Recently, Jackie (my beautiful wife) and I went to Hawaii to carry out the last wishes of Jackie’s long time friend, Brian Levi. Brian was the recording engineer who recorded Jackie’s music and she kept in touch with him over the years, eventually becoming his attorney and the executor of his estate…you see, unfortunately, Brian passed away recently after a long battle with cancer (smoking). His last wish, codified in his will, which left the entirety of his estate to Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, was for Jackie and I to take his remains to Maui and have a burial at sea, which we did last week on Brian’s birthday, spending three days on the Island.
The burial at sea was beautiful, with a Hawaiian ti-leaf wrapped urn for Brian, flower leis, and rose petals. When Jackie dropped in the urn and the lei, a big puff of wind came and made a circular mark on the surface of the water around the lei and swirled the rose petals, which danced across the water in the whirlwind. A huge humpback whale fully breached from the water, tail and all when Jackie mentioned Brian’s love of flying model planes in the eulogy. She said, “You loved flying, and today is a good day to fly. Happy Birthday, Brian!” and the whale leaped out of the water, on cue!
Brian loved art and was a big fan of my artwork. I am sure he would be happy to know that I took my paints to Hawaii and did a couple of paintings while I was there. In fact, I felt his presence more than once as I painted. Thanks to him, I had the opportunity.
The Maui Plein Air Painters invitational competition was just wrapping up when we arrived. I got to see some of the paintings (the ones that hadn’t sold yet) at the Village Gallery in Lahaina. There were some top-notch painters there for that week. Maybe one day, I’ll be invited. We’ll see. Hawaii is amazingly beautiful with a clear light that really makes the colors vibrant and full of life. Here are some images and shots of the paintings I did while I was there.
The first night there, the moon was full. I got a shot of it above the palms and Cook Pines of Kapalua.
My first painting was in the morning at D.T. Fleming Beach, in Kapalua, West Maui.
You can see the finished painting, here After painting, I took some photos of foliage on the way back to the hotel room.
And on the next morning, I found a place to park my pochade (small painting box for those who’ve never heard that term) and work until I got rained out. In Kapalua, in February, showers come and go with frequency. They never last too long and create some beautiful rainbows. In any case, I had to pack up the kit before I finished and had to complete this one back in San Diego. Here are some pics:
And the (almost) finished painting…there have been a few more minor touches since this photo.
I hope to go back some day, pay Brian a visit, and paint a few more things.