It’s been raining and no higher than 50 degrees since we landed in
Our last few days were filled with beautiful moon rises and spectacular sunsets. We took a nice long drive in the yeppi to the north and got to see more of the valleys that
I have a recipe:
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS IN
Go into galleries to see all the fabulous art.
Look up the artists on line.
Send them an email.
Ask where they show more of their stuff.
Arrange to meet.
Rendezvous under the Banyan Tree.
Have a blast.
We were SO fortunate to get audiences with Michael Stark and Janet Spreiter. We’d been admiring both of their work all week and were so pleased to have conversations and “talk story” with each of them. Michael has had many lives previous to this one as a popular
Ingi and I went over to sit on a bench and listen to the guy singing and playing the guitar. I had one of those experiences you have in the presence of raw talent – when he started playing I just knew we were in for a treat, and then when he started singing, the skin on my arms warmed up and I broke into a spontaneous uncontrollable smile. What a joy. His voice was baritonish with a wide range, melodious and strong. He sang in Hawaiian with a sweetness that could melt your heart. I’d have followed him anywhere – the pied singer of
The same day we met Michael under the Banyan Tree, we also got to meet Janet Spreiter. (see janetspreiter.com) I had seen a painting of Janet’s in a gift store earlier in the week, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was labeled Lahaina Shacks II, and in it was old Hawaii (with a couple of cane houses), new Hawaii (with a more contemporary hale), four surfboards resting against a wall (which I learned later were representations of the boards of Janet, her two sons, and her companion Albert’s), and the central queen of the canvas, the West Maui mountains. The colors of the mountains are spectacular, and Janet has done them justice. Janet’s paintings have so much life to them, color and light. She’s a California blonde, blue eyed beauty all grown up, yet having retained her love of fun and sense of adventure. Some day I’m going to write a story about Janet and Albert. They were childhood friends, he a resident of Lahaina and she a regular vacationer to Maui with her family. They went on to have their separate lives, she in California and he in Hawaii, and they’ve now reunited and struck this amazing partnership. We got invited to their house on Front Street to see more of Janet’s paintings and we spent a charming late afternoon looking at her art and chatting and relaxing. Albert and Ingi ended up in a couple of chairs in the yard, swapping stories of Hawaii and Iceland as they drank beers while Janet and I looked at and talked about art and their amazing “compound”. Their property is large, with several outbuildings and a good sized house that has/is undergoing renovation. Very Hawaiian – tile floors, lots of windows, beautiful woods. Janet has a huge tree growing in the middle of her studio – its actually part of what’s holding up the roof. It will be so cool to see and hear how this property develops. It feels like the land has ideas and a spirit of its own. It once belonged to Albert’s Mom and, until Janet and Albert put up a sturdy rock wall and a gate, it was peopled by folks who wandered in or drove in and camped out or came in to look around. I may have some of my facts wrong here, but you get the feel. So very interesting and beautiful and steeped in lots of history, personal and island. Albert and Janet try to surf every day. Can you imagine? Janet says that if Albert doesn’t get his gills wet on a regular basis, he begins to feel uneasy. Their place has tall coconut trees and big palms and ferns and chickens all over. We were there at dusk and witnessed the chickens as they flew/hopped up to roost in the trees. What a ruckus and a delight. Albert and Janet must be in their fifties, but they look like teenagers with their tans and their surfer’s bodies and their happy smiles. Janet, generously and graciously, gave (yes, GAVE) me two of her small paintings – a couple that were sitting in the not currently for sale pile. They are amazing studies of the landscape, mountains and ocean and coconut trees, and I will cherish them forever. I’ve already started my savings for a giclee of Lahaina Shacks II, or perhaps one of her newer work “Surge” (which Ingi calls Brim – roll the r hard. Brim means surge in Icelandic). Surge is a view of some volcanic rock being plummeted by the ocean – the blues and the blacks are intense and alive. Ingi says it could easily have been painted looking at the Atlantic off an Icelandic cliff – it would just have to be a bit grayer than the Hawaiian Pacific blue. If I win the lottery I’m gonna buy her out. Anywho, we felt gifted by Janet and Albert’s genuine Hawaiian hospitality. We stopped by their place on our way to the airport on our last day and dropped off some of our excess groceries – beer and poke and fruits and veggies – and were even able to pass on some Icelandic chocolate. From one volcanic island peoples to another, the gifts were given and received.
As I remember more of my adventures during this particular Hawaiian trip, I’ll add them to the blog later. For now, I’ve ridden my once again bumpy plane home to the northwest, folded myself back into my work, and am preparing myself for the big move from our Portland condo on the Columbia to our Richland house on the 16th hole of Horn Rapids. There is much to do, and I hope I can maintain my footing as I scurry through my days. I’ve got brudda Iz on my ipod, plumeria lotion on my skin, visions of Hawaiian quilts to make, and Maui art to hang on my walls. If that’s not blessed, I don’t know what is. Live Aloha.