The Big Island is known for its volcanoes and lots of lava. One simple (slightly guilty) pleasure for me is the experience of flying home to the Big Island. As we prepare to land, I like to watch the newcomers as they anxiously huddle around the tiny plane window, expecting to see lush palm tree laden paradise unveil itself below them. When the plane approaches Big Island and the landscape reveals hard, black lava slathered across the entire coastline, there is always at least one panicked newcomer that says what the rest are thinking: "Are we in Hawaii or are we landing on Mars?"
Not all of the Big Island is lava, but there's a lot. That being said, there are beautiful oases here, you just have to work harder to find them.
The Big Island is also known for Kona coffee. As you drive the southern Kona coast, little coffee farms signs start popping up left and right. If you stop to check out the farms, they all have tasting shacks and field tours. Big Island is very proud of its coffee:)
Coffee beans grow in clusters on thin branches. The beans that we turn into coffee are actually the fruit's seeds and the coffee fruit is called a coffee berry or cherry. When the cherry is red, it's ripe to pick.
In this painting, "Kona Brew", I wanted to show off the coffee plant and one of the endemic birds of Hawaii, the Po'ouli. Now possibly extinct, the Po'ouli was not discovered as a species until the 1970's. Scientists tried to capture and breed few the remaining in the wild, but with no success.
One bright side of painting is that I can create these birds and make scenes where they are having fun. I imagine these two Po'oulis woke up early in the morning to get their favorite bar stools at the coffee branch. Po'ouli on the right had an extra-strength triple shot, so he's highly caffeinated and ready for the day. Po'ouli on the left always take her coffee on the riper side for that added sweetness. It's going to be a great day!
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.