Friday, January 27, 2012

KAUAI a' la Plein Air !

This post is a little late, but I just came across these pics and thought it would be fun to include them in my blog.

Last June, we got to visit the island of Kauai.
I had recently been introduced to plein air painting and thought this trip would be a wonderful way to gain more experience in my new endeavor. Kauai is such a beautiful place, so tropical and green. Who wouldn’t want to be outdoors, soaking it all in?

My first stop was actually a place along the side of the road between Anini Beach and Kalihiwai Bay. From this point, there was a view of the Kileaua Lighthouse in the far background, and beautiful rugged cliffs skirting the coast.

We had to scramble down a few large boulders to reach a small sandy area, but since this was not an actual beach park, we had the place to ourselves for the afternoon.

Luckily, the tide was out, but by the time I finished this painting, we had just minutes to pack up and scurry back up the rocky jetty before the incoming tide washed me and my paints away!

Kalihiwai Bay/Anini Beach w/ Kileaua Lighthouse
Painted June 6, 2011

Two days later, we woke up early and headed out looking for something interesting to paint. As we drove past Nawilili Harbor, I found a scene that caught my eye.
This was the view from the 7th hole of the golf course at the Kauai Marriott.

I was allowed to set up my easel in the turn-around area for the golf carts. It was a perfect, peaceful place to paint, and not too crowded, just the occasional golfers.

In the tree above me was an adorable White Rumped Shama Thrush ! Have you heard these birds sing? It is the most beautiful sound, (they are definitely one of my favorite singing birds in the Islands), and I was so thrilled to have him there belting out melody after melody as I painted!
O.K, so this is not the most appealing photo of our beautiful Shama (poor gecko) but he did sound lovely when he wasn't busy regurgitating a meal for his babies in the nest above us!

Nawiliwili Harbor from the 7th hole, Kauai Marriott
Painted June 8, 2011

After another few days, we decided to drive up north to
Hanalei Bay. We got there early and pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was kind of cold and rainy but it was still beautiful in the early morning mist.

I set up my easel right next to the car. Talk about convenience! This is a plein air painters dream! Not having to lug everything to your desired location, and Brighton got to hang out in the rental car comfortably, as the morning was quite chilly. He seemed to enjoy watching me paint.
"Hurry up and finish, Mom, so we can go SURF!"

I did end up getting blasted by two major downpours during this painting episode, but luckily, I had remembered to pack a large umbrella which saved the day! The showers passed as quickly as they came, and I painted on with no damage done!

Hanalei Pier
Painted June 10, 2011

Hanalei Bay is such a gorgeous place, it feels almost magical. I wish we could have spent more time there. When we returned home and I took a good look at my Hanalei plein air, I could remember the exact feelings I had while painting this scene. It inspired me to do a palette knife painting using this piece as my inspiration --- and inspire me, it did. To this day, the Hanalei palette knife painting that I did after we returned is one of my favorites!
"Misty~cal Morning At Hanalei Bay, KAUAI"
11x14 palette knife painting

I hope you have enjoyed my Kauai plein air adventures. Although I have just started, I am completely hooked on plein air. I will be posting more of my “outings” when I can find the time. Until then, I will be out and about, searching for more gorgeous sites to put on canvas. It’s not too difficult to do when you live in Paradise!!

Mahalo for taking the time to view my artwork.

LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Friday, January 20, 2012

Back to the Brush

I usually prefer to paint with just my single trusty palette knife, but every once in a while, I get my brushes out and see what happens. It is much easier to get the shapes and details you want with a brush, but the palette knife paintings just seem to have more “personality”.

Here are a few mini (4x6) brush paintings of the islands of Oahu and Maui.

Makapu'u Lighthouse Oahu, Hawaii

Lanikai from Kailua Beach Oahu, Hawaii

Kamaole Beach Kihei, Maui

Polo Beach Wailea, Maui

Mahalo for taking the time to view my artwork!


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MORE OF MAUI... and a happy little pup

We recently spent some time on the beautiful island of Maui,
where I got to do a lot of plein-air painting.
(Hopefully I can blog about that when I get some free time.)
But for now, here are a few of my recent palette knife paintings of this gorgeous island. Can’t wait to go back some day!

This scene resembles the painting in my previous post, and that is because it is the same “Polo Beach” in Wailea on the south side of Maui. This is such a scenic beach and a lot of fun to paint.

Pa’ako Beach, also known as “Secret Cove” (which is a silly name because it is not all that secret!) is a wonderful place to spend the day. Tourists will “pop in” to have a look and take a few pictures, but most of them do not stay long. Many weddings take place in this “secret cove” and we saw one while we were there.

This is Kamaole Beach in Kihei, Maui. There are actually three Kamaole Beach Parks that stretch the coast of Kihei (Kamaole I, II, III). We spent many evenings walking these beautiful beaches with our little pup, Brighton. He was so happy to get to go along to Maui with us. His favorite part of the trip was spending time on the beach, making friends wherever he went!
This scene is from the Kamaole II beach, at the "Kamaole Nalu" resort, which can be found nestled between the “Royal Mauian” and “Hale Pau Hana”.

You would have a difficult time finding a happier "Maui Dawg" !

Mahalo for taking the time to view my artwork!


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Thursday, January 12, 2012


This is Polo Beach on the island of Maui, Hawaii.
This beautiful beach can be found on the resorty Wailea Makena south side of the island, and can be somewhat crowded, but the amazing views make it worth it!

"Polo Beach"
is one of my original 6x12, one of a kind, palette knife oil paintings.

It is painted on a gallery wrapped canvas, and the painting continues around the edges, so there is no need for a frame if you do not want one.

Mahalo for taking the time to view my artwork!


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website


Palm tree covered remote tropical islands.
Dreaming doesn't get much better than this!

"Dreaming Of Paradise"
is one of my original 10x20, one of a kind, palette knife oil paintings.

Mahalo for taking the time to view my artwork!


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sunrises, Whale Tails, & Another Painting

I hope 2012 is off to a great start for you!

What a wonderful first four days of the new year I have had – painting and surfing every single day! Our island has been experiencing a bad case of VOG (similar to smog , but caused by the volcano - not people - pollution) the past few days. The mountains can hardly be seen, but the vog makes for some UNREAL BEAUTIFUL sunrises and sunsets!

Since we like to surf very early in the morning to avoid the crowds, we are usually paddling out before the sun comes up. And then… there it is! A HUGE bright red round ball popping up above the horizon!
"AMAZING" is all you can think! And to make it even more magical, we have lately been entertained by playful humpback whales breaching in the distance.

I am very thankful to be living in such a gorgeous place, doing what I LOVE to do each and every day ! This wonderful early morning surf image has been ingrained in my mind. Maybe one day I will try to recreate it on canvas, but until then….
here is one of my latest palette knife paintings.

Have a great day!

This is an original palette knife oil painting of the Portlock area of Hawaii Kai, located on the south east end of the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
The extinct volcanic crater in the background is Koko Head.
Just beyond that lies the magical underwater nature preserve of Hanauma Bay.

Portlock is a very desirable area to live, with homes on and near the water in a beautiful tropical setting. And when the surf is up, "China Walls" located just off the point, is a great place to catch some awesome lefts!

Mahalo for taking the time to view my artwork!


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website