My favorite backyard visitor is the Northern Cardinal. I have a cardinal feeder set up just for my friends to perch and peel sunflower seeds all day long. I love the males' brilliant reds and the females' electric coral beak and wing tips. They are the dapper couples of the neighborhood.
This Cardinal pair decided to take a moment on a thriving Allamanda vine. The male is so very happy, luckiest guy in the world! And the lady is looking at us like, "yup, I got him right where I want him!"
I'm on a ginger kick!
Red Ginger is not indigenous to Hawaii, but it sure is pretty. The flowers shoot straight up and look like jumbo asparagus spears made of rubies. Not the most elegant description of these beautiful flowers, but it fits. My little Red-Billed Leiothrix are sharing a snuggle atop two Red Ginger spears, blissfully unaware of our presence. I imagine them pausing for a moment before hopscotching along the row of ginger to their next destination. I am glad we caught this moment together!
The Mamo has made a vibrant comeback! For this painting ,"All My Heart", I chose to bring back the Hawaiian Mamo with their long curved beaks, rich black plumage and bands of bright yellow. These two are planted on the yellow lehua 'ohia branch, giving Ke Aloha kisses.
My Ke Aloha Series involves native Hawaiian birds creating heart-shaped kisses. "Ke Aloha" means "beloved" in Hawaiian and I donate a percentage of the profit towards conservation of Hawaii's birds that need our help to curb the rapid decline of their remaining species.
To check out more about Hawaii's conservation efforts, take a look at these websites:
It is an island oasis in this painting!
"Wailele" in Hawaiian means waterfall and my little yellow birds are really enjoying their getaway at the falls today. Full of colorful bird of paradise bushes and plumeria trees, this hideaway is an ultimate natural kaleidoscope. Next on the birdies' list: a dip in the cool waterfall's wading pool.
I am one of those people that needs a cup of coffee in the morning, every morning. My husband doesn’t ever touch the stuff, so I do my drinking solo. Every so often it’s nice to share a cup with someone. My Po’oulis know how to share. They have perched themselves on some ripe branches of Kona coffee cherries. Whilst I must wait for the farmer to shuck, roast and package beans for me to brew, it looks as though these Po’oulis will take their coffee fresh from the source!
In Hawaii, it is customary to bring a lei when inviting a friend to the islands. This ‘Akepa has brought a plumeria to welcome you here. Whether its been a few days or a few years, some friendships never fade. Aloha from Hawaii, my friend!
On an Island of Gold in a sea of blue! Where the air is filled with the sweet fruity fragrance of Hawaiian produce! This pair of Red-Billed Leiothrix have found pineapple paradise and they are cherishing every moment. I imagine the one of the right looking at the one on the left as though to say, "Shall we dig in?" And the one on the left is way overwhelmed by the immensity of their fortune that she can't even respond. I think it's time to for a feast!
Upside-down or Downside-up? I went with the latter because this little Java Sparrow has his downside up so that he can get closer to his love. Java Sparrows are actually finches, but we will let that slide. They are rambunctious acrobats dressed in formal attire. In Hawaii, we usually see them in groups. My backyard is a daily playground for numerous Javas playing in my fruit trees and picking seeds out of my many feeders. Today, however, these two found a quiet corner full of colorful Bird Of Paradise. It's a moment of peace for these Javas, let's give them some privacy.
Nothing says "I love you" like a rendezvous under a full moon with fragrant plumeria cascading down towards the ocean. Brilliant stars up above and the sound of soft rolling waves set the scene for a little romance!
Shave Ice is delicious on a hot Hawaiian afternoon. I made this Shave Ice Shack special for Ko'olina. At Ko'olina, there are many lagoons that are perfect with calm water for easy swimming, snorkeling and toe-dipping. I thought that a little shave ice shack would make this pristine area that much better.
I tried something a little different with this painting. Usually I paint mountains in the background, usually they are purple. But with no mountains to see beyond Ko'olina, I decided to bring purple to the foreground and play with the shadows being cast from everything. From the shack to the umbrellas and palms, I love it!
I want to hang out under one of the umbrellas, slurping my shave ice and cooling down from an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling and playing in the sun.
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.