I contacted her expressing my interest in the tile. Turned out, her truck was on the mend. She asked if I could pick her up then drive up to her painting studio in the old Pauwela Cannery to see the tile and decide if I wanted to buy them. On the way to the studio we talked about the fact that she had just put the finishing touches on a painting she submitted to Art Maui, the annual juried art show at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. She described the painting to me and how she had struggled with the image, how it wasn't really representative of her style. It was a treat to see her work. Richly layered, naturally dark tones distressed and textured. I told her it reminded me of Diebenkorn and she confirmed that he is one of her favorite artists. While there, she showed me a picture of the piece she submitted to the competition. I understood her dilemma. The piece was figurative and narrative where as most of the work I saw in the studio was more abstract and loose.
We talked about her background a bit. She grew up in California and Lahaina, her dad is an artist here on Maui, and her mom was fond of Scandinavian design. She also had a semester or two at the School of Visual Arts in NYC whose painting studios I happened to live across from at one point.
Anyway, cut to about two months later, Conn, new-found dear friend Deb, and I check out the Art Maui exhibit. As we wander and take in the many pieces of art created by local artists, we turned a corner and I gasped. There was her painting--rather large and stunning in it's sparkly, sereneness. If you watch the video on the Art Maui webpage, the interview with the local art teacher takes place in front of the painting. Also, you can see all the works featured in the show here.
In the course of our emails back and forth, this was a PS, I love her description:
here's an image to enjoy; they are the endangered Hawaiian Tree Snails, which are said to make a sweet whistling sound in the trees, and which people on horseback used to pluck off leaves like little jewels as they rode through the native forest.