Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Maui Open Studios 2012: Tim and Vicky Robinson

Puka Shell photography by Tim Robinson displayed at the Robinsons' Open Studio.
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The last artists DH and I visited at Maui Open Studios 2012 event were the Robinsons. We only visited three artists this year, and only during the first weekend of February, featuring Kihei and Lahaina artists.  Time was extremely limited so I picked three artists that I found most intriguing out of the guidebook. Last year, DH and I visited about 12 artists in Haiku and were pretty tired, plus I had visited another 12 artists in Kula and Makawao.  There are a lot of different ways to do the Open Studios event - one can try to do every interesting studio, and it becomes a day-long excursion, or one can simply be very discriminating and pick only a few studios to visit but spend a longer time at each one. 

The Robinsons had a beautiful and soothing home in Wailea. I was impressed not just with the artwork, but also the arrangement of decorative items. 

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A bird sculpture display in the Robinsons' living room. 

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Vicky Robinson's painted silk tops and sumi-e paintings.

Vicky Robinson's brushwork and silk clothing.

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A row of mangoes at the Robinsons' Open Studio. 

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Mangoes below Vicky Robinson's Chinese brushwork (sumi-e) painting. 

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Orchids on a glass table top.

Tim and Vicky Robinson listening to DH telling a funny story. 

A water scene by Vicky Robinson.

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Another arrangement of bird sculptures. 

Tim Robinson and some of his orchid photographs in the background.

A green sumi-e painting by Vicky Robinson. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Maui Open Studios 2012: Ed Lane

Ed Lane's Wailea art studio

I really enjoyed visiting Ed Lane's studio during Maui Open Studios, Weekend 1.  His studio is in his Wailea house, and looks like an artist's dream studio, with plenty of light, brushes, paints, and areas for play. 
Creative cacaphony

Ed Lane likes chickens, and there's an inspiration board in the background. 

Another work table, and more pictures above the doors. 

The most difficult part of getting to Ed Lane's studio was getting through the security gate for his neighborhood. The gate code in the Maui Open Studios book didn't work, and we had to call several times to be buzzed through. The playful mess of Ed Lane's studio contrasted with the neatness of the rest of the house. 
Colorful paintings in the living room. 

More Ed Lane paintings
The outdoor area before the front door, filled with paper lanterns and Christmas ornaments. 
Water fountain with taro plants.
One of my favorite pictures is below. I would have added a paintbrush as a prop. 

Ed Lane's artist cat hard at work. 

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Maui vs. Oahu - Comparing the Two

Rainy day on Oahu, the day we scattered ashes. 

Just got back to Maui a couple of days ago, after being on Oahu to take care of my mom's apartment, distribute her turtle collection to friends and family, scatter her ashes, and visit people. I thought I would do a few posts while I was there, but frankly was just wiped out.

It's a relief to be back on Maui. Both islands are wonderful, but they are very different.

Some key points:

- Oahu seems to have a bigger middle class and working class than Maui. Maui has a lot of hippies and new age people, and more haoles (Hawaiian for Caucasians) than Oahu. Oahu also has a strong military presence. It seems that a third of the island is military, so you'll see people running around in uniform, and there are a lot of military bases there.  Maui has mostly two classes, super wealthy and super poor, with a much smaller middle class. 

- Maui people seem more flighty and airy-fairy than Oahu people. Maui people seem to be even more laid back than Oahu folks, and are less likely to commit to things/people/events but will often show up at the last minute. I'm amazed that the Source Maui crowd had enough organization to pull off their event for several years, and it definitely has a "Maui feel." A lot of Maui people have multiple names, like their birth name, and then another name, like "Rainbow Sunset" or "Hippie-ananda." I'm making these names up, so if your name is "Rainbow Sunset," it wasn't deliberate. 

- Both islands have a lot of Christians, churches, and people who want to convert you. The town I grew up in on Oahu has a church on every block, practically. Even though Hawaii as a state seems to be fairly liberal, there is a conservatism that runs deep, kind of like the South's Bible Belt. On the other hand, there is also an amazing acceptance for differences, including gay marriage and other lifestyles. 

- Oahu has tons of traffic. It has gotten considerably worse in the last few years, and I could not believe how much traffic there was going up to the North Shore to scatter mom's ashes. Even the exit ramp had a long line up of cars, and this never used to be the case when I grew up. Of course, if Maui doesn't plan intelligently, the same traffic snarl will happen here too. Since Oahu is more populous and urban, there are also a lot more things to do. Nightlife on Maui? What's that? (Ok, there are a couple of places, and more are sprouting up...)

- Both islands have a considerable local population of people who grew up here (as opposed to transplants), although Oahu's is much larger. Maui's local population seems to be less overt, although if you go to the Maui (County) Fair, it's almost all locals. Both islands also have a large transient population, with people who stay for a few months or a couple of years, and then move. 

- Oahu is more urban than Maui, but there are still places, even in Honolulu, that are amazingly rural. The place where we stayed, in Makiki Heights, was very rural with lots of wild chickens running around. The group of roosters crowed at midnight, 3 am, 4 am, 5 am, 6 am, 7 am, and 8 am, with more random crows throughout the day. You just have to know where to go. 

- Oh, one more thing: For dating, Oahu is better. There are more people, which also means more single people. I would tell any single man from Maui who is seeking a relationship to spend some time in Waikiki. For single women, Honolulu is a social hub.  Maui has a well-deserved reputation for having a "shallow dating pool." Maui is a great place for supporting an existing relationship, while Oahu has more "temptations to stray." 

Generally, Maui people, especially transplants, tend to think of Maui as the better place to live. But after living a year on Kauai, discovered that Kauai people think that Kauai is far superior to Maui!  A lot of Kauai folks used to live on Maui.  

- Another thought (this list keeps getting longer): The impact of tourists on Oahu is largely in Waikiki... and there are many places on Oahu where tourists are not a significant part of the population. One can easily live on Oahu and not bump into any tourists for days or weeks or even months unless one's job involves tourists or being in Waikiki. On Maui, there are tourists everywhere... it seems that 5 out of 10 (or more) random people in a restaurant or shopping are tourists. I ended up commenting on this below, but I suspect a lot of Maui locals (people born and raised here) really want to protect their local traditions and institutions. 

Anyhow, I love both Oahu and Maui, but the next trip to Oahu will be a trip for fun, not for business. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Source Maui "Soggy Man" Womb Room and Art Gallery

I had always been curious about the Womb Room at Source Maui ever since I donated yards of metallic pink fabric and pillows to the Source volunteers a few years ago. I knew it was supposed to be a plush, cushy healing room. 

The entrance is shaped like a woman's sexual parts, the ones that all of us crawl out of as we're born. So to enter the Womb Room, one has to crawl past the labial lips. Thankfully, they didn't make a literal birth canal tunnel. 

Entrance to Source Maui womb room, shaped like a ..
well, you can figure it out. 

Inside the womb room, decorated in reds and pinks, and with creative wall decorations. 

The room is cozy, full of pillows and soft areas. Very feminine. It's a place to hang out, when there's too much music blasting outside. Some healers offer signups for tarot readings, laser treatments, or cranio sacral therapy, but the signups are only for a few slots each session, and they are not all listed in advance. Yoga and group healing/body work sessions also are scheduled here.  It can be a bit stuffy in here, since there's no fan or ventilation. For some, this is very comforting, and others will feel claustrophobic.  There is also a DJ playing music, and it's not loud music, but it's not exactly soothing. The music selection depends on who the DJ is and how stoned he/she is. 

A fuzzy woman's womb entrance parts. A female anatomy "softie"
(soft stuffed animal).

The ceiling of the womb room.

Massage and healing at the womb room.

Outside the womb room is the rest of the gym with the art gallery/museum/speaking area. It's one of the first buildings as you enter the YMCA camp. 

Big screen of the Franklins' speaker schedule, like a mini TED event. 

The Source art gallery is full of paintings and sculpture, with a strong hippie ambience. I only took a few pictures of things that I was particularly intrigued with. This room does have electricity, so laptop users were able to recharge batteries here. Cell phone signals are non existent throughout the camp site, although I suppose a few folks did have cell or internet access. 

3D art and sculpture in the art gallery (gym) outside the womb room.

Mavis Mueller's photo displace of Source Maui baskets,

Same baskets being burned. 

Basket work by Mavis Mueller at Source Maui.

A "Travel Light" basket/container by Mavis Mueller. 

Glass pyramid, part of a larger whimsical 3D Sculpture. 

Fantasy world - 3D sculpture at Source Maui Art Gallery.

Close up of Glass baubles. 

The fantasy world from a distance. 

Had a great talk with Casey or KC of about his digital visual mapping project. With his tablet, one could manipulate the four corners of the "image" or "map" separately. Moving a corner too far on the screen resulted in the image flipping to the other side of the ceiling. While we were there, he mentioned that someone named Gabriel Josh or Josh Gabriel left his wallet with ID at his mapping table, and he was going to announce it to the Source coordinators. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Source Maui 2012 Schedule

Source Maui has been a pretty rainy event so far. Truth be told, we did not camp. I'm sure we're missing out on tons of fun activities, but we're not soaked or soggy.  DH has dubbed this event, "Soggy Man" as opposed to "Burning Man" which is the inspiration event for Source Maui. I did take a look at the schedule for this weekend, and we'll have to miss much of the event given what's going on in my life, but some fun is better than none.  There are hippies, creative costumes, muddy feet, soggy parking lot attendants, constant threats of having one's car towed if it's parked along the highway, a shuttle manager who quit, stand-in shuttle drivers, and a dancing kitchen crew. 

Source Maui 2012 Schedule Source Maui 2012 Womb Room Schedule

Friday, February 17, 2012

Maui Open Studios 2012: Painter Taryn Alessandro

Maui artist Taryn Alessandro working on a painting,
with aluminum foil strips.

I really enjoyed meeting painter Taryn Alessandro, who is classically trained, but uses alternative materials in her work. She recycles every day items, like soda can tabs, strips of aluminum foil, mesh, corrugated cardboard, torn pieces of paper, and other random paraphernalia and incorporates them into her paintings. She also uses sand to create texture. Then she uses a resin, which hardens the surface and seals any loose items. Taryn's work is refreshing and provocative. 

Street sign for Maui Open Studios.

Wall of beach scenes.
Figure painting includes aluminum can tabs in the background. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ice Cream Bananas and Banana Stains

Ice cream bananas still on the tree.

Ice cream bananas are small, plump bananas which are very soft and creamy, like ice cream. While apple bananas are about the same size as ice cream bananas, apple bananas are much firmer and stay ripe much longer. Ice cream bananas are delicate and bruise easily.  If you can't eat them quickly enough, give them to friends, or peel and freeze them to use for smoothies. 
A peeled ice cream banana with very soft fibers. 
A trio of ice cream bananas, freshly yanked off the tree.

When you are pulling off bananas, which is not generally recommended, be careful to not let the sap get on your clothes. It's sticky and can stain your clothes brown. It won't come out, even with bleach. Or at least I've not had any luck getting out these stains. It can also stain table tops and wood, plastic bags, and counters.  It's also very sticky, and takes some scrubbing to remove dried banana sap from plates or bowls. 

It's generally better to cut off the bananas, again trying to avoid the banana sap. The sap is supposedly beneficial too - herbalist David Bruce Leonard collects banana sap to use for colds. It tastes terrible, so it must be good for you!

Click here to see banana flowers and read about banana flower salad

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Mural Art Near Ho'okipa

An awesome Valentine's Day greeting for Hunnie Buns Haynes. 

This is one of those ever changing murals or public art displays near Ho'okipa Beach. You can see this art work driving from Hana or Haiku going towards Pa'ia, looking towards the ocean just before you get to Ho'okipa. There is an open field with cattle grazing along the ocean.  This shed seems to be repainted every other month or so, with varying decorations or lettering. Keep your eyes on it for the next paint job!  I believe this valentine is for Hunnie Buns Haynes, a well-known person on Maui, and a lucky mom. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Embracing Couple Sand Sculpture

A sandy embrace by the sea.

Sand Sculpture at Makena State Park
This sculpture won't last very long - a few hours since it's so close to the ocean. It's fleeting and temporary, just like the moment it captures. The sculptor is unknown, but ought to be proud of the work. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

By the way, there is a fundraiser for Hali'imaile Community Garden at Flatbread in Paia tonight, Valentine's Day, from 6 pm.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fields of Grazing Goats

The hills are alive with the sound of ... goats grazing in Kula. 

Kula is very pastoral, especially the old highway which is higher in elevation and more curvy than Kula Highway. On this beautiful Maui day, there are goats frisking around, well, actually chomping the grassy fields. These lucky goats have a gorgeous view of the mountains and ocean, and are the envy of thick-blooded Canadian goats who would love to get a visa to move here.