This is a mini Tree Of Life (yes I did this on purpose!) to appease the kto fans that can't fit a 36"x36" in the house. I plan to make a bunch of trees with different birds and different colored flowers/leaves. But let's talk about this painting first before I go floating away on a new idea...
Trees often seen as the connection of all life from the core of Earth to the vast expanse of space surrounding our world. They feed us fruit, they photo synthesize to give us breath and like Silverstein's Giving Tree, they even give us a place to rest when reduced to nothing more than a stump. For my yellow birds, this tree is a gathering place. The perfect spot to catch up with old friends or a secluded branch to stow away for snuggles. In life, we are always on the go, looking towards the future with our big plans of fortune and dreams of success. With so much going on, it's important to find a gathering place with friends and family, and just enjoy the moment. Laugh, love, live life in the now:)
In Maui for the show, I brought a half-finished "I'll Bring You A Rainbow" and finished it two hours early. Fortunately I came prepared with a second small blank canvas just in case. I didn't have an idea of what I would paint and ended up looking at the wall of my current paintings and choosing a bird and flower that weren't currently on display.
The 'Akepa is a beautiful honeycreeper found mostly on Hawaii. They are one of the smallest native birds still in existence, but what they lack in size, the 'Akepa male makes up for in color. Male 'Akepas start developing on their vibrant plumage at a young age and within a few years, they boast brilliant, tangerine feathers. The ladies cannot resist such an obvious flair for stylish attire. These two 'Akepa are sharing the sunshine on a hot summer day. I had Pandora playing Elvis songs and "Summertime Blues" popped up just as I was washing in the royal blue background. In my version, the "blues" refer to the clear blue sky. And there definitely "ain't no cure for the(se) Summertime Blues!"
Happy Father's Day to all those Pops out there!
One extraordinary father in the bird world is the Empire Penguin. He spends just as much time or more than the mother incubating the single egg and parenting the baby chicks once they hatch. I have always loved how silly they look. These big awkward looking bowling pin bodies somehow implement all the tenderness and delicate care necessary to warm fragile eggs (and later fluffballs) during extreme cold and harsh arctic winds.
When the father is warming his little chick, it reminds me of learning to dance on my dad's feet. You see that precious phenomenon at weddings mostly, and it always gets me thinking of the amazing wonder that is the Daddy.
He is the bread-winner, the quiet authority, the carpenter, the garbage disposal, the surprise attack shark in the pool and the human pillow. And no matter how tough his exterior, the Daddy is a big squishy softy when it comes to his babies... Especially if you are lucky enough to be Daddy's Little Girl.
I finished this painting last night at the show and these two bluebirds look so very happy to be complete! Mountain Bluebirds do not live in Hawaii, but they are one of the most popular birds to feature in song, partly due to their distribution across America, but mostly because they have that vibrant blue color.
I paired the little blues with some sweet and cheery cherry blossoms. I figure there was a little dawn dew shower to perk up our flowers, brighten our bluebirds' blues and of course, bring us a rainbow.
Great times to be had in Lahaina!
A special thanks to the Snyders for visiting me yesterday, so good to see you!
No time to paint today! I'm heading over to Maui for the second Friday art night. So I sketched out this little 'Akohekohe and he looks mighty curious. When I get back, I'll have to make him into a painting!
If you are on Maui today, I'll be at DeRubeis Gallery on Front Street in Lahaina today 2:30-5pm and 6:30-10pm.
(Way past my bedtime, but it will be a good time!)
This little duckling is ready for a swim! Ducklings are almost born ready to swim, taking their first lessons with mama within a few days of hatching. Our little friend here has been waiting for us to go. Better go get some towels!
My American Robin looks all puffed up and ready for his love to arrive. He's been patiently waiting, and I had this Richard Marx song pop into my head... I imagine him whistling this tune, hoping for his love to fly back to him. I know this American Robin's lady is right around the corner. She just wants to hear the whole song, then she will deftly fly up to him like a ninja robin and give him a kissing of a lifetime! Woohoo!
I love a good greeting and these two Japanese White-Eyes pulled out all the stops! In Hawaii, the traditional greeting is a sweet smelling lei made of hand picked Hawaii flowers such as plumeria, pikake or puakenikeni. Seeing as how my birdies are not so good with the stringing of leis, they decided to bring a whole tree to the occasion. Welcome and Aloha!!
In Maui, there is a great hike that leads through the bamboo forest and up to waterfalls. When I was in college, we would fly over to Maui for a quick trip and I always enjoyed the peaceful chimes of the bamboo clanking against each other.
My two 'Apapane stole away for a secluded rendezvous filled with kisses! The 'Apapane is one of the most widely spread of the native Hawaiian honeycreepers. They are known for their vast repertoire of beautiful songs. The male sings during courtship and throughout the nesting period, because, let's be honest, a girl needs a sweet song and some pampering more than once in awhile!
Maui trip this Friday! I am sending a few medium sized paintings over, this one included, and I will be painting at the DeRubeis Lahaina Gallery on Friday the 13th for the afternoon (2:30-5pm) and during Art Night (6:30-10pm).
Maui has some of the best pineapple. The valley used to be all pineapple and sugarcane fields. My grandfather worked with the sugar cane and I remember him bringing home raw cane for us to gnaw like mice (mom probably wasn't as excited about us sucking on sugar, but every once in a while...).
For this painting, I imagine two Java Sparrows bouncing around a pineapple patch, taking in the sugary sweet pineapple syrup perfume and warm sunshine. What I wouldn't give for a ripe pine right about now!
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.