Earlier this year, I painted a 22x28 size painting of Front Street and really enjoyed making each store special. For this painting, I went with the panoramic shape to fit in as many stores as possible. We've got a Lei Stand for all your visitors and special occasions. Of course Front Street needs Wyland Gallery with his signature whale logo and an art show sign out front. A Shave Ice Shack to cool down from the hot Hawaiian sun and a Surf Shop to grab a board when a good swell hits the harbor. After all the shopping and surfing, relax for dinner at the Tiki Bar and Grille. And when (or if) you have to go back to reality somewhere that is not Maui, get a pineapple or two to take home. There's a crate packed already waiting to go! It's the magic of Front Street Lahaina!
I love how this little lei shack came out. I based the house on an actual house in Hawaii with bright red steps and lanai floor leading to the front door. Complete with a plumeria tree to supply sweet smelling flowers and the sound of rolling waves behind, who wouldn't feel welcome on this island paradise? Kitty is totally enjoying her sleep on the front lanai too.
A favorite treat after a hot day in the Hawaiian sun is some shave ice! There are popular shacks all over the islands featuring tropical flavors with an option of vanilla ice cream on the bottom and/or azuki beans which is a Japanese sweet bean. When I'm feeling extra indulgent, I have to get both with my three flavors shave ice. I could go for one right now: lilikoi, pineapple, strawberry for me. What you getting?
This painting was suggested by Iris at Wyland Beachwalk Waikiki and inspired by the little fruit stands on every island that seem to randomly sprout off the sides of gravelly roads. Of course I had to include all my most favorite fruits: avocados, bananas, mangoes, pineapples, coconuts, papayas, tomatoes, oranges and strawberries. If I had a few more baskets, I'd include lilikoi, lychee and some bags of roasted Kona coffee.
The cash register is open and ready for business. You could even pick up your fruit supplies after a stroll on the beach. I'm sure they have straws and a drill behind the counter make your coconut into a refreshing after-swim beverage. One of the simple joys in Hawaii!
Nothing can be finer than relaxing in your comfy hammock under a big canopy tree such as this big red tree. Everyone should have a special getaway shack where you can go to unwind, sip on your favorite beverage and allow the waves to lull you into tropical bliss. Black-and-White Kitty is doing just that, while the little yellow birds are more interested in taking the surfboard out for a quick sesh.
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.
Ever since I started painting the Hawaiian shacks, I always thought Tahoe cabins would be fun to add into the mix. There are so many cool architectural features of Tahoe cabins that we don't have here in Hawaii. My favorite design is the A-frame house, so this cabin is a variation of the A-frame, but I could go even more A-frame in the future. I added a little deck off the side that is currently being used as a support for the skis. And no snow cabin is complete without a super cute snowman standing guard and a Christmassy tree to the side. It took all my willpower to not decorate that tree in glass ornaments...
Let it snow!
Republishing this painting for everyone who didn't receive the text yesterday!
This painting was inspired by Lahaina's Front Street set up with shops and restaurants lining the harbor in all different sizes and colors. I used the West Maui Mountains for the backdrop, but created my favorite shops all on one street. We've got the Saimin Shop with every set up of saimin wet or dry that you could imagine. Surf's Up Surf Store next door to grab a board for an impromptu surf session. Hawaiian Style Aloha Shirt Shop for that authentic Aloha shirt that straddles the border between awesome and awful. Shave Ice Shack for an after-saimin treat that'll keep you cool. And lastly the Aloha Flowers and Leis where you can pick up a lei for your incoming crew.
All set! I loved painting Front Street, so much so that I've thought up more ideas for future street paintings. Any suggestions are welcome!
I knew eventually I would have to add a VW to one of my surf shacks. The first car I purchased on my own was a VW bus. It wasn't as pretty as this one in my painting, but it was a dream to own one. I drove it until it broke down and would cost more to fix than swapping out for something more practical. So I let it go and bought myself a bike since I mostly stayed within the Waikiki-Downtown area of Oahu. And I stayed a bike girl throughout school and beyond until I decided to move to Big Island and needed a way to get around.
This house has it all: the VW, lots of surfboards to ride and even a banana tree for nourishment after a good surf session.
Makes me want to go get another bus...
I really enjoy painting all different architecture in my Hawaiian Shack series and this one is a favorite for sure. I felt since it's right on the beach, all the inhabitant needs are a couple surfboards and a bicycle to check other spots close-by. Another fun tidbit that I like to throw in is the sleeping kitty which, for this particular painting, I chose to immortalize my brother's loveable cat Milton McFly. He is looking quite peaceful suntanning on the side lanai. I think it's time to surf!
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.