Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nature Is king

Why do I love to return to Kauai, Hawaii? After all, it is like standing on one of the highest mountains in the world in the middle of nowhere. The mountain begins underwater and rises 18,000 feet (5,486 meters) to sea level. Emptiness of the Pacific Ocean surrounds this tiny island in every direction for at least 2400 miles. The wettest spot on earth is here, on Mount Waiʻaleʻale, 5,148 feet (1,569 m), with an annual average rainfall of 460 inches (1,200 cm). Yet nearby, on the west coast of the island, it is quite dry.

A year after my oldest daughter Naomi died at the age of nineteen, I lived on Kauai for six weeks while I finished writing my book, A Heart Traced In Sand, about her life and struggle against cancer. I have done many paintings here, made friends with a surfer who paints, found favorite places to swim in the ocean and walk on beaches, learned where the best fish market is, and where the weekly farmer’s market happens. I have hiked the Waimea Canyon and along the Napali coastline. And now, I am getting married on Kauai, to Heidi Of The Mountains, on November 4. She has arrived to join me, and every day we take long walks on the beach at dawn and sunset.

Hawaii is one of the last places on earth to be inhabited by humans and only in 1778 “modern” contact became established when it was discovered by Captain James Cook, (British, 1728-1779). Even now, there are only 63,000 citizens—less than the small city of Santa Fe, New Mexico where I am from. Nature is king, and on the North Shore, I have not seen a movie theater, disco, or McDonald’s.

Because of their isolation the Hawaiian Islands are biologically unique. Hawaii has no native land reptiles or amphibians and only two native mammals, the horay bat and monk seal. Over 4300 species of plants and animals exist only in the eight Hawaiian high islands. The 1000 native plants evolved from as few as 280 original plant colonists and 100 endemic bird species developed from as few as 15 original aviators.
Verdant Kauai, oil on board, 11 x 14 inches

Here for more paintings by Steven Boone
Here for The Steven Boone Gallery

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Billowing, Fathomless Seas

Whenever I visit Hawaii, the most remote area of land on the planet earth, I always ponder how people arrived in the first place. It is believed Polynesian people settled onto the islands at least 1200 years ago from land over 2500 miles away. The only way to get here was on crude boats made of wood, across billowing, fathomless seas ready to swallow them at any moment. It seems miraculous and gives me a deep respect for the adventurers who started on their improbable journey.

What prompted the Polynesians to set sail into the unknown? They drifted with sea currents for days, weeks, months—seeing nothing but water, the flat horizon, and the sky above. Certainly, sharks were about, and storms, hefty waves, and rain. To discover the tiny volcanic islands of Hawaii would be a miracle. And then, how would they ever return and establish trade routes? Maybe people back then were guided with stronger intuition and instinct, which modern man has lost.

The other day, I arose before dawn to hike in Waimea Canyon, on Kauai. When I arrived at the trailhead, the sun was at the horizon. I noticed a perfumed scent of blossoms in the air and set to walking through wet woods. I expected to walk 3 miles total, with a lookout offering a view of the NaPali coast and Pacific Ocean at the end of the trail. I discovered mid-way that the hike is 3 miles to the lookout, so 6 miles roundtrip. The air warmed up and the tropical environment held more humidity than I am accustomed too at home in the dry mountains of Santa Fe. I sweated profusely and on the walk back was panting on the strenuous, rugged trail. At one time, I felt so tired I talked to my angels . . . especially Naomi, and asked for inspiration to continue. The response was a sort of laughter—and the playful admonishment to take stock of my strength. I was focused on my weakness, but really, there was plenty of strength to get me through. Then I found new vigor to continue on unabated.

And I think this is how Hawaii was discovered. The primitive people relied on spirit to gain their strength and accomplish their impossible goals.

"Misty Mountains Of Kauai, Hawaii" oil on panel, 12 x 16 inches

Click for more Steven Boone Artwork

Monday, October 17, 2011


THE DREAM has brought me once again to Kauai, Hawaii. I will be here for three weeks, writing, painting, photographing, adventuring, observing, relaxing, simplifying, transforming, and oh yes, marrying Heidi Of The Mountains on November 4.

My flight from Los Angeles began at 6:10 PM yesterday, and I arrived in Hawaii at 9:00 PM. We flew against the rotation of the earth so although the trip took over five hours we only lost two.

I awoke this morning and while in bed, savored the quiet, lulling environment, listening to doves, gentle breezes stirring palm leaves, and a rooster crowing. As I engage the day, everything speaks to me, saying, slow down, loosen your cares, and give in to the primal mother, the great SEA, from whence all life emerged. I feel my former life is far away—on the other side of a rainbow.

Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian Isles. The Hawaiian Islands are the most remote land masses in the world—over two thousand miles from any other land.

At first, I am exploring the west coast region for a few days, including Waimea Canyon, one of the world's most scenic canyons, before traveling to the North Shore, an area I know intimately and where Heidi Of The Mountains and I will marry.

Our marriage will be informal and free. We do not have a plan, just the will and a happy expectation. All we need is each other and the love between us, then speak our commitment in front of a witness and get Hawaiian civil papers signed.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Best of October Blogs

Here are some of the best October blogs from My Fairy-Tale Life, dating back to 2006:

The Smallest Grain Of Sand, October 31, 2010

What Poets Write About, October 4, 2009

My Astonished Eyes, October 16, 2008

Molting, October 27, 2007

What a day!  October 7, 2006

Sunday, October 02, 2011

No Middle

Recently, a married couple came into my gallery and I noticed, as is almost always the case, a sense of wonder and also, hesitation. Artwork is personal and subjective, and invites a reaction. Sometimes, the work does not impress and it is dismissed, and then again, occasionally a work of art can cause a light to go inside the viewer. Sometimes, people fall in love with art.

In my front room are my landscape paintings but the couple strolled into my alcove area and the husband was the first to stop in his tracks. My alcove is where I show my paintings I call Hangups. It is a series that I made of faces hanging from clothespins, suspended on a clothesline. Usually, the initial response is bewilderment, and then it quickly goes to either like or dislike. There is no middle. Stopping in front of a painting called “Pecking Order”, of a face hanging from a clothesline and being pecked at by two crows, the man went from being startled, to bewilderment, to amusement and confirmation. I could almost hear him say to himself, “I know what that is like . . . I tried to tell someone but nobody understood. Now I am vindicated.”

The couple walked through the rest of my gallery, speaking with Bill, my gallery director, and I. They were from Texas, where it has been very hot, and they enjoyed the change of climate in Santa Fe. We learned that they had not been married long, each coming from a previous marriage. We arrived back to the alcove and the gentleman spoke with Bill while I talked with his wife. They had both suffered loss, but were trying to get back to happiness. She told me she was eighteen years older than her husband, which surprised me greatly, and I said, “You don’t look it.” I could hear bits of Bill’s conversation and heard the man speak of his fight with depression in the past. Later, Bill told me it was because of divorce.
Finally, they both agreed they liked “Pecking Order” but could not afford it. I offered to make a pigmented inkjet print on canvas, the same size as the original at 1/6 th the price. The husband still hesitated, but the woman chirped in with a smile, “I will buy it for you as a Christmas present!”
I have made the copy and will send it off to Texas this week.

To see more hangups, go to: either Steven Boone Fine Art or The Steven Boone Gallery