7 x 10 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
I am really enjoying playing with this set of colors. Blues, umbers, and golds. They were perfect for this addition to my small spaces series. This is a vent at Halema'uma'u in Volcano National Park. This is a sacred place that is known as the dwelling place of Pele, the goddess of fire. There are many such vents on the plain above the vast crater. Warm, humid, sulfurous gas escapes constantly, letting everyone know that Pele is in residence. After I finished the painting, my friend looked at it and pointed out that a man's head was coming out of the depths of the vent on the viewers right side. Could it be Lohiau?
Once Pele had settled on the Big Island of Hawaii, she rested. She sent her dream spirit wandering the other islands. On Kauai, she met and fell in love with a young chief named Lohiau. They spent several days professing undying love for each other before Pele returned to her home. She became so lovesick for Lohiau, she sent her sister Hi'iaka to Kauai to bring him to her. Hi'ika was given 40 days to do this. The story of Hi'iaka's journey is very long and complicated, so I will not go into it here. More than 40 days passed. She finally arrived on Kauai only to find Lohiau dead from a broken heart. She brought him back to life, and they returned to Halema'uma'u. In the meantime, Pele had become very angry and jealous because so much time had passed. In her anger, she turned Hi'iaka's best friend into stone. When Hi'iaka saw what her sister had done, she put her arms around Lohiau and kissed him where her sister was sure to see. Pele became so angry that she sent streams of fire and lava to engulf them both. Hi'iaka had magical powers and evaded death, but Lohiau was not so fortunate. It is said that as he was being engulfed in flame, he chanted love poetry to Pele.
The title of the painting means breath of love.