Award-winning painting

I was pleased to have all five of my paintings accepted to this year’s juried en pleinair show at the Wailoa Art Center in Hilo. It was also an honor to receive my third-place award for my painting Red Road at Makakau!

In addition, my painting Mango Canopy was placed on its own pedestal at the front entrance, where visitors see it first thing when they enter the show. Mahalo to the juror and Wailoa Center staff for presenting my work with so much respect.

It’s a wonderful thing to receive an acknowledgement for the work it takes to be an artist, especially the time spent practicing my art. As an artist, the magic for me is in the actual creation of a piece, especially en pleinair painting where I am outdoors and completely immersed in the breeze, colors, light, and sounds of nature. Receiving an award or selling a piece of art is the icing on the cake. Yes, it’s sweet, but the making of the art is the cherished experience itself.

Selected Student Abstract Paintings: Spring 2022

Student paintings from five artists/students who participated in Part 1 of my Online Abstract Expressionism Painting course. Their work is based on the various visual parameters that I assigned each week over an 8-week period. I continue to receive deep satisfaction in facilitating a creative experience and witnessing each student develop a unique abstract voice.
If you are interested in participating in an art workshop or retreat, please join my email list so I can inform you of upcoming classes.

Elias

Abby Jane Wiltse

Steven Whaley

Miriam Dretler

Kathleen Dragoon

Successful Art & Nature Painting Retreat 2022

The 2022 Hawaii Painting Retreat was a huge success!!
A creative, FUN, inspiring time was had by all participants at this year’s 2022 Tropical Painting Retreat here on the Big Island of Hawaii.
We had sold-out retreat with 8 artists/students who traveled from across the US.
They came to Hawaii to join for this year’s winter getaway art retreat that included daily painting instruction, morning yoga classes, healthy catered meals, exotic excursions, and transformational healing.
Blessed with sunny, perfect Hawaiian weather, students painted pleinair landscapes outdoors, observing the lush, tropical landscape and black lava coasts to inspire their paintings.
Several students who had previously studied abstract painting with me chose to continue with their abstract expressions, inspired by the energy of the island.
Next year in 2023 I plan to offer two separate painting retreats in Hawaii, a pleinair painting retreat and an abstract, intuition-based painting retreat. 
The Big Island is literally a hot-bed of inspiration with exotic tropical vegetation, seascapes, lavascapes, and an active volcano.
Please sign up on my email list to get updates on the dates for my upcoming transformational art retreats.

Painting in a Series: Student work

Just weeks ago my students and I completed Part 3: Painting in a Series. This was the third module, a series of 8-week online courses in Abstract Expressionism. The focus of this class was on creating paintings in a series. Throughout the workshop, students created paintings that were based on the painting exercises I provided each week. The exercises were developed to provide a platform for self-inquiry. The students had completed the two previous courses with me, so it was extremely rewarding to see them further extend their vision and develop their artistic voices.

AbEx Student Gallery #2

The following student painting gallery represents the artwork from five artists/students who participated in my Online Abstract Expressionism Painting course. Their work is shown chronologically and is based on the various visual parameters that I assigned each week over a 16-week period. It’s been my joy to facilitate a creative experience and witness each student develop their unique abstract voice during this time period.
If you are interested in participating in an art workshop or retreat, please join my email list so I can inform you of upcoming classes.

Amy Zone

Inika Spence

Steven Whaley

Miriam Dretler

Kathleen Dragoon

Beyond My Wisdom

Beyond My Wisdom
Prompt from my weekly writing group.

Watercolor painting showing freshness.

Dusk along the Puna coast. Watercolor, 2017

What is beyond my wisdom?

If something is beyond our wisdom, can we actually comprehend it? Certainly beyond my knowledge I can understand. But wisdom?

What is wisdom after all?

Does wisdom equal the sum of our knowledge? No, not really but I think wisdom encompasses that.

Wisdom is one’s intuition, at least in part. We intuit things often, yet we don’t always act on our intuition.

Wisdom is more like… knowing when a painting is done.

Knowing when a painting is done is a learned skill based on ample experience, plus a big dose of inner knowing.

Kids know when their paintings are done. They finish and shout out in glee, “Look at what I did!”

Adults artists rarely know when to stop. How often do we ask another’s advice “Do you think it’s finished yet?”

How can we, the creator not know?

We paint and the love of painting exceeds the time when the painting is actually complete. When we overwork a painting we lose the initial freshness. We arrive at the point of “Ugh!”, long after the initial “Ahh!”

Sadly it is only in hindsight when we know the artwork has been pushed too far. Though with insight, this experience adds to the sum of our wisdom.

My wish is to conjure the state of Beyond my Wisdom. Go one step further than knowledge and three steps back into childhood innocence.
Abbie Rabinowitz ~ May, 2021.

Ohia and Lehua

Ohia and Lehua painting

Ohia and Lehua, acrylic on canvas, 8”x10”

Ohia and Lehua

This week my Plein air painting group and I tromped over an old, crumbly lava field to our destination along the Red Road… a small ohia tree in full bloom with lehua blossoms. These ohia trees are the first trees that grow in the cooled lava fields. The ohia trees are native to the Hawaiian islands, and because they grow directly from the lava rocks and cracks, they have a strong association with the volcano goddess herself, Pele.

I decided to study this beloved island tree up close, and really examine how this gnarly, twisted tree grows, how the leaves are formed, and where the fire red blossoms perch on the limbs.

There is also a magnificent Hawaiian legend of how Ohia and Lehua first came to be:

“The legend says that one day Pele met a handsome warrior named Ohia and she asked him to marry her. Ohia, however, had already pledged his love to Lehua. Pele was furious when Ohia turned down her marriage proposal, so she turned Ohia into a twisted tree.
Lehua was heartbroken, of course. The gods took pity on Lehua and decided it was an injustice to have Ohia and Lehua separated. They thus turned Lehua into a flower on the Ohia tree so that the two lovers would be forever joined together.
Hawaiian folklore says that if you pluck this flower you are separating the lovers, and that day it will rain.”

 

Pleinair painting group around the ohia

Richard, Lynn, and myself painting around the Ohia tree.

Wedding ‘Live-Painting’

Abbie live weddiing painting

Live painting at a wedding in Kona

Over a year ago, a bride-to-be asked if I did “live painitng” at weddings. I was familiar with live painting, which is basically another term for painting in person on location at an event. She had searched the internet and found me, and enjoyed the loose painterly style of my landscape paintings. Naturally, I said yes! After all, I’ve been painting people and places ‘live’ my whole life. However, painting as large a painting as the bride requested would be more of a challenge to paint on location. I decided to use acrylics since they dry fast and I would be able to ship the painting sooner after it was completed.

Then the pandemic happened. I thought I would get a call telling me the wedding was canceled, However, since the wedding was being held outdoors and guests would be wearing masks, the event remained scheduled as planned. The weekend finally arrived and so did I, with my easel, paints, brushes, and large prepared canvas.

It was a glorious location for a wedding at a private estate on the Kona side of the island. I arrived early to set up and paint the setting from a distance. I wanted to include the tall palms, the coastline, and the distant Kohala hills. Working quickly to capture the whole scene, I painted during the ceremony and reception, and finally packed up and left when it began to get dark. Later in my studio, I added details as well as the bride and groom in the foreground.

Fortunately, the bride and the groom LOVED the painting. It captured the location and setting and most importantly, memories of the day.

 

 

Student Gallery

Student Gallery

Student Art Gallery: Abstract Expressionism Self-Directed, Online Painting Workshop
Five artists/students participated in two consecutive, 8-week abstract painting courses that I facilitated online.
Students worked independently on each new exercise, and we then met weekly online to show and share feedback on the new artwork. Scroll down to view each student’s set of paintings.

Abstract Expressionism Student Work

I’m thrilled!
Yesterday we held our first online critique for the 8-week Abstract Expressionism painting class that I’m facilitating.

Each student sent in several paintings that they had created using the first exercise of the course.

The exercise was to use primarily black and white on a large surface of paper or canvas. They could use thick or thin brushes, charcoal, or other drawing media. The process was to try not to think, but intuitively make a mark or stroke, and then step back several feet away to pause and look. Then when they felt the impulse, they could respond to their mark by approaching the canvas and adding another mark or stroke. I asked them to continue this process until they felt done.

Additionally, they could use white as a way to cover or delete marks they had made.
Using colors was optional as long as they used a limited palette,

It’s exciting to see the unique response and style of each student. Fortunately, everyone in the group is already comfortable using paint, and some are accomplished artists already.

The students work independently during the week, using new exercises that I introduce weekly.
We meet once a week to share our experience and share feedback on one another’s work.

I look forward to the next 7 weeks of co-creating this workshop with this passionate and expressive group of painters.