Sunday, August 21, 2011

Upcountry Art Scene

Aloha from a cozy Maui evening...

Today was a bit cloudy with a hint of the end of summer in the air.

Makawao was abuzz last night with the Grand Opening of the new Maui Hands. The store, parking lot, and next door gallery were packed with well wishers enjoying themselves in the glitz and glamour of opening night.

Maui Hands in an icon in the art scene on our lovely isle. This is Panna's 7th store in 19 years.She has out done herself with this quality collection. More than 250 artisans and crafters are represented in Maui Hands of Makawao.

The classic upcountry style building, located in the heart of Makawao, was aglow with art, jewelry, wood crafts, photography, and artful clothing. Jewlery ranges from gem stones to sea shells and so much more.

The art scene in Maui is well established, and our art community grows more and more every year. I've said before, the quality of light in our islands is every artists dream. Inspiration is around every corner, and many Maui folks are quite talented and very expressive. One of my favorite artists represented at Maui Hands is Christine Halton. Christine is a fine arts artist whose botanical rendentions on wood are so striking, yet, soft and gentle. I really love Christine's work!

It makes me happy that we keep creating.....expressing beauty, regardless of the challenges we face in the world, is a good thing.

Write, paint, draw, sing, play music, throw pots, turn bowls, sew............

Here's to finding a bit of time as often as possible to feed your creative muse.

Come to Maui for inspiration, bring your tablets and brushes, or shop at the Upcountry Fine'll be happy you did.

Much Aloha,


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hawaii State Championship Canoe Races

Aloha from the Valley Isle

Yesterday our island home hosted the annual State Championship outrigger canoe races. Even though I have not competed in canoe racing for a few years, I still get very pumped watching the canoes leaping off the start line and working the course to make the turn for a sprint to the finish line.

Canoe paddling training is relentless, practice is held several times a week, no matter what the conditions on the water. It is a full time committment to paddle.

However, I really loved the paddling community, there is an obvious love for the ocean and all things Hawaii with these folks.

This year had a few special bonus points for me. My family came over from the Big Island to have a booth at the event. Moku Nui, Big Island, was well represtented. They are quite popluar and have a huge following of folks who love their surf wear. It was my first time working a booth with them, and it was lively and fun and quite busy.

The yearly event being on our home island of Maui was also wonderful, and furthermore, my old club, Hawaiian Canoe Club won again!! With 366 points for the day, Hawaiian came out on top, in our home waters and elation was definitely in the air.

The magnificent koa wood canoes are used for the state championship. These canoes are a labor of love from the master canoe builders and the clubs who are priveledged to race them. The koa wood glistens in the sun, the canoes are heavy and solid. It takes more effort to get them up and running.

I was able to see a few of my old paddling buddies . Our bonds will always stay strong. We practiced hard, crossed channels and really depended on eachother in many ways during those times. I never trained so hard as I did to cross those channels in an outrigger canoe. You give it all you have in these crossings, can't hold back.

My dear friend, Susan, who now paddles for Kihei Canoe club, had a fantastic race. The crew photo is posted at the top of the blog. Her crew of Senior Master women had an outstanding race. They shot accross the start line, blasting way ahead of the pack, slowed a little in the turn, but ended with a photo finish in second place.

I finished my day satisfied and sunburned..lots of smiles and great vibes.

As we say here ( and really mean it) "Lucky we live Hawaii!"Hope you folks have a chance soon to come and have a taste of our wonderful life.