In comes Lanikai Beach. One day after work (at the time I was an EMT on ambulances in Encinitas, California) I went to the grocery store and while waiting in line saw what I thought was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen, It was a picture of the little sand walkway that takes you onto the beach with the beautiful Mokulua Islands (Moku Nui, or large island, and Moku Iki, or small island.) Many also know it by the name "The Mokes" The sand looked white as snow, the most crystal clear turquoise hinted water gently lapping onto the beach and the Mokulua Islands in the background standing tall and framing in the picture.
Two things happened to me that day.
1. I knew that I needed to move somewhere tropical, warm and surrounded by the ocean on all sides.
2. I saw something in that picture that lit a little fire of inspiration for me to go to school and finally try to make it as a full time artist.
Little did I know but that one simple photo was one of the catalysts that would change my entire adult life.
I actually did not paint a Lanikai or Kailua piece until about 5 years ago (which was around 15 years after I became a full time artist) Which is definelty strange considering everythng that I wrote about above. Sometimes I get some intimidated about painting certain things beacuse I want to make sure that I can give it the look and feel that it deserves. My style of painting doesn't necessarily work with many places and ideas to me so I really need to be confident before I start the creation process. I had not been going to Kailua for a while as I am always so busy painting and the North Shore and Waikiki had been my homes and the inspiration was endless, so I didn;t feel the need to venture out much. One day Chris and I got antsy after a couple of weeks of no surf so we decided to drive to the east side for the day and enjoy some good food and shopping in Kailua followed by a dip in the ocean at Lanikai. Then it happened, my heart and mind saw the landscape in my style that I have been refining for the last 25 years. The fear had left me and I felt confident that I was finally ready to take on this painting. I was buzzing so hard with raw inspiration that I could barely enjoy our swim and I may have driven a bit too fast to get home! I started sketching that nihgt and quickly realized that I HAD to go back, soon, tomorrow!! So first thing in the morning we loaded up and went back East for the day. I brought a sketch book, some water color paints and my camera. We stayed from about 8 am until well after sunset so that I could see and feel the energy of Lanikai throught the day, watch the different moods steer the colors from ultra saturated to muted hues of blue and green. I get chicken skin now just writing about it! I painted about 20-25 study pieces in the next couple of days following before I finally landed on the piece I felt showcased the feel I had in the best way.
Kailua Weekend was my first published painting of the view from Lanikai Beach. It was actually commissioned by a restaurant group that was opening a new restaurant to serve healthy and vegetarian and vegan fare with Hawaiian staples that we all love. It's funny, because we actually named the painting and restaurant as a collaboration between me and the restaurant owners! Here is a picture (horrible quallity, sorry) of one of the murals or mine hanging on their walls in their Shibuya, Tokyo location.
I hope you enjoyed reading and I wish you nothing but Peace and Aloha!
Here are some of my Lanikai pieces now available. Click on the images to see the mediums and sizes each piece is available in
and of course, the one that started it all!
Mahalo for your time and I hope you come back soon to check out my upcoming blogs!