View of Mamalahoa, oil on canvas panel, 8 x 10

21 Sep View of Mamalahoa, oil on canvas panel, 8 x 10

Mamalahoa is the famous mountain that looms behind the small town of Hanalei on the island of Kaua’i. It’s pretty impressive with waterfalls and constantly changing light, a true challenge for any painter. One of the challenges for painting en plein air is dealing with the elements; the bugs, heat, sunburn, wind, sand that affects everything. Being able to focus through all of these things and pull off a painting to boot, well, that’s the goal.

While I’m painting I don’t always know how well a piece is working. I often think I have one thing, and wind up with the other. For instance, I may think a painting isn’t working at all, but then I’ll go home and look at it and find that it really does work at some level. Sometimes it’s even terrific and I didn’t even realize it. This painting turned out to have a slightly surreal quality, an accident, but a happy one.

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