Friday, March 27, 2009


Driving along Oahu's windward side, you will come to Kualoa, just north of Kaneohe. At Kualoa Park, you will recognize one of Hawaii's famous landmarks, the small offshore islet of Mokoli'i, better known as "Chinaman's Hat". Yes, this small island does tend to resemble a Chinaman's Hat, but it's true name, Mokoli'i comes from an ancient Hawaiian Legend.

Hi'iaka, the Goddess of Lightning, was traveling along the windward coast. She came upon the dragon lizard, Mokoli'i. Hi'iaka slayed the giant lizard with spears of lightning, using it's body to form the base of Hakipu'u Road. She cut off the tail and threw it in the ocean near Kualoa. The small islet is said to be the tip of the tail of poor Mokoli'i.

Lizard tail or Chinaman's Hat, either way, it is a beautiful little island under the swaying palms on a lazy afternoon at Kualoa, Hawaii.

"Palm At Kualoa"


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Monday, March 9, 2009


The Island of Kauai sure has a way of bringing out the creative side of people. It is the furthest west, and also the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Kauai is nicknamed “The Garden Isle”, and rightfully so. It’s postcard perfect beauty boasts lush tropical greenery, cascading waterfalls, and crystal clear sandy beaches. Sounds like the perfect inspiration for any artist! It is also the place that several of my favorite etsy artists call home.

Marionette (Kauaiartist) resides in Waimea and owns her own studio, “Painting Paradise”, where she also teaches classes. She puts her heart into her paintings, and the Aloha Spirit shines through! I am always inspired by her art. She works mainly in watercolors and acrylic, but also has some silk paintings that are just amazing.

Here are some of my favorite works of Marionette.

"Green Cottage" watercolor print

"Rainbow Plumeria" watercolor print

"Wailua Falls" Original Acrylic

And a few of her fabulous silk paintings

Please take the time to visit Marionette and her wonderful Kauai paintings.
And, as she always says
“Have a warm and beautiful day.”


Schar Freeman (Scharart) is also from Kauai and paints with Marionette in their lush Garden Isle. She is an art instructor, as well as being a full time artist. Her paintings are dramatic and bold, with a style all her own.
She works in a wide range of mediums, including watercolor, acrylic, pastels, and even creates beautiful photo frames and vases incorporating the beautiful sands and shells of Kauai! She also has a fabulous Native American Art series. Her colorful works always bring a smile to my face and make me feel happy.

Here are some of my favorite works of Schar.

"Mango Mama"

“Pueo Dream”

“Pele's Sun Over Lavender Ocean” pastel

“Kauai Sands” Photo Frame

Be sure to check out Scharart for a wonderful assortment of unique Hawaiian and Native American Art. And in the words of Schar
“Maluhia (peace),
malama pono(take good care)!


My third Kauai artist is an artist of another sort. Her name is Dava, and her etsy shop is TreasuresFromHawaii.

Not only does she offer fabulous and unusual photographs of nature in Kauai, but you will also find “Beach In A Bottle” . A little Kauai Treasure of sand, sea glass and shells in a beautiful glass bottle. Perfect for a beach themed party or wedding favor.

Beach In A Bottle

“Fruit Stand – Puhi Hawaii” 4x6 Print

“Falls At Waimea” 4x6 print

“Wailua Falls” 4x6 print

Be sure to visit “TreasuresFromHawaii” for some one of a kind Hawaiian Treasures!

Well, these are just a few Creative Kauai Artists, I am sure there are many more out there! Kauai is a gorgeous Hawaiian Island, I can’t wait to visit and hopefully get to meet these wonderful ladies in person one day. Until then, I will keep admiring their work and I must give a huge MAHALO for inspiring me to keep on painting “Hawaiian Style”.

LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Friday, March 6, 2009


I recently returned from a 2 week snowboard vacation in the beautiful mountains of Utah. Beautiful... but cold. The daily average temp was in the 20's. Probably not all that bad to some of you who live in the Northeast, (in fact, some of you Minnesotans might consider that a nice spring day!). But here in Hawaii, if the thermometer goes below 65, we start to freak. Reaching for our sweats and blankets, for fear of freezing to death - living in the tropics, your blood does tend to thin. So, when I returned home last month, I was inspired to paint something that would warm me back up.

This is "Tropical Glow", an 11 x 14 oil on stretched canvas. Hawaii has some of the most beautiful sunsets anywhere, especially with world famous Diamond Head as a backdrop.

O.K., my fingers and toes are finally starting to thaw!

"Tropical Glow"

I had so much fun with this painting, I decided to do another
"Mini Tropical Treasure" and a couple of ACEO's.

"Diamond Head Delight"

"Tropical Day Is Done"

"Diamond Head Dusk"

I think I am now ready for shorts and a tank top once again!


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Monday, March 2, 2009

An "Un-Hawaiian" Adventure

This is a little off art-topic, but we just returned from two weeks in the cold Utah snow and I thought I'd share some of the awesome sights with you. We love to snowboard, kind of a crazy hobby to have living in Hawaii where we don't ever see anything even remotely close to snow, but none the less, we head up to Salt Lake City, Utah once or twice a season.

We just love it there. The snow is as light as a feather and the resorts are AWESOME. I will have to say, being in a daily average of -2 (yes, that's NEGATIVE two) to 24 degrees does take some getting used to, but we keep going back time and time again.

The top of Snake Creek at the Brighton Resort has some awesome views!

Here is a sight you won't find in the "Land Of Aloha".
A beautiful Winter Wonderland

The lift operators have a great sense of humor.

We had unreal weather with several powder days including one day that got 24", another day that got 17" and a third saw 14".
Pure Powder Paradise!

Hiking up Headwall to get some "freshies".

Hawaii has beautiful scenery, no doubt, but Utah has a beauty all it's own, and I am always amazed every time we visit. I never tire of it.


So, I may not be able to feel my fingers or toes, but thoughts of being back home in Hawaii never enter my mind.

My version of "Utah Surfing" is a little different than surfing in Hawaii.

Picture Perfect Day

A moose we saw on the way down the mountain. We have seen several moose in the summer and fall when hiking the Utah mountains, this was the first one we saw in the snow. So neat to see them in their natural habitat.

Our last day in Utah, we were too pooped to snowboard, so we drove up and spent the day at Park City, checking out the many Art Galleries.

Our favorite place in Park City for great beer and awesome grinds,
If you ever go to Park City, check them out. They are the last stop up Main Street, and their Raspberry Wheat and Bobsled Brown Ale are ONOLICIOUS!

We met up with a little Yorkie named Stanley. He is a "Gallery Dog" that works at one of the art galleries on Main Street. He was just taking a quick break to take in some of that fresh mountain air.

Boy did we miss little Brighton right about now. But Stanley gave us our "Yorkie Fix" by letting us pet him. We were happy, and glad to be heading back home soon to OUR little Island Treasure, Brighton, our Hawaiian Super Yorkie.

It is nice to be able to be as excited about heading back home from a vacation as it is in going, and I am glad to be back in the warm humid air and shining sun -- as I book our next trip back again!

LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website