I’m thrilled to share some exciting news – I’ve been awarded a Juror’s Award for my abstract painting The Garden at the Abstract Only show hosted by the Wailoa Art Center in Hilo, Hawaii. This recognition holds a special place in my heart, acknowledging my journey as an abstract painter and my dedication as a teacher.
Abstract art is a canvas for emotions and imagination, and receiving the Juror’s Award is an incredible honor that motivates me to continue pushing my creative boundaries. Beyond my personal achievement, this recognition has a wider significance. Four of my students also participated in the show, with two of them exhibiting for the very first time. Witnessing their growth and courage fills me with immense pride.
The art community in Hilo is a vibrant and supportive space, and this award reinforces the importance of creative connections. As an artist, I’m inspired to keep exploring and expressing myself, and as a teacher, I’m reminded of the transformative power of sharing inspiration with others.
This celebration of creativity reminds us that art is both an individual and collective journey. I’m deeply grateful to the Wailoa Art Center, the juror Ming Li Jiang, my students, and the arts community for their support. Here’s to the unlimited creativity in all of us!
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.
Beyond My Wisdom
Prompt from my weekly writing group.
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, 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.”
Richard, Lynn, and myself painting around the Ohia tree.