Our friend walks across the lawn into the open air kitchen carrying a stack of books. He had a friend who was an artist. Herb Kawainui Kane.
A Hawaiian artist who painted Hawaii, and what an amazing legacy. His paintings are of old Hawai’i, the romantic paradise, and history like you read about in National Geographic. Historically accurate and visually poetic.
So I peruse these books for a few days and then we are dropped off at Kamehameh Hotel in Kona and there in the lobby is a beautiful display of his original paintings with captions from the books.
These paintings are amazing.
He’s an economical painter, each brushstroke effective, with smooth gradients when needed and the warm red underpainting exposed, too.
Along one clean blue edge a little ridge of paint, the only tiny excess a proof that we are indeed looking at paintings and not prints.
A sunset has a warm red underpainting with pale light blue scudding across and it creates the glowing red light of sunset before the blue sky dissolves. Gorgeous.
Everyone in the painting has brown skin, the dancers and the warriors and the people feel human and wonderful. These are classical paintings. They are very timeless. His lighting is like what if Caravaggio was an impressionist.