Thanks to Lei for commissioning this piece! I am so happy that you are happy with the painting:)
"Odebuchan" is the polite way to say "Little Fat One(s)" in Japanese and that's exactly what Lei wanted for her commissioned piece. Lei speaks fluent Japanese and says "odebuchan!" whenever she sees my fat little birdies, so the name stuck. This painting has a little more texture than most because I really had to change colors a few times and make some adjustments along the way. If you keep working at it, eventually you get what you want...
I chose to depict a family of Volcano 'Elepaio in Lei's painting . The 'Elepaio is a native Hawaiian bird, noted in ancient Hawaiian mythology as the canoe builder's aumakua (guiding spirit). Stories are told of the 'Elepaio showing the Hawaiian canoe builders which koa trees to use for building their canoes. If the 'Elepaio favored the tree, it was full of insects and no good. If the 'Elepaio looked at the koa and flew away, then that was the perfect tree.
My favorite feature of the 'Elepaio is it's upright tail. I see the 'Elepaio tail as the bird's way of giving a thumb's up. I just imagine the ancient Hawaiians watching the 'Elepaio bounce from koa to koa, waiting for it to pause, peek down at them with it's "thumb's up" tail and fly away. Then you hear the Hawaiians say, "That's the one! Hana Hou!"
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.