Friday, October 18, 2013

Get Ready For Halloween!

I recently teamed up with Tales-of-a-First-Grade-Teacher to create these Candy Corn graphics for a  fun Halloween Craft and Writing activity. 

This is a great Halloween activity to do with your class or with your own kids at home. 

Your students can cut out the masks and mustaches and glue them onto their candy corn. The graphics come in color as well as black & white line art so that they can color them in themselves.

It also comes with three different writing activities for grade levels Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. 

You can purchase the 15-page printable activity for only $3.00 at Teachers-Pay-Teachers

If you just want to download the graphic (without the writing activities) to make your own Halloween decorations, you can purchase them for $2.75 from StudioKWN. You can also purchase this funny...I mean... Scary Ghost as well!

Thanks to the 1st-grade students at West Gate K-8 in Saint Lucie, Florida for sharing their Candy Corn creations. They did a fantastic job!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Studio Clearance Sale

This gypsy artist is moving on again so don't miss out on my Studio Clearance sale. Save 50% on your purchase of $100 or more until October 15th

Visit StudioKWN and use Coupon Code: FALLSALE

This offer excludes custom orders and painting commissions

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wo Hing Museum Chinese Moon Festival

Chinese Moon Festival
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Chinese Moon festival is on the 15th day of the eight-month (or between late September and early October in the Western calendar) when the moon is at its brightest for the entire year. It occurs close to the autumn equinox when yin and yang are in perfect balance. This year it landed on September 19th which also happened to be our wedding anniversary. My husband Darren and I went to the Wo Hing Museum to celebrate our perfectly balanced special day. 

The Chinese symbol Wo means "harmony" and Hing means "prosperity". The Wo Hing Society was formed by Lahaina's Chinese immigrants around the turn of the 20th Century to provide its members with a sense of community and mutual support in a foreign place. It functioned as a religious temple and social gathering place.

In exchange for a little volunteer work, we were taken on a special guided tour of the museum by Dr. Busaba Yip, who in my opinion might also be the most joyous person on Maui. Her excitement about the Moon festival spread like a virus to her visitors.

Inside the temple, you can view a collection of rare Chinese artifacts along with memorabilia of the Lahaina Wo Hing Society. On the second floor, we visited the altars to Guan Ti and other guardian gods. 

The cookhouse displays the old cooking woks, steamers and other utensils used by Wo Hing Society families. 

It is presently used as a viewing room where you can watch films of life in the Hawaiian Islands by Thomas Edison shot between 1898 and 1906 as well as segments of the film "Finding Sandalwood Mountain" featuring Wo Hing Society members.

The Moon Festival at the museum lasted three days and included Chinese food, arts & crafts, presentations by Dr. Yip, Knot tying, Qigong, a farmers market, Erhu performances, and of course moon cakes!

The Wo Hing Museum is located at 858 Front Street, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
The hours are 10am-4pm, Saturday-Thursday
1pm-8pm on Fridays
Phone: 808-661-5553

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August News

Back in January, I wrote a post about my mentor and friend Tom Sgouros who passed away on December 17th, 2012. There will be a retrospective of his work held at Rhode Island School of Design's Woods-Gerry Gallery located at 62 Prospect St. in Providence, RI.

Drawn to Paint / 1944-2012 will be on exhibit from August 24th through September 26th. 
A reception will be held on September 18th from 6-8pm

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Iao Valley State Park

In Hawai'ian, 'Iao (pronounced EE-ow) means "cloud supreme" 
Iao Stream

Iao Valley was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972

Iao Needle
Located in Central Maui just west of Wailuku and home to one of Maui's most recognizable landmarks, Kuka`emoku (the Iao Needle), an erosional feature which rises 1200 feet from the valley floor. For the best view of the needle, visit in the morning as it is often obscured by cloud cover later in the day.

The park is 10 miles long and is 4,000 acres of lush landscape and easy hiking paths.
There is a 0.6 mile paved pedestrian path that leads to the Iao needle viewing point and provides a scenic lookout with expansive views of the valley.

Aside from its natural tropical beauty, sacred Iao Valley has great historical significance. In 1790 it was the site of the battle of Kepaniwai where the forces of Kamehameha I conquered the Maui army and ultimately changed the course of Hawaiian history.

Families can also take a rainforest walk or explore interactive exhibits at the Hawaii Nature Center, which is also located within Iao Valley. 

Also within Iao Valley is the Kepaniwai Park's Heritage Gardens. Since 1952, they have memorialized Maui's multicultural history. Scale models of ethnic buildings and gardens representing the immigration of Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese, American missionary, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese cultures are the park's highlight. 

There are restrooms and picnic tables in the gardens as well so be sure to pack your picnic basket!

Iao Valley is located at the end of Iao Valley Road (Highway 32). It is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The entrance fee is $5.00 per car. There is no fee for Hawaii residents or for walk-in visitors.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Last week we took an overnight trip to the Island of Hawaii (a.k.a the Big Island) for my birthday. This was my first visit to the Big Island so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was very different from our home on Maui. 

First, we flew on the tiniest plane I have ever been on. This little prop plane (pictured above) seats just 9 or 10 passengers. We all had to get on a scale while holding our bags and were seated according to weight to properly balance the plane. This was the most terrifying and exhilarating flight of my life. My birthday was off to a pretty good start.

Thirty minutes later, we landed in Kona and then drove approximately three hours to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I didn't mind the long drive as it gave us the opportunity to see much of this fascinating island. Driving through the ever-changing landscape of desolate fields of lava rock and lush rain forests, the climate would change from blaring sun and stifling heat to cold and rainy every ten minutes. 

Six volcanoes fused together by lava flows have formed this island over millions of years and it is still growing. The summit of Mauna Loa stands 56,000 feet above the depressed ocean floor making it over 27,000 feet taller than Mount Everest. Mauna Loa and Kilauea are two of the world's most active volcanoes and the constant flowing lava continues to change the shape and size of the island.

Nahuku is also known as Thurston Lava Tube
In the middle of the rainforest lies the 500-year-old Thurston lava tube. One minute we were walking through dense flora listening to the symphony of jungle creatures and the next we were in a dark and slimy cave-like channel. Without the lights mounted along the walls, we would have been in total darkness. I was able to take this photo (above) using a very long exposure and then brightened it up in Photoshop but even with the lights, it was difficult to see far ahead. 

This was my first time ever walking through a lava tube. What an amazing experience! If you've never had the opportunity to walk through a lava tube I would highly recommend it!

Here is a photo I took of the lava flow along Chain of Craters Road. The darker layer of lava is the more recent lava flow.

In this photo, you can see the path of the lava flow from above. When it reaches the ocean it cools and forms new land.
Holei Sea Arch
This is a 60 foot (18 m) tall sea arch formed by wave erosion.

The rugged coastline formed by molten lava and the harsh ocean waves.

A 2003 lava flow closed Chain of Craters Road for good. 
A "Road Closed" sign permanently embedded in lava rock
While walking on the lava fields you can feel the heat rising up from underneath the surface. It is a type of heat I have never experienced before. It feels like your feet are being cooked and the heat travels up through your body. As you can probably deduce from looking at these photos of the terrain, you'll want to wear sturdy and comfortable footwear.

Nature's Paintbrush
Sulfur Crystal and other minerals deposited by volcanic gases paint the rocks in shimmering colors. 

This summit caldera was formed in a catastrophic collapse
The climate in the park can change drastically from 90º and blinding sun in the lava fields to 60º and rain at the higher elevations along Crater Rim Drive. Be prepared for all types of weather.

Halema'uma'u Crater
The sulfur dioxide fumes are known here in Hawaii as VOG. It's a word created to represent the combination of volcanic ash, fog, and smog created by the erupting volcanoes. The effects of vog can be felt by us on Maui and even as far away as Oahu. If you already have breathing difficulties, be advised to bring your medication as vog can exacerbate your symptoms. Even in healthy individuals, vog can cause headaches, dizziness, and flu-like symptoms. 

This is a view of the Halema'uma'u crater from the overlook on Crater Rim Drive.

Lava pours into the sea, creating new land
The Thomas A. Jaggar Museum is open daily from 8:30am to 6:00 pm (Hours vary with seasons and volcanic activity) 

Origin and Ascent of Magma
At the entrance to the park there is also the Kilauea Visitor Center (open daily from 7:45 am to 5:00 pm), which is staffed with Park Rangers who can provide you with maps and answer questions. There are also Park Rangers throughout the park giving tours or you can do a self-guided tour and and get information using the Automated Cell Phone tour.

A little lesson on Seismic Activity at the Jaggar Museum. Jump up and down and to see how much seismic activity you can create.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a United States National Park and is listed as an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Volcanoes PREVIEW!!!

I'm working on a new post about my recent trip to Volcanoes National Park. In the meantime, please enjoy this preview video of Kilauea in action!

© Darren Nolan

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May on Maui...

I was recently interviewed by Maui Publicist Liz Smith from Maui MadeMaui Made is a review of Made on Maui art, crafts, products, and special events and I am so honored to be a featured artist. Please check it out and share it!

Also, coming up this Friday is Town Party Night in Lahaina. I will be exhibiting my work at the Longhi's Artisan Fair. Please stop by between 5-10 pm. There will be live music, cash bar, and complimentary valet. 888 Front Street, Lahaina, Hawaii

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center

I'm a little bit late with my April news but still happy nonetheless to announce that as of April 1st, I am now selling some of my art at the Hui2 gallery located at the wonderful Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center in Upcountry Maui.

The Hui No'eau is a non-profit community-based arts center that offers both children and adults a variety of public workshops and classes, lectures, exhibitions, art events, historical house tours, as well as educational outreach programs.

The historic property located on the Kaluanui Estate which was once a sugar plantation sits on 25 acres and consists of the house where the Hui2 gallery shop and current art and historical exhibitions are located. The historic sugar mill, various housing structures, stables, carriage house, and garage have since been transformed into fully functioning working artist studios, exhibition galleries, and classrooms.

It's a great place to fill your lungs with fresh country air and be inspired by the stunning art and views of Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. 

The Hui is located at: 2841 Baldwin Avenue, Makawao, HI 96768

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ali'l Kula Lavender Farm

Last week I visited the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm located in Upcountry Maui 
at 1100 Waipoli Road, Kula, Hawaii

Kula is much colder and wetter than much of Maui due to its 4000-foot elevation on the slopes of Haleakala crater. You can see by the pictures here that it was misty and overcast. 

Relax and soak up the fresh air and serenity

The kids can go on a treasure hunt

While you find inspiration

Bring your easel or your sketchbook!

 General admission is only $3. Children under 12 are free. 
Kama'aina, Military, and Senior discounts are also offered.

You can walk on your own or go on a guided walking or cart tour

And don't forget to stop in the gift shop/cafe to warm up with some lavender coffee or tea.
I highly recommend the delicious lavender scones!