Beads Of Rain For Pele

Oil on Panel | 16″ x 16″ | 2015

Original is SOLD


’Ohelo (Vaccinium Reticulatum)


Most of my paintings in recent years have been focused on the human form and the human spirit as well as Hawaiian mythology. It was challenging, refreshing and fun to work with such different subject matter.


What I was struck by was the emotional quality of the land in the preserve. I could feel the sacredness of the plants and the birds and the elements. It was a very profound experience for me…like feeling the island’s heart. As we were hiking up from the gulch with Allison we encountered a gentle rain and walked through a patch of Ohelo. Some had berries some didn’t but the colors of the leaves and the berries forming stopped me in my tracks. I studied the colors, took photos and got lost in the beads of water resting on the leaves from the rain.


The next week I started the painting and did some research. The Ohelo only got more meaningful to me. I have done a series of Pele paintings in the past and when I learned that the Ohelo berry is considered sacred to Pele and was used and still is used as an offering to her I knew what I was feeling from this plant was multilayered. I learned that this tender looking plant is a colonizing plant and one of the first bits of life that grows in the new land formed here in Hawaii. The resilience of the Ohelo inspires me. To top it off I am from Maine originally so when I learned this berry is related to the blueberry I felt like I found my spirit plant if there is such a thing.

I have attempted to paint the tenderness I felt from the Ohelo as well as the delicate nourishing raindrops.