Thursday, May 1, 2008

Motivation and muse

Makapu'u Lookout
9 x 12 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
Miki Willa
When I started doing a painting a day, I tried to paint every day, seven days a week. That was just not working, so I decided to do five paintings per week, mostly on week day mornings. I have tried to stick with that, and have been fairly successful. This daily practice has allowed me to learn and grow as an artist. I usually look forward to my morning painting times. Not this morning.
This morning, my motivation and muse were elsewhere. The school where I work celebrates May Day with a big performance involving the whole school. For many weeks, the different classes work with a kumu hula (hula instructor) preparing a dance for the yearly theme. This year, the theme was the Year of the Reef. Everyone from the junior kindergarten three year olds to the seniors in high school learns their song and dance to perform before their peers, parents, and grandparents. It is much work, but great fun and quite wonderful. Try and imagine 50+ three and four year olds doing a hula in colorful costumes. So cute, you know. This type of celebration is pretty common in the islands. This year, the teachers decided to also prepare a dance as a gift to the students. This morning, my mind was much more on remembering the dance than finishing my painting.
I took the reference photo for the painting from the lower lookout near Makapu'u Point on the south shore of Oahu. Makapu'u is also a very popular hike for whale watchers during the winter months when the big gray whales migrate to our island waters. I think I will put this painting away for a while and come back to it with a fresh look in a few months.

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