Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm in Maui Fine Art Gallery!

A new gallery in Kihei has opened behind Cafe O'Lei, and the owner Chad has invited me to display select original paintings based on the South Maui theme. I am honored to have my work displayed along side some of Maui's best known artists like Anna Keay and Anna Good. I am going through a phase of using the palette knife in my paintings - I enjoy the texture and movement I am able to convey with this technique.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Maui Makani Classic, Windsurfing Finals

Painting at Ho'okipa beach, the Maui Makani Classic is the finals for the American Windsurfing Tour. Here you can see the best windsurfers of the world, 17 countries represented at this event. It's so amazing, energetic and inspiring! I am honored to have been invited to capture the essence of this epic event on far I've competed 5 paintings, and I have more to come! The last day of the event is Nov 3rd, so I'm going to be painting as much as I can during this time. Some of the paintings are on display and available for purchase at "By the Bay" Gallery in Paia, Maui.

Monday, August 13, 2012

2012 Lahaina Arts Society Award Winner!

This painting won the 2012 Lahaina Arts Society Award! I love combining historic architecture with the island's's a theme I plan to continue.
24x48 Pioneer Inn and the Banyan Tree, Lahaina, Maui

Sunday, August 12, 2012


What a beautiful place! It's amazing how much beauty can be packed into such a small space! Virtually vacant, pristine beaches hug rugged terrain thats perfect for hiking or getting your rental car stuck in. Flowing creeks are tickled by swinging vines, allowing the perfect place for crawdads and other dwellers to bask in Kauai's secret crevices. Waterfalls are decorated with happy heads bobbing below with the echo of a foreign tongued symphony. This magical isle is one worth visiting! I had the opportunity to stay on a sailboat on Hanalei Bay during my visit, accompanied by the finest quesadilla maker of the Pacific.

I am happy to say I am finally in an art gallery! The Ship Store Gallery in Kapa'a features my 8x10 painting of Wai'oli Hui'ia Church in Hanalei. I will attach an image of it as soon as I have one!

Bamboo Forest and Waterfall - Hana Hwy, Maui

On the road to Hana my beautiful friend Diane accompanied Enya and me on the bamboo forest hike past Huelo. It was sooo beautiful! Enya loved reaching for the bamboo while nestled in the baby ergo. I highly recommend this carrier. We also took an alternate path which went through fields scattered with passion fruit trees, ponds and cows.
We unexpectedly found a beautiful waterfall on the way through the bamboo forest! It had a nice little swimming hole at the bottom, and the creek appears to be great for hiking through.
Enya loved swimming and was not afraid to go near the waterfall despite it's roar! I think I have a little wild child on my hands!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hello blog...we finally meet

This is my first blog ever...first post. Where to begin? I want to start off with a little history about how I got where I am, and then I will keep it present. Ok, my parents met in Hillside NJ when she (Linda) was 14 and he (Sam) was 21. Many children later, they're still together in Upstate NY (Watkins Glen) where I spent the second half of my childhood. First half was in New Jersey. I was raised with horses, and learned most of my hobbies from my sister Michelle. My brothers Dan, Sam and Joe kept it real with home-made go-carts and our trips into the woods to build forts and cut firewood. Michelle inspired me to draw, jog, practice yoga and ride horses. We both trained and showed horses, but I quit when I started college. Michelle continued, and to this day she has a beautiful farm. I went to school originally to study exercise science or physical therapy, but after the tragic death of my brother Sam I found peace in the art studio. I felt a connection to creating from a blank canvas, and it was the only thing that I could be fully absorbed in, that would help my mind relax. I couldn't get enough of the art studio. My teacher at the time David Higgins inspired me with his kind and friendly personality, and he let me use the space like it was my own living room. Dave told me I'd make a natural art teacher since I finish my projects so easily and quickly, and then I would walk around to see what everyone else is doing. I truly enjoyed seeing everyone's interpretation of similar subject matter. It is so amazing how unique each person's style is. One's personality is revealed in their style, if they choose to express it through art.
So I transferred to Nazareth College of Rochester, NY, and finished a bachelor's degree in Art Education. It was nice to take classes in all media - like printmaking, photography, illustration, woodworking, metalsmithing, ceramics, drawing, and yes a couple painting classes. Then I started teaching - first working with adults with cerebral palsey, and then was offered a teaching job at Allendale Columbia School. I taught general art to middle school, and sculpture to high school students. I most love creating sculptures. Building something beautiful with my hands is a gift from God.
During summers I taught art camps which I coordinated at ACS campus. They were also a lot of fun.
Then one spring we took the highschoolers on a trip to Mexico. I quickly learned that I needed to be out west - near large mountains and blue sky.

A year later I packed my jeep with everything I needed, and moved to sunny Boulder CO to teach art and yoga while earning a second degree in "Traditional Eastern Arts - Emphasis on Yoga" at Naropa University. It was a beautiful campus and a solid program. But many of the books were the same ones I read in my yoga teacher training with Francois Raoult in Rochester NY at Open Sky Yoga Studio. I felt that 55K would be better used toward a master's degree. So I temporarily moved back to NY to save more money and returned to Boulder a year later. During my stay in NY, I discovered the practice of Vipassana Meditation. My first course was in March, and I had such an amazing, unexpected transformation that as soon as the course ended I signed up for another one in August! So amazing!!!

Upon returning to Boulder on June 2 with a valid Colorado teaching certificate, I was prepared to start interviewing and teaching again. But on the July 4th weekend, I practiced painting on Pearl Street (because I didn't think I knew how to paint) and sure enough my painting sold right off the easel! That day, I got 4 other commissions for paintings, and was immediately launched into a full time career as a painter! I was featured at the Hotel Boulderado - Colorado's most historic hotel in the heart of Boulder.
A painting for the Hotel Boulderado Centennial Celebration in 2009

I was booked solid through the winter. It was such a miracle to be able to have this freedom with my life and career! So I decided to take a painting trip to Sedona, AZ.

This is where I created my masterpiece - my daughter Enya. I only made about 10 paintings during the course of pregnancy and the first year of her life. With her father's consent, I was given full custody and the freedom to move wherever I like to have a colorful life and support and raise Enya by myself.

In the footsteps of my mentor Jim Freeheart ( I checked out Maui, and was welcomed here with open arms. I am a featured wedding painter at the Four Seasons Resort and the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. With their representation, I felt that a move to Maui would be a safe bet. Enya and I camped by the beach until we found a place that would fit both of us.

The wedding painting below was done from photos, but I frequently paint live during the ceremony or reception. It only takes 3-5 hours to finish a painting, so if I arrive on site few hours early, I'll have the scenery finished by the time the bride and groom arrive. Then I just paint them in during the vows. Voila...the perfect wedding gift!
Aside from event or wedding paintings, I spend my days playing with colors all around the island as a "Plein-air painter". This translates in French to "out in the open air", which means I set up my easel outside and paint the scenery (with a little bit of imagination!).

I am drawn to historical architecture, and eliminating any suggestion of modernization. I like the way my buildings turn out, since I am able to use the forms and patterns of architecture as a grid in which to interpret color and creativity. I like my lines loose while keeping perspective somewhat accurate. (well, very loosely accurate!)

12x24 Front Street, Lahaina
Maui has a lot of beauty to offer as far as beach scenes and flowers. but as far as interesting historic architecture goes, it is somewhat limited. The small towns that are visually inspiring (Lahaina and Paia) are cut down the center with non-stop cars and there is not much space to set up an easel on the sidewalks with all the tourists marching by. It is so warm and sunny that it is essential to use an umbrella, but that is nearly impossible on the sidewalks with no where to stick it into the ground, and the wind will blow it right off the easel if I strap it on! As a result, I have the best tan of my life, and I learned to paint fast!

24x48 The Saint Damien Holy Rosary Church in Paia, Maui
The best time for painting is from 5-8am before the traffic and sun hits, but Enya's daycare dosn't open until 7:30 so I have had to work around this. I have been enjoying painting churches lately.

16x20 Blessings in Wailuku, Maui

I am still learning to paint waves. Once I know how to paint them,  I will have a whole new market, and can set up on the beaches before the wind and heat sets in. Well, one brush stroke at a time....!