Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Art Is Where You See It

Main building is nearly 100 years old (before permits)
Redwood water tanks collect rain water
Of course we are deeply saddened not only at the loss of our home to fire (and subsequently lava) and 99% of contents, we have been dealing with the loss of our ART SPACES. ***

Anyone who visited our home or followed our blog knows about Phil's beautiful wood working shop and his amazing collection of tools. We also shared a huge bright space upstairs as well that was full of our art supplies, journals and completed art.

BUT WE ARE BOTH ARTISTS so we tend to see the world, through artists eyes -- even the mundane and ordinary has depth, color and composition as illustrated by these images. We have expansive views of trees and sky and barnyard, but a couple that Phil took are somewhat more abstract views of what we can also see from our lanai; Lunel did her 'magic' to draw out the interesting perspectives.

Recently a dear friend gave us back a gift we had given to her -- a golden paper star that was identical to the one we had in our Leilani home for so many years. We were able to find just the perfect artistic place for it in our east facing window.

The mundane can bring out both the worst and best in artistic expression as the two images below illustrate. We were dismayed the other day when Phil pulled into a parking space and lightly touched the bumper stop. "Bumper shredder" might be more appropriate as even that little nudge managed to literally shred the cheap plastic bumper out of its cheap plastic "snaps" (not even screwed together.)

In any case, after several trips to the hardware store and a pair of borrowed wheel ramps we managed to reattached the bumper. The space beneath was too small for Phil to maneuver under but he handed screws, washers, drills and screwdrivers to Lunel, who was very annoyed at the quality of this 2016 versa that seemed expressly designed to cause the owner unnecessary expense because of cheap materials. What ever happened to METAL?

Anyway, as she normally does, she created ART from her perspective -- that of being under the car for the repairs.

And life goes on, as does ART, when you have the eyes to see it.

"Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed." Kahlil Gibran

*** We again wish to acknowledge the generous gifts from friends, neighbors and even strangers who contributed funds (and art supplies) that have enabled us to continue producing art.  Phil is producing art and has three galleries now!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Romance on the Ranch ***

"I am so lonely without Michael"
In our last blog entry, we posted a photo of the bright lime-green chameleon living in the olive tree just outside our back porch/lanai. At first we though it was an iguana, but found out she is a Jackson's chameleon - apparently the only one left because the barnyard cats seem to enjoy catching them.

Yesterday, however, our landlady invited me to "come see what the cat brought in." She'd rescued another chameleon from the cat (who thought it was a play-toy) by wrapping it up in a towel. She was planning to tuck him into the bromeliads and camellia bushes near our front door. I protested, offering to re-unite the three-horned colorful male with his  mate pining away in the olive tree.

Lunel taking Michael to the olive tree
"Mahalia - hang on, I'm coming home"
So, our family has just expanded! 
Meet the Jacksons -- Michael and Mahalia!  Of course we're reading up on their preferred habitat, food, habits, life-style and sex life.

Perhaps one of the reasons there are only two (that we have discovered) is that the babies are born as tiny creatures -- not in eggs and the offspring are often gobbled up by hungry parents. The adults can grow up to 15" and live over 10 years. They are chameleons, so spotting them up on the olive tree isn't easy, and when the local nesting hawks fly over, they quickly scurry under a branch and tuck their tails up in a tight spiral.

Phil introducing "Makenzi"
Since Lunel is fascinated with the local Hawaiian mythology concerning the Mo'o giant lizards and her six foot Mo'o sculpture is now part of the Pu'u of our property, we'll just call this a good omen.


Just in from a trusted source The Village Voice (reporting from makai side Volcano Village)  This monogamous reptile family has turned out to be a  menage a trois! Meet the "other woman" newly arrived at the olive tree. Her name is Makenzi Jacksons. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Green Green GREEN

Clear day view of Mauna Kea
Many decades ago (1963) the New Christy Minstrels sang it, and most of us sang along (though we probably wouldn't admit to that or any other kind of "green" we may have done soooo long ago).

Green, green, it's green they say
On the far side of the hill
Green, green, I'm going away
To where the grass is greener still...

Lonely female chameleon who lives in the olive tree
just outside our back door lanai
Up here at 3500 ft elevation, there are different kind of flora and greens than we had in Leilani Estates on Luana Street. Although there are still hapu'u ferns and ohia trees, there are also walls of bamboo, eucalyptus and several kinds of pine trees.

"Instant picnic" just out our front door
View of the farm
We went on a guided walk early this week offered by Volcano Art Center and were awed by the size and shapes of several different kinds of ohia trees and some massive koa trees as well.

"Their grass is greener..."
The Volcano Art Center offers many opportunities to learn about the island from many different perspectives -- geological, ecological and cultural.

LINK to Volcano Art Center

Here at our new temporary home, we are enjoying new greens -- some of which come from the organic and hydroponic gardens. The view from our back porch/lanai is of the back portion of the farm/garden where there are many varieties of rare chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, and goats -- their milk is made into taste cheeses!

The corgyn (who surprisingly enough are green-grazers) are particularly interested in the goats, and have decided that the greens on the other side of the fence just must be better than the grass on their side.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Life After Flow

No photo credit was given on Google-Share.  We believe these photos were taken from the street next to ours.
While the lava flow appears to have stopped, and there is evidence of life returning (especially after the huge dump of rain from recent hurricane) lives are still in turmoil.

Over 700 homes were destroyed, of course many of them were our friends and neighbors. Many are in evacuation zones and cannot return, many are still living in Leilani, and there are those who want to return because their homes are still there. Those living there face an uncertain future, partially due to the possibility of future lava flows, unsafe air quality, etc. Many others simply cannot return as lava flows have block streets, or because the toxic fumes have penetrated the structures making them unsafe to live in. There are many variations for each resident, and it seems that the confusion is compounded by lack of clear communication between Civil Defense and both County and State governments.  LOTS of unknowns lie ahead.  Here are some photos posted on Google-Share.

As most of our dedicated blog followers already realize, a few days after our house burned, this cinder cone began to pile up and eventually reached about 200' in height completely covering our home and neighbors close by.  Yet, life returns -- and we are nestling into our new temporary home in Volcano.  Click on link below to see more ---

To see more about Volcano Village

Friday, August 31, 2018

Dietrich Varez

While watching the emotional international news coverage about the deaths of two amazing humans - John McCain and Aretha Franklin, here on the Big Island of Hawaii, another loss hits home as well. Well-known and beloved artist Dietrich Varez recently died, (on Lunel's b-day August 14) leaving an amazing legacy of art created during a long and art-ful life -- right here in Volcano Village.

We are planning to participate in an an upcoming workshop offered through Volcano Art Center that will include making our own prints from some of his carved blocks that have been donated by his family.


The studio where Varez works and lives is in a rural forested area near the small town of Volcano, Hawaii a few miles from the entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. He built the house himself after many years of living in tents or cabins on the land or in the Park. For most of his life there, he and his family have lived a self-sufficient pioneering life. They capture rainwater for their needs, and had no electricity for thirty years. The road to his home has been described as “barely passable.”[5] Varez and his wife rarely leave their homestead, virtually never travelling off-island.

Varez, as a self-taught artist whose career developed outside framework of the institutional art world, maintains a strict policy of keeping prices low and distributing directly to the widest audience. This is consistent with his earliest practice of giving away prints, and only then, when demand required it, of charging nominal prices to cover his expenses. It was only after several years of a growing reputation that he decided to make his living from the sale of his work, and he has expressed in interviews a deep ambivalence toward being considered a professional artist.

"Some people have told me that until I start charging more, I'm never going to become a 'known artist.' I think that's nonsense. You either like the print or you don't, and that shouldn't have anything to do with the price. My goal is to make art -- at least my art -- available to common people. I don't give a damn about the art people; I want to get it into your mom's house and my mom's house.”[5]

Contrary to the usual practice among print makers, he refuses to limit his editions, printing until a block is exhausted. He dates his prints according to when the print was struck, not, as is customary, when the block was carved. These individualistic practices may have limited the value of his work to collectors, but Varez has said he is committed to staying outside the artificial boundaries of art world conventions. "The printmaking business needs some new blood and new traditions,” he has been quoted as saying.[2

Samples of Dietrich Varez ART

Monday, August 27, 2018

"Three RRR's for Artists"

Our front door - with appropriate signage in the window.
Part of Phil's shop


After a week of organizing, playing “musical chairs” with what goes where for maximum comfort and accessibility, we are settling in nicely at our new temporary home.

Early in May, when Phil had his rushed evacuation (while I was in the hospital) he had so little time to grab things. Amazingly enough he remembered the dog beds, so they have a little taste of familiarity in another new place.

View out our front door
The last three months have been traumatic, of course, but we have also had time to begin to adjust to our loss and “new reality.” In so doing, during this last week of settling in we have decided to define this next period as artists’ rest, retreat and residency.

Lunel's art space
By choice or by accident (or natural disaster in this case) the idea of an artist-in-residence is to allow space for ambivalence – new territory – a sort of no-time and no-space place where the detachment from the normal allows for new-thoughts and new-responses not attached to a prior familiarity or even comfort. It may also include a necessary irritation and discomfort. 

Thinking of it in terms of biology, it is always an irritation and discomfort that result in an organism exploring new avenues for survival. Maybe this sounds a little academic, but for us it hits us at many levels -- theoretical, spiritual, practical and of course artistically.
View from our back porch/lanai

Here are a few photos of our new spaces and views. 

Our weensy kitchen
As you can see, the kitchen is only 40” wide – much smaller than either of our art spaces – giving us a new appreciation of our priorities.

Thanks for visiting our blog and especially for your support. Remember, if you leave a comment on the blog, we cannot respond (internally) unless you provide an email for contact. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Hurricane Lane

Hurricane Lane over Hawaii - photo from NASA
While Hurricane Lane presents a severe situation, we are snug and safe. This post is just to let our blog followers know that the Haysmer Family -- Phil, Lunel and three corgyn are safe and secure. Just a few hours ago, Hurricane Lane appeared to be moving away...but has since turned back toward the island -- a rather unusual occurrence. 

Our lovely landlady has pulled out extra boots, weather proof rain gear from her private stash, so we can get the laundry done, and take the dogs out to pee. Speaking of which -- they are NOT happy to be wading through an inch or more standing water! In our former home -- rains like this soaked into the porous lava -- up here at 3500 foot elevation, there is enough soil to create real lakes of standing water, and flooded roads. Parts of the Big Island are reporting 20-30 inches of rain per hour, and while it has not stopped here for about 24 hours, we are safe and dry.

This NASA view appears so beautiful and peaceful -- quite a contrast to the flooding and danger in many places over all of the islands.  Namaste' 

For more meteorological and accurate, scientific reports just goggle Hurricane Lane and Hawaii