Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quilts for Obama: An Exhibit Celebrating the Inauguration of our 44th President

Charlene Hughes of Honolulu, Hawaii is one of the Master Quilters whose work is included in "Quilts for Obama: An Exhibit Celebrating the Inauguration of our 44th President," a special celebratory exhibit at The Historical Society of Washington, DC. Ms. Hughes has two quilts in this exhibit, representing Hawaii: "Kapa Apana" and "Kuu Maui Aloha."

"Kuu Maui Aloha" is an example of what is considered true Hawaiian-style quilting. Two colors only, strong value difference (red and yellow), echo quilting, symbolic.

"Kapa Apana" demonstrates what Hawaii is all about, showing the ethnic and cultural differences of the quilting ladies---all working together in harmony.

The exhibit contains approximately sixty art and interpretive quilts made to celebrate the inauguration and welcome the Obama family to Washington: 44 by master quilt makers from across the US, along with others honoring the Obama family from Kenya, Hawaii, Kansas, and South Carolina. The Historical Society and the Women of Color Quilters Network have partnered with The Group for Cultural Documentation (TGCD) to present the exhibit.

Guest curator Roland L. Freeman is a folklorist and photo-documenter whose career began during the Civil Rights movement.

The exhibit runs January 11 – January 31, 2009 at The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., 801 K Street, NW (at Mount Vernon Square), Washington, DC 20001. For more information call: 202.882.7764

(Editor's Note: There is a longer article about Charlene and her quilts in the January 9, 2009 Midweek! The on-line version is here, but without pics!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

AHA Christmas Party

AHA Christmas Party
Saturday, December 13th, 2008, 11:30 am to 2:00 pm
Kaimana Beach Hotel, Sans Souci Room, 2863 Kalakaua Ave.
Cost: $25.00 per person (for AHA members)
Menu: Fresh Salad, Chicken Alfredo with Linguine, and Dessert

RSVP to Priscilla Hall at: (808)
239-6066 or to Tony Randall at: (808)398-1863 or

Monday, October 20, 2008

20th World Wide SketchCrawl - Saturday, October 25, 2008

SketchCrawls are world wide drawing marathons, all held on the same day! People interested in sketching and drawing gather to share and learn from each other's observations and art techniques. SketchCrawls are free and open to all who like to sketch, draw, or paint. Beginners and professionals are both welcomed! Some sketches may be posted on the SketchCrawl website for sharing with other world wide sketchers.

This Saturday, October 25, 2008, World Wide SketchCrawl #20 will be held in Kailua town for observing, sketching and/or painting. Sketchers should gather approximately 10:25 AM at Kailua Zippys, 44 Oneawa Street (map). Gather in Kailua town, for sharing of the day's sketchbooks, drawings, observations and techniques. Share stories and learn about the community, and have lunch together.

Mark Norseth will join us for the Kailua portion of the crawl. Mark has offered to speak about drawing!

Also, for those interested, John and Min will be busing in from downtown at: 10:00 AM at Corner Alakea and Hotel Street downtown to catch the #56 from Honolulu to Kailua (The same Bus (#56) leaves Ala Moana Center on Kona Street at 9:45 AM.) Catch the same Bus #56 returning to downtown Honolulu in the afternoon.

Drawing, painting, marking tool and paper/canvas of your choice
Sun protection recommended!
Bus fare (if riding the Bus)
Home Lunch and/or lunch money for purchasing lunch

Sites of interest:

20th World Wide Sketch Crawl:
Sketch Crawl Kailua-Hawaii-USA:
Mark Norseth's website:
Star-Bulletin Article:
Plus, a cool website to inspire!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Editor's Note: Calendar

I've added some useful links to the left side of the page. It's an effort to include a calendar function to the Paint Rag. Thus, there's a link to the AHA Calendar on the AHA website and a link to the Honolulu Weekly's calendar page, which includes gallery shows, calls to artists, things of that nature.

The Color Blue

by Connie Oliva

Blue! There are more blues than there are words to name them. Blue is a mysterious color, hue of illness and nobility, the rarest color in nature. It is the color of the heavens and of the abyss, of smoke and distant hills, of veins seen through skin, and according to one famous magazine editor, a blue cover used on a magazine always guarantees increased newsstand sales . . . painters take note!

The symbolism of the color blue varies from culture to culture, and figures powerfully in art. It was a favorite of John Singer Sargeant’s palette, reached matchless depth of blue in Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park No. 79, rendered eerily emaciated the Bathers by Cezanne. The vivid and gem like blue of the eyes in Mondigliani’s portraits brought to life the otherwise static figures, particularly those of Jeanne Hebuterne. And blue became the color Pablo Picasso used for years during his blue period (1901-1904) when he was living in Parisian poverty and portrayed beggars, café habitués and poor working people sunk in lethargy, melancholy and despair, using a predominately blue palette to convey the hunger and cold his subjects felt. Asian artists have given specific and interesting symbolism to the various shades of blue in art, clothing, literature, in ritual and decoration.

The color blue was probably first used in Phoenicia, and made from sea whelks. Later on Egyptian blue was made by heating sand, soda, lime and copper sulfide to make a blue glass which was then crushed to form a powder and pigment. Cultures have given the color many connotations: to Egyptians it represented virtue, faith and truth; in Jerusalem, a blue hand painted on door gives protection, in Morocco, blue thwarts the power of evil, and despite what most people may believe, in Ireland, the color of St. Patrick’s day is not green . . . but blue. Blue is for boys, and is a male representational color in western society, but also the color of one of art’s great icons and subjects, the Virgin Mary.

For the artist, there are vegetable blues, blue from ashes, copper blues, blues from sea life and minerals . . . and on and on. And blue fades . . . faster than any other color. No other part of the palette is so susceptible to distortion by the effects of age as are blues and violets. And no other color can be as costly. It was always the most expensive pigment for painters and usually reserved to represent glory, supernatural beauty and perfection. Lapis lazuli is the raw material from which the precious ultramarine pigment was prepared, and the cost to European painters was such that contracts often contained additional money for the allotment of blue, so rare and costly was the color.

Surrounded by the sea, Hawaiian seascape and landscape artists use a lot of blues, but the color means more than the sea, symbolically, culturally and psychologically. It is the color of the extrovert, is used to quiet patients in hospitals, to soothe babies, and to represent the serene, the infinite. It is an essential color on the artist palette, near the bottom of the color spectrum, and a great instrument in conveying emotion.

Charlene Hughes recently brought this site to my attention: Wisdombook; and I thought I'd share it with everyone. It's a beautifully executed little film, with this Concept:
"Inspired by the idea that one of the greatest gifts one generation can pass to another is the wisdom that it has gained from experience, the Wisdom project, produced with cooperation from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, seeks to create a record of a multicultural group of people who have all made their mark on the world. Presented against the same white space, all of the subjects are removed from their context, which not only democratizes them, but also allows for a clear dialogue to exist between them. In an attempt to create a more profound, honest, and truly revealing portrait of these luminaries, the project encompasses their voices, their physical presence and the written word. This comprehensive portrayal of such a profound and global group is an index of extraordinary perspectives."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Theft of Gerald Murai's Art

This an e-mail (lightly edited) from Amy Markham, who runs a plein air group on the Big Island. It's a request to keep an eye out for some stolen art, and also a cautionary tale for those of us who show our art in public.

Aloha all...

This is of significance. As many of you know Gerald Murai & Patrick Sarsfield recently (9/5-9/25) had an exhibit at East Hawaii Cultural Center. Gerald hung an estimated 92 works, but due to a oversight- only 87 were listed in the show's booklet. Although Gerald noticed the oversight pre-opening, he didn't press it.

Unfortunately about half way through the show, a still life of Gerald's went missing. It's an oil on canvas titled "Still life with Pomegranate". The painting depicts a pomegranate thats been split unevenly open, seeds dripping out. Gerald was bothered by the theft, but took the loss in stride. . . . The show ended and he and Patrick took their work down. . . .

When Gerald got home and unloaded his truck, he immediately noticed that one of his favorite peices, a nude titled "Shelly's Back" was missing. It was an oil on canvas, NFS. He promptly called the EHCC, but no one had seen it. He was devastated, miserable, distraught. I was so affected by Gerald's sadness, that I phoned Leslie Sears who had photographed some of the show. Had she had photographed any of the nudes? She had, and a copy was sent to Gerald. When he saw the photo, he was horrified to notice that "Shelly's Back" was not the only missing painting- another nude was missing too!! "Standing Nude" a small oil on canvas is also unaccounted for. It's a study of a standing nude woman, leaning forward on a white pillar. . . .

Sadly there's no accurate inventory list, and no "check in/check out" procedure, so it's difficult to determine if other works are missing too. Gerald is the first to admit that he's unorganized, but like many artists, the work he creates remains fresh in his mind. He can recall the smallest of detail in each painting, down to the lighting. Gerald is deeply bummed. If you see any of these 3 missing paintings, please call Gerald Murai at 935-5898. [Above] is a photo of the 2 missing nudes, we're still trying to locate a photo of the missing still life. Please log onto the blog [Plein Air Artists of Hawaii Island] to see more photos of the missing nudes.

Artists!! This is a wake up call for everyone! Before you display your work inventory it, & photograph it! If you have work in a show, exhibit, or gallery, photograph it inside the gallery. Inventory all your work before it's handled by anyone, and again after. If works are not listed in a gallery booklet, perhaps they shouldn't be shown. I'm told that neither the EHCC nor the Wailoa Center insure the art in their galleries. Please check with gallery directors for the most accurate insurance info before your works are placed anywhere. Keep your eyes peeled!
Mahalo nui loa, Amy Markham

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Moonglow Lounge

Story and Art by Philip Riley

The Moonglow Lounge and the painting of it emerged under duress. I had walked out on an unsuccessful marriage and slept on the beach for a few weeks until I found a room in a garage in Waipahu. The landlord, Mrs. Macaranus rented me this room with only a week’s security deposit which was about all I could afford.

About a block away on Farrington Highway, a 20 foot sign on the Westgate Shopping Center said “Moonglow Lounge.” Black pupils looked up in the two moon shaped white “o’s of the word “Moonglow.”
When I walked into the Moonglow, a band was auditioning. The band members were given bottle caps, redeemable for free beer. First the band members invited me to their table. Then, they silently slid their tokens to me. Before I walked home to my garage, a curious Hawaiian lady, counseled me that I was going to have a big headache the next day.

I painted the painting called “The Moonglow Lounge” during this time. I drew on napkins from many visits and took photos with a cheap portable camera. In the background of the painting I fictionalized the band with violin players. The red and brown tinted light glows on the people’s faces in this bar whose seats were black and whose sparse lighting shone through a dropped colored ceiling tile. A black velvet painting of a semi nude elegant Spanish looking lady hung on one of the nicotine colored walls. The patrons and those who worked there exuded unpretentious rough warmth. Though the bar has changed hands and names and there is no live music, a bond remains . . .

Preparing Images to Cafe Specifications

from Priscilla Hall

, if you are planning on submitting to the Artists of Hawaii, and if you already have Photoshop, this site has a tutorial that will explain how to prepare your images to Cafe specifications. Just follow the instructions step by step and it should come out quite well.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Artists of Hawaii 2009 Prospectus


Artists of Hawai’i 2009
The Honolulu Academy of Arts
Juried Exhibition

Exhibition dates: May 14-August 16, 2009. Opening reception May 13, 2009, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Juror: Laura Hoptman, Senior Curator, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
Juror lecture: Monday, February 16, 2009, 7:30 pm, Doris Duke Theatre

The Honolulu Academy of Arts’ Artists of Hawai’i is one of the longest-running juried exhibitions in the country, showcasing the quality and diversity of art in Hawai’i. For more information on the Honolulu Academy of Arts please visit



• All artists living in the state of Hawai’i are eligible.
• Functional and nonfunctional works are eligible in any medium or combination of media: painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, collage, sculpture, film and video, light works, sound, ceramic, glass, fiber, jewelry, and other art forms.
• No work shown previously in a juried exhibition on O’ahu is eligible. All works must be original and created independently within the past two years.
• Size and weight:
— Up to 7 feet in each of two dimensions, not more than 3 feet in the third dimension.
— Works that can be broken down into smaller and shorter units may be up to 12 feet in height but no more than 7 feet and 3 feet in the two remaining dimensions. Measurements include frame, base, and all multiple parts.
— Unframed flat works that can be folded or rolled for handling: up to 12 feet in height and 7 feet in width. General weight limit: 250 lbs.
— Weight limit for works that are suspended from ceiling can be 50 lbs per suspended unit.
• The Academy reserves the right to reject works for any reason including technical complications, and in the interest of public safety.
• Frames and mats: Entries must be in finished condition for handling and display. When appropriate, works should be framed (with hanging hardware included) for their own protection.
• Prints, drawings, and photographs must be framed in metal or wood frames with hanging hardware included (mounting in mats alone is not adequate).

• Juror will make selections of works to be included in the exhibition exclusively from digital images and information downloaded by artists on CaFÉ ( The Academy will notify all artists of jury results via e-mail.
• Of the artists selected for the exhibition, the juror will select 20 to 25 finalists as candidates for the special awards.
• A studio visit may be requested as part of the award selection process. The juror, accompanied by a representative from the HAA’s curatorial department, will conduct these studio visits. The museum will coordinate studio visits for those finalists during the month of February.
• Both works in progress and finished works may be presented during the studio visit.
• Award recipients will be notified after the selection process is complete.

The Academy will conduct the submission process for Artists of Hawai’i 2009 online with all materials submitted in digital format through CaFÉ (

NOTE: Slides or hard copy materials will not be accepted. First-time CaFÉ applicants must allow enough time to prepare their images to CaFÉ specifications and finalize the electronic submission prior to the deadline. First-time applicants should allow approximately 3 hours to complete the process.

• You may submit up to 3 artworks for judging
• The jury fee is $15 per artwork. This fee includes one digital image submission
• Each additional digital image submitted is $5 (1 entry=$15; 2 entries=$20; 3 entries=$25; 1 entry+1 detail=$20; 3 entries+2 details=$35, etc.)
• You may submit a minimum of 1 digital image and a maximum of 6 digital images
• Include an artists statement, limit 1000 characters
• Payment can be made by credit card through CaFÉ or by check.
Please make checks payable to The Honolulu Academy of Arts. Mail to:
Attn: Rui Sasaki
Honolulu Academy of Arts
900 S. Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96814

FRIDAY, January 2, 2009
12:00 NOON

MONDAY, January 5, 2009
4:00 PM
Notification: Results of the jurying will be sent to all artists who submit work by e-mail no later than
Friday, February 13, 2009.

1. Clearly label artwork with artist name, ID number issued from CaFÉ, phone number, email address, and title of work
2. If bracing wires are attached they must by taut.
3. If artwork requires special handling submit clear written instructions at time of delivery.
4. If artist’s presence is required for installation please call Rui Sasaki (532-8770) at least one week prior to the drop-off date to set-up an appointment.

9:00 am–12:00 pm
All entries must be delivered to the Academy’s street-level loading dock on Victoria Street where Academy personnel will be available to receive entries. Use of parking lot on Victoria Street is permitted only for the delivery of entries. In the case of unusual circumstances—size and weight extremes, unusual fragility, complexity of set-up—requests for special delivery times will be considered.

The Academy’s storage space is limited. Please do not submit works if they cannot be picked up at the times stated below. Artists failing to claim work on time must pay a $10 per day storage charge. Entries for the next juried exhibition will not be accepted from artists who do not pay storage charges due. Works will be disposed at the Academy’s discretion one week following the pick-up deadline listed below.

Tuesday, August 18 – Saturday August 22, 2009
9am–12 noon
*Exhibitors must pick up works after the close of the exhibition, at the Victoria St. entrance (down driveway, behind teahouse).


FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2009
All entry conditions must be observed and artwork labeled properly (see “All Selected Artists: How to Drop off Artworks”). Please allow ample time for delivery of artwork to the Academy. Boxes must be constructed of wood or other sturdy material with appropriate padding and be sturdy enough for return shipment.

The Academy returns all works prepaid, following the close of the exhibition; artist’s insurance values of works are declared with carriers. Note: The Academy must have the delivery address in order to return the works, not post office addresses. If you do not wish to have your artwork(s) returned to you by mail, it is your responsibility to inform the Academy of other arrangements. Call Rui Sasaki at 532-8770.

Entries are submitted at artist’s/owners own risk. The Academy employs skilled, experienced staff and will handle materials with utmost care. The Academy is not responsible, however, for the loss of or damage to works, frames, glass, or any other component of the art, no matter how sustained.

Accepted works must remain at the Academy for the total period of the exhibition. Artworks submitted are subject to reproduction for publicity and use in Academy publications. Please provide photography credits if necessary.

(for more, click here)