Kilauea Lava Eruption

I haven’t posted in nearly two months. Right after my return from teaching in Maui in early May, the volcanic eruption of Kilauea began on the east rift zone in lower Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii. Molten lava started to flow from fissures just four miles from my home. I left the island to visit my family home in Connecticut just days after the eruption began. My trip had been planned months earlier and I was grateful to be 6000 miles away in a safe place where I took refuge with my family during the following weeks.

I have been watching news from afar as the lava continued to flow over much of lower Puna, destroying hundreds of houses and leaving many people homeless in its wake. I gazed hopelessly as I watched gorgeous coastal areas, tide pools and roadways get covered by 40 foot thick walls of black lava. This has been a heart wrenching time for myself and to so many who lost their homes and dreams in Hawaii. I’m fortunate that my house and subdivision has been spared destruction. There is no immediate threat to my neighborhood at the moment and I will return to my home in Hawaii in just a few days.

Only recently have I felt drawn to pick up my brushes and begin to capture in paint some of the images and videos posted online of the billowing laze, fumes and smoke as the lava enters the ocean. I am curious to see how my art will reflect this changed landscape when I am back on the island.

Earlier paintings I have done of Hawaii and the scenes of the Red Road are even more precious to me now than before. Without doubt this experience has been a lesson in the impermanence of life and a strong reminder to not take any moment for granted.

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