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Winter Paradise (warning, HIGH photo content)

2595 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Color Me Blue

(Photo from my bedroom window in Nuuanu)

After a semester of studying with little outlet except for the one scape in my room, I was truly eager to get a creative-recharge this last winter break. I just came back to school after a month back in my home town, Honolulu Hawaii. Wow it was pretty. And warm. Nice and warm. Darn it's cold on the mainland.

Anyway, this thread is kind of a creative tour of the things I did in order to relax and re-inspire. In order to improve, one has to reach out to understand things better, work to gain experience, and to expose oneself to more.

If you're not really interested in seeing what I did, don't read but this is kind of a gift from me to those who care to know what other artists are doing to try and expand themselves (well in this case, myself).

My Dad's company owns a beach house on the North Shore, and my family spent the first week of my vacation there (me and all my cousins). Man, it was great. I've been going to the beach house since I was in the 4th grade, and not once has it failed to relax me. This time is the last time though, because the company is selling it. *sigh* I'm just glad in the last year I had enough photo-knowledge to take some decent ones.

I took a lot more, and I'll try to add more as I edit them.

This is a really beautiful beach, and I'm not sure if you can tell, but it was the inspiration for "Hau Coast."

Aside from getting in touch with the beach, I took some time to visit the mountains and forests. I took one such excursion to visit my friends Hiroshi Tagami and Michael Powel. Hiroshi is a famous painter in Hawaii, known mostly for his amazing landscape paintings. Hiroshi has known me since I was a baby, nad he's always been a huge influence on me, my thinking, and my artwork. Even when I was a small boy of 4 or 5, I would always be able to recognize a Tagami (one of his paintings). Michael is another professional painter who lives with Hiroshi, and his landscape paintings are also amazing!

From left to right, my friend Leslie who's also an artist, Michael Powel who is another professional painter (really good painter!) and sort of Hiroshi's Apprentice, Hiroshi Tagami, Wakada-san who designed the gardens at Hiroshi's house, and I'm in front. Leslie and I are dressed in some old clothes because we came over to paint! It was a great experience with Hiroshi giving us personal attention.

And now some photos from Hiroshi's house:

From Hiroshi's backyard, you can see his greenhouse where a huge variety of terrestrial plants can be found. Before he was a painter, Hiroshi was a botanist of sorts, and a huge number of the plants in Hawaii were brought by him when he used to work for the state. The State of Hawaii sent Hiroshi all over the world to look for plants that would be useful for Hawaii. After seeing the world, Hiroshi used the sense of nature he developed on his journeys to become an incredible painter.

From this photo you can see the gallery on the left, and the Japanese-style building on the right that functions as another gallery and studio.

There's a large jungle on Hiroshi's property behind his backyard. When I was a child, I enjoyed exploring there because there's a path that leads through it.

Me and Sasha. :D

Leslie and me hanging out on Hiroshi's pateo.

Hiroshi is truly an inspiration for an Aquascaper. The man is truly in touch with Nature as one can see in his paintings. Aside from paintings though, Hiroshi used to breed a large range of African Cichlids, and the house still has a beautiful pond in the courtyard. If you go to the Hilton in Waikiki, the pond has a large colony of blue African cichlids that were originally Hiroshi's. The house is studded with plant life. Everywhere are a huge variety of bromiliades, ferns, fern-allies, orchids and mosses among other plants that Hiroshi has brought to his home. When I was a child, the house had an enormous aviary where some 50 different types of parrots and other tropical birds made their home. The property was also home to some pet monkeys and of course Hiroshi's dog Sasha. Even as a collochy little boy, after playing at such a beautiful place I would fall asleep easily on the porch where there's a view out to the ocean.

After receiving some personal teaching from Hiroshi, I was able to finish 2 paintings that I started this vacation:

The first is the beach on the North Shore. The second is a maple forest on Miyajima island in Japan during the fall.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour through some special parts of paradise to me, and that you will all keep striving for greater inspiration (and share photos with me :bounce: )

Thanks for looking.

(A photo fron Valley of the Temples on Oahu)
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I love that last photo, like a little island in the ocean.
I think you need to sketch the pic of you and Sasha for your Avatar (though the new one is nice also). ;)

It must not be easy being away from home - hopefully the month back there has recharged you.

Sanford, Maine

(and if you think "mainland" California is cold, you'll never be visiting Maine ;))
Thanks for sharing, very nice pics.
I wish i lived in hawaii.
So how much are your paintings going for? I've got a few bare walls in the bedroom here. :)
Thanks all :D

Frawg-- haha, maybe I should someday. I love Sasha, but it took quite a while to draw this avatar so I think I'll stick with it for awhile.

Erik-- Ahaha, thanks but I'm not a professional painter (yet? XD). Tagami-sensei and Powel-senpai are still so, so, so much better! ^^;

These two won't be for sale, but I'll have to consider doing and selling some this summer-- maybe. It takes a bit of effort to do these things after all. lol
Wow, that's amazing! Your photos and paintings are superb :)
You sure live in a paradise. I envy you.:icon_mrgr
Thank you for sharing.

For those in the Northeastern United States, our fish tanks or by the fireplace are the warmest spots. And my aquatic plants in my tanks are the only thing green for the next 6 months.

I recharged just admiring your photos and reading your posts. The warmth of your relationships reflect the beauty of where you live.

Thanks again for sharing.

(A photo fron Valley of the Temples on Oahu)
Is this where you got the inspiration for the wabi kusa style nano you did?
It's awesome!
Steven--Beautiful pics! Great timing with the post, it's aquascaping day here. Your pics have given me inspiration. =)

Anyone else see the fissidens in pic 1? LOL
Steven....wonderful...thanks for sharing...glad you got your paintings done. They are very representative. Inspirational, no doubt.

Snapple: hahahahaha you crack me up!!!!!!
VERY beautiful! I lived in Oahu for about 4 years when I was younger (Navy-brat here). It would be nice to go back and visit one of these days, to see it with "adult" eyes. It's a shame that I was too young and naive to realize what a beautiful place it was. I sure do miss those clouds....the easy coming and going of the rain. Ahhhhhhh....memories. Thank you for sharing such wonderful pics and your art! I can definitely see where some of your inspiration comes from. are very talented! Love your paintings! The North Shore beach painting reminds me of those clouds and sporadic rain storms (the movement of the wind, the peaking of the blue sky thru the clouds): you captured it perfectly!
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