 a month for each of three months for a total of $300—plus the cost of materials and supplies. When you register, you will receive a complete list of art materials to buy.

For the first two or three lessons, you will not need everything on the list. All items on the list will cost an estimate of $125-$150.

Easels will be provided for class use.

An optional text is How to Paint by Gloria Foss (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1991) that will be used for reference. It is out of print, but you can try to locate a used copy. Information on how to obtain a CD of the book will be given in class.

How to register

To reserve your place in class, send your correct name, mailing address with ZIP, phone number, and email address with a minimum $40 deposit to Rebekah Luke, P.O. Box 574, Kaaawa, HI 96730. Or, include the information in an email message to and send your deposit via PayPal with the DONATE button in the right sidebar. After your deposit is accepted I will send you a supplies list and information on where to go in Kaaawa for the first class. Happy painting!

PAINTING I February 1-April 25, 2012
Copyright 2012 Rebekah Luke

Pampered by a fried egg sandwich

27 09 2011

It’s easy for me to feel pampered down at the fishing pier.

10:30, after my workout in Kāneoʻhe, in the mood for a late breakfast, I stop at He‘eia Pier once again. I’m monitoring my food intake for several reasons, but today, after reading the menu, I feel I can have an egg: Fried Egg Sandwich $4.

But like I said, I’m pampered.

In a few moments Chef Mark calls out: Rebekah, would you like anything else on it? Some cheese?

Me: Um, no, do you have any lettuce?

Chef: Tomato would be good.

Me: Okay!

Chef: A little mayonnaise?

Me: No thanks, and please hold the cheese.

Now why, you might ask, don’t I just fix my own egg sandwich at home?

On a beautiful day in Hawaii like today, I can sit at the outdoor picnic table on the waterfront and be mesmerized by the Ko‘olau Mountains I love to paint and the sound of the sea lapping the shore. I can eavesdrop on the old-time regulars and watch the boats come and go to drop off and pick up polite Japanese tourists. It’s peaceful.

When my order comes out, I see beautiful food art neatly cut in two triangles. I don’t have to step up to the pick-up window for my plate. Chef delivers it personally to the table.

Bread toasted perfectly, just how I like it. Egg fried perfectly, but not greasy, with just the tiniest bit of runny yolk. Tomato slice and sprigs of . . . purslane!

I would have shown two thumbs up when Mark checked back—it seems he always makes it a point to acknowledge the customers—but one hand was putting the sandwich in my mouth. And I’m sorry, I ate everything before I thought of taking a picture.


• Be willing to park on the far side of the boat ramp and walk if there are no spaces closer. The Deli is open for breakfast and lunch, closed on Monday.

• Have no expectations except to expect to wait for your order. Allow yourself to be surprised. He‘eia Pier Deli is not a fast food joint. It’s the most welcome addition to local cuisine kicked up a couple notches where the chef and crew take care of windward Oahu residents.

• Feel good that you are supporting the local Hawaiian economy.

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke

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