Old Makena (Uncut), 2003
This painting 30 Years at Pu'u Ola'i is allegorical to my life on this island. Art is the process of working out the form of something. In a very real sense, this career of mine has been giving tangible form to something which before was only potential. Over the years, a life has emerged. Every painting further defines an artist. I can look back now over the course of thirty years with some perspective.
Upcountry, on the left side of this canvas, is where I began as an artist, in the thick of a farming community. I developed alongside the cabbage and onions. I moved to Kula at age 19, and in the first ten years I grew into a man. Farmers were neighbors and friends. It was my good fortune to be able to paint in their fields.
I hit a stride about ten years into my career. If you look at the date on many of the reproductions in the gallery, a lot of the milestone pieces were painted in the mid eighties. They stand out like flags marking the path I've taken. When I walk through the gallery, I trace a path through my own artistic evolution. The paintings evoke memories and feelings of my life at that time. Like looking at pictures of my children, they contain so much more than I can convey. These paintings were finished years ago and represent me, yet they are out in the world independent of me. Like a grove of palms planted in another era, they stand alone without me.
Watching my kids grow, it is hard to believe how quickly the time has gone. On the right, the way ahead is as wide open as potential allows. It is what we make of it. It is bright and clear and welcoming.
In the center, in all its grace and symmetry, sits Pu'u Ola'i, clearly identifying where we are.
A person is the product of a confluence of his heritage, his influences, and his environment. Who you are, how you feel, and what you do with your life is a grand puzzle put together a piece at a time. One's life represents one's finest work of art.
This painting is a tribute to those people, places, and experiences that have made me what I am, from the light to the dark, and all the values in between. I appreciate them all as every brush stroke contributes to the painting.