by Suzanne M
(Big Island Hawaii)
This is one of my favorite paintings. I painted this early in the morning on November 1st 2009. I woke up with a passion that said YOU NEED TO PACK UP AND GO PAINT! Not wanting to argue with myself I drove up Baldwin Hill in Maui and after about 45 minutes or so found myself high on the slopes of Haleakala mountain. I was looking for a switch back with a view. I found a great spot just off the road. So I hopped out of my car and made a little spot on the grass with a beach towel, my paints bag, a bunch of brushes, a rag, a cup, some bottled water and a little canvas I set on my lap.
The sky must have changed 5 or six times while I tried to do it any justice. Clouds would blow past before I could figure out what to do with them. The view is looking down Maui to Kahului, there is the West Maui Mountains in the distance and Moloka'i in the very back. There was surf that day on the outer reefs by Kanaha.
Such a bright morning! It was peaceful. It was quiet except for the occasional car driving up the mountain. Some people slowed down by my car to see if I had car trouble, but then when they noticed I was perched on the hill painting they would wave. I distinctly remember a couple cows wandered up the pasture behind me and Moo'd. I was kind of startled, I looked back to see if they were approaching but they were female and they stayed a bit behind me. I could feel their presence and after a while I figured I should let them have their pasture back...hahaha.
Now I completed the background on the mountain, but there was no Jacaranda tree at that elevation. I drove down to Makawao and then up to Kula looking for a decent tree. When I got home I was still motivated to finish this piece, so I sat in my studio and created a tree in my mind from the ones I'd looked at earlier that day. It went onto the canvas in a flurry and I even textured it with a palette knife. It was done.
That night I learned that an artist friend of mine had died that morning. She was in a car accident at the bottom of Baldwin Ave, the same road I drove up to go paint. I was up the hill from the accident so I never knew it happened until another friend called. She was a bright artist, liked acrylic and surf too. I almost never finish a painting in a day. But this one was special. I think part of her creative spirit was sending me motivation. I think about her every time I see this painting and it makes it even more meaningful to me. I think as artists we have to remember it's not about how good we are, or if we ever make it or get paid or whatever...It matters if we create with passion, and live an inspired life.