Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Back To Those New Paintings...

We've been having our share of rain this winter, so reminiscent of life in Portland, I've been spending more time in the studio lately.  The recent post featuring new work on multi-times used canvases have continued to "evolve".  Still working on the fisherman from the I-Phone commercial while waiting for one or more reference photos from Mr. Redgrift.


Has evolved into this.  I received two nice comments from Rhonda and Jennifer on the previous version, so I hope they'll be okay with the morph. :)  Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

This was panned by the aforementioned critics, plus Michele, so I got right to work on changes.

It became this attempt at painting the moon's reflection on the Pacific.  It wasn't turning out anything like the idea, so-o-o...

Here it is as of today, Wednesday, 15 February.  In person, I like it, but it loses something in this photo.  Most of my attempts at non-objective paintings have been stinkers, so I'm prepared for a few brickbats on this one.  In person, there is a much "easier-on-the-eyes" color harmony.  It's untitled at this point and who knows what it may look like in a few days.

And finally, here's my fisherman, as of February 14th.  And speaking of St. Valentine's Day, I hope all of you young, and not-so-young lovers out there enjoyed a bit of romance yesterday.

We had friends from the building over for drinks, sunset and pizza.  What could possibly be more romantic on Valentine's Day than pizza!?  Say Aloha to Jim and Sally Stuart.  Sally's searching for whales, while Jim is content with a beer and macadamia nuts.

We ended our day with this fiery sunset.  Hope you all had a good day and have an even better tomorrow.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Queen And A Princess In Town!

Quite a day for Honolulu.  Both a queen and a princess arrived Thursday morning and what fun to see them here.

The queen, of course, was the Cunard Line Queen Elizabeth and the princess was the Princess Cruise Lines Grand Princess.  A bit later in the morning, we saw the Kalumanu get underway for the first time since we moved here nearly four years ago.  The four-masted brigantine may be moving to the Los Angeles area soon and today the crew was performing sea trials.  To cap off a great morning, a couple of spinner dolphins put on a show and we saw a humpback whale near the Star of Honolulu out on her morning whale watching cruise.  Here are some photos:

The Queen Elizabeth maneuvers toward her berth Thursday morning.  It was a beautiful day for visitors.  Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

Crewmembers are perched on that hatch to handle mooring lines as the huge vessel gets closer to her berth.

Some passengers eager to get ashore to enjoy Honolulu.

Other passengers, or maybe crewmembers, enjoy the morning sunshine.  You'll probably need to click on this photo see if you recognize anyone. :)

The four-masted brigantine Kolamanu heads out for sea trials.  That's the Grand Princess moored at Berth-2.

An Air New Zealand jet liner just after takeoff this morning.

Have a pleasant journey home!

A view of the beautiful water this morning. 

I call this "Still life with tulips, stainless steel and Valpolicella bottle".  Kind of reminds me of spring!

Sunset Wednesday, with airliner.

And finally, sunset from Mamala Bay Golf Course Thursday.

Hope you enjoyed the show!  Have a great tomorrow!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Some New Work!

Shocked--right!  With the Doc's portrait out of my hands for now, I've taken advantage of the break to create something new.  All three were done on "previously disastered" canvases.

The most fun is the portrait of a fisherman.  The subject was seen on a TV commercial for the latest I-phone.  I froze the picture, grabbed my cell phone and snapped his photo.  This fellow is a portrait painter's dream, his face like weathered leather, heavily lined with deep crevices and a thousand kilowatt smile.

The other two paintings were a realistic seascape and a large still life of a bromiliad.  Neither was deserving of another attempt at saving or fixing, and both were quite heavy with many layers of paint.  Now, each has morphed into colors and shapes, without discernible subject matter.  They are just nice to look at.  Nothing controversial, thought-provoking or shocking.  They will remain on our living room walls, unnoticed by guests, and in a couple more weeks, even by us.  They did serve the purpose of providing me something of a playground--just what the doctor ordered.  Here they are:

See what I mean.  Not hideous, easy to look at, but certainly not great art.

Ah-h-h.  I'm so relaxed. :)

Can you say, Rothko knock-off?  This canvas most recently held a view from our home, with several buildings along the lower portion and the ocean and clouds taking up the rest.  This is somewhat mindful of a sunset, but you might see something else, or nothing but colors.

This pause is brought to you by Hawaiian Paradise.  I was in my chair a day or two ago, early afternoon, and this was the view of the lanai and beyond.  Okay, moving right along.

Here he is!  One look at that face and I knew I had my next subject.  Amazing that a mobile phone can capture such a beautiful image--Both the I-Phone and mine!

At the end of the first day.  The 16x20-inch canvas has an early version of the Doc's father beneath.  The reddish-brown paint around his neck is residual from painting the church pews.

Here he is today, February 6th.  More work to follow, but what a joy to paint a great face, fairly large.  Not a single tiny brush will be used for this.  I wonder if I'll be able to find out who he is and where he lives.  It would be nice to send it to him.

As I worked on this post, it was suddenly sunset and I thought you might enjoy this view.

That's it for now.  Have a nice tomorrow! 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Recent Photos And The Portrait Delivered

On February 1st--believe it, or not--I delivered the portrait of Dr. McKinlay's father.  It's not finished, but I felt sufficiently okay about it to let him have his first look.  He'll have it for a few weeks to see if any corrections are necessary.  He said he plans to give the painting to his mother.  I'm nervous, but eager to learn what she will think of it.  The studio seems like something is missing now, though the reference photos are still in view.  They will remain in place as I'm fully expecting some "tweaks" will be requested.

The other photos are the usual, never-quite-the-same harbor, ocean and sky views.  There is also a newer work for your consideration.  In an explosion of pent-up energy, I grabbed several colors and a palette knife and went crazy.  It was an exhilarating and carefree attempt at an expressive seascape.  It may not last, but it was fun to do.

Though I usually save sunsets for the end of a post, here's what it looked like on 29 January.

On January 23rd, a departing submarine and departing QANTAS airliner caught my eye.

7:35 AM, January 24th.  A rather unusual cloud formation colored pink in the early morning light.

Same morning, 8:32 AM.

The MS Amsterdam stopped by on her 2017 Grand World Voyage.  Wonder how much that costs!?

While in port, three crewmembers work to keep the ship looking beautiful.  Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

28 January, early evening.  That plume of pink spray is the result of a humpback whale taking a breath.  It's amazing how close the mighty creatures often come to the harbor.  We've never seen one actually in the harbor...yet.

Two more blows, the mist turned pink by the setting sun.  In this shot, you can see just a bit of their backs.  You can imagine how challenging it is to capture a breach or fin slap.  I'll keep trying, however.

I snapped this photo just a second or two before we saw the flukes appear as this whale begins a dive.

Nightfall descends upon Chinatown on Chinese New Year's Day, 28 January.  Most all the pageantry, the big parade, lion dancers, firecrackers, drums and cymbals happened during the prior two weeks.

Took this photo from our TV, during the evening news from Hawaii News Now.  It's an image taken by Italian Astronaut Ignazio Magnani aboard the International Space Station, a couple of hundred miles above O'ahu.  The wrinkly green area is the Ko'olau Range running from south to north along the east side of the island.  You can clearly see Pearl Harbor with its three lochs and the reef runway sticking out into the ocean.  The thing that looks like a circle is actually the crater of Diamond Head.

And finally, here's that "energetic" seascape I promised.  This canvas measures 20 x 30-inches.

Have a great tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Catching Up

Just realized my last post was on 28 December!  We had a guest staying with us from New Year's Day until January 6th, then we got together with my best friend and his wife, during their visit to the island.  It was a very busy time and here are the photos to prove it:

Our guest isn't a big fan of Internet exposure, so I can only show you what she saw or did.  On the morning of January 4th, she noticed this fish-like shadow in the harbor.  Click on any of the photos for a closer look.  We've never seen anything quite like it.

This is the LPG tanker, Fortunato, seen from the lanai.  The bulbous bow almost looks like it features a corkscrew, but it's just the color/shadow.

A wonderful sculpture of three Hawaiians at the entrance to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki.

A bird stands perfectly still, waiting for just the right fish to swim by.  This was one of the many water features on the grounds of Hilton Hawaiian Village.

A panorama of one of the Hale Koa Hotel's swimming pools.

We took her to the Halekulani Hotel and enjoyed drinks, great Hawaiian music and the expressive hula dancing of the current Miss Hawaii's debut performance.

We were all touched by this sign in an art gallery window in Chinatown as we walked to Brick Fire Tavern for their fabulous true-as-can-be Neapolitan pizza and the best Negroni I've ever had.

The Japanese Prime Minister's plane on the ramp at Hickam Field.  Mr. Shinzo Abe was here late December to visit the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial with President Obama.  I never realized the Japanese had a state aircraft so similar to Air Force One.

She got to see the famous beach from the film, "From Here To Eternity".

Saturday, January 7th, 2017.  We drove over the Pali to pick-up John Parker, M.D., and his wife, Chris for a day of golf and shopping, respectively.  Jack and I stopped at the famous Pali Lookout for a small dose of history and great view before continuing to the golf course.  We've been great friends since junior high school and the visit to O'ahu was very special for us.

The good doctor's form suggests he does more than just read medical journals in his scant spare time!
This is on the driving range at Mamala Bay Golf Course on Hickam Air Force Base.  Just look at that balance and full, graceful backswing.  He hits the ball a ton, but then he's about six months younger than me, know.  He is a natural athlete, including being an All-American springboard diver at Oakland University in Michigan. 

At Mamala Bay, you always get an air show with your golf and Saturday was no exception.  Here, an F-22 Raptor returns from a training mission while we practiced.

You can tell we had a great day, and yes, I had a beer or two.  Jack really impressed me when he gobbled-up his first Spam musubi.  I thought, being a doctor, he'd reject any food item featuring Spam, but he really seemed to enjoy this popular Hawaiian treat.

Guess which leg belongs to the Hawaii resident?

Jack, on the right, with a father and son twosome who joined us, Chad and Tyler.  Diamond Head makes the 2nd-hole highly photogenic.

Best friends.  Jack played very well, as you might've suspected from the photo of his swing.  We didn't keep much of a score, but I can confirm he won.  We thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful day.

Michele and Chris spent their day wandering through Waikiki and also managed to visit the Navy Exchange.  We all met at home to catch the sunset, enjoy some umbrella drinks, then dinner on the lanai.  I prepared fettuccine Alfredo according to the genuine recipe, while Michele made a salad.  Two days later, they were on their way back to Seattle.

Some other happenings while I've been away:  On the morning of 9 January, the giant X-Band Mobile Radar departed Pearl Harbor.  It's always special to see something this huge moving across the water.

January 10th, the Nippon Maru arrived for her annual port call.  Usually, she is berthed mostly out of sight from the lanai, but not this time.  We had a perfect view of this magnificent Japanese training tall ship.

On the morning of January 14th, the ship is preparing to get underway for her return voyage to Japan.  You can see many trainees in yellow helmets receiving instructions.

One of the two tugs which would move the ship from her berth.

Crew members working on the sails prior to departure.  What a great view we had!

More crew members climbed barefoot up to the yards.  We really hoped they would unfurl the sails while still in port, since there was virtually no wind, but it didn't happen.

Imagine the confidence these young folks must gain from performing such dangerous tasks...especially if they survive!  Then try to imagine doing this while underway in heavy seas!

Here, the ship is being maneuvered back into the main harbor channel.

The Nippon Maru is nearly turned toward the harbor exit.

The crew gathered on deck as they head out.

To the left in this photo, is the Silver Whisper, of the Silversea Cruise Line.

My catching-up wouldn't be complete without some sunsets.  This was on January 10th.

A few minutes after the sun disappeared, the sky became even more beautiful.

The sunset Jack and Chris enjoyed, January 7th.

A few days after everyone departed, a low-pressure system passing north of the island chain cut-off the trade winds.  For several days, our winds came out of the south (called Kona winds here) bringing some of the volcanic smoke from Hawaii Island, aka the Big Island.  Our sunsets became very colorful and this is an excellent example.  In this shot, the only evidence that the sun is there is this amazing fire on the ocean.  We could not see the lowering sun at all.  I was very pleased the camera was able to capture this scene.

Update complete.  Have a great day and better tomorrow everyone!