Lantern Floating at Magic Island

11x14 acrylic on mahogany board
"Lantern Floating Ceremony"

The ceremony was absolutely stunning.
Amazing colorful dancers on stage, and great music.
Joyce painted with pastels and I used acrylic.
We dragged ourselves and our easels over early
and Joyce scouted out the best location.

 The picture shows the early set up and
the teams getting the lanterns loaded on to the canoes.

The Eli'o took out the lanterns and turned in to the sunset with each canoe following behind.
The water was lovely and the children were all playing in the sand. There were still paddleboarders
out and surfers close to shore. It was a beautiful night

Early in the evening I managed to pop out one bright painting of the canoes lined up before they left the shore. The beach was full of sunbathers and there were tons of people playing on rafts.
 I have  more to do on this painting , but usually post at the halfway point.

Painting on Board

Painting on Board

The Lantern Floating will go on tonight at Magic Island.
My plan was to paint on site.....until I looked at the web site. It is not starting until 6pm.
That is okay.  But there will be masses of people and the possibility of painting from
a good vantage point is slim.

So far Joyce Wu is going to join me. I have taken my mahogany 11x14 boards and coated 3
of them with Acrylic house paint. They are the WRONG kind of board (live and learn).
They are very splintery and I had to SAND each one (I have no garage or deck ,I live in a highrise).
The splinters then had to find a home (long story). Even after a good thick coat of acrylic house paint,
there is still too much grain in the wood to paint over, but I'm gonna do it anyway. Needless to say
there are tiny little splinters all over my bedroom .

So, a huge part of painting plein air is prep. If you are going to use board, the best board is
HARDBOARD. It is also called MFB I believe. You can buy it in big sheets and have them cut it to your
specs. Get the 1/4 thickness or 1/8 .  The big sheets should yield about 24
evenly cut 11x14 . If you are going to want larger boards get the thicker board so it does not bend.

You can easily get canvas instead. That is what I usually use, but the  board is only 15 bucks a sheet
and that means a lot more production at less cost.

I would advice purchasing a mistint of acrylic house paint to coat the board. A lot of serious artists say NO,
but if you want to paint a lot and often then you want to find fast cheap ways to have a lot of surface to paint on .  Unsplintered board of the appropriate thickness coated in a pale mistint works until you sell your first
$1000 buck piece of art (then forget it, just go buy the good stuff)

mistint sort of light yellow which is my favorite base color


Kaneohe Sand Bar on Memorial Day Weekend


Painting Plein Air in the Bay at Kaneohe Sand Bar

I had hoped for low tide but it was late in the day and I was waist deep.
I could not set up the French Easel in the water as planned but
instead set up on the back of the Pontoon Boat we rented at the Marine Base.
The waves were coming in and the easel was too high so it made for some
pretty interesting mess.
I was thinking like a Marine and figured I'd do the best I could with the gear
I had.
The result was a painting that any 4 year old would be proud to claim as their own.
right now it is all about the attempt.

"in the drink kaneohe"

Memorial Weekend 2010

Love to all my friends
in the Military

and special thanks to those that served before



In Hawaii there are tons of beautiful women. I see them on the beaches
and at the store where I work. I am especially taken by Holly who
has tattoos on her forearm and thick black hair. She runs food all day
at Mocha Java in Ward and she is amazing and sweet .
She is a warrior.
Not because she is a fighter,
but because she is a gentle kind of tough.
She is tough enough to smile all day no matter what,
tough enough to listen and always give the most positive feedback.
Tough enough to be kind to eveyone all day long.
Day in and day out she is "ON" with a smile,
giving out the love and not expecting it back.
Visit Holly at Mocha Java and tell her Rebecca sent you.
Grab a coffee and sit at the bar on the grill side.


Women Fighting the Good Fight
is a topic that is interesting and sometimes just plain funny.
I think of my own "tribe" of girlfriends and we often take ourselves
a little too seriously. When all is said and done, we are
all fighting the good fight, trying to make a difference and just trying to do the right thing.

fighting the good fight
originally called "I just wanna have a baby"
(which is a much funnier title)
This "START" acrylic  will need about 24 hours of work
but ultimately priceless




Since April 20th I've had headaches.
Yesterday a lady in the elevator told me it was
the mangos in bloom or the Kona vog.

The headaches are starting to show up in my paintings.
When I get free I'll walk you through all the mistakes that will need to be corrected
in this painting.
All of those mistakes could have been avoided with planning
or a clear head.

It appears I've lost my muse.
This is true.
Sometimes you have to paint on empty.

The park is awesome and I"ll paint from the water tomorrow at the Sand Bar.
In other words, same view different perspective on Sunday.
and lots of TYLONAL




watercolor /pen and ink
Study for Acrylic

If you see Tseshani
You will see history.
You will see pride.
His art work is astounding and part of his heritage.
If you have the opportunity to purchase a piece of his artwork, do not hesitate.
His passion is real and his story is true.

We are lucky to have such an amazing artist here in Oahu.
This little study I did of him on watercolor paper does not do him justice.
You can capture some likeness always, but never passion.

Below is one example of his work

dual buffalo horn and racoon


Video by my friend , Ray Hollowell.
Ray's art ( videography and film ) is especially wonderful because his passion for sea life
conveys as a true love story.

Thank you , Ray , for all you do to give us a glimpse of that underwater world.




When I paint, people critique. You don't have to ask them to do this. This is just part of painting outside.
Here in O'ahu most landscape painters will eventually paint Diamond Head. Some seem to paint it once a week. I paint it often and evidently incorrectly. It is the MOST critiqued part of my paintings.
There is always a local Hawaiian giving me the scoop on the accurate slope of Diamond Head.
I corrected the slope in this painting, and would like to thank all those experts out there that allow me to move mountains at their beck and call. Keep the critiques, coca-colas and nabs coming.

I think if I actually hiked the mountain I'd KNOW the slope. If I had to give advice on Painting a subject, I'd say KNOW the SUBJECT very very well. Touch it, smell it, walk it, love it.




Bishop serenaded me today.
It was a treat that I adored,
his voice was so soft and
sweet and all the angels stopped
to listen. There were no doves,
just pigeons, no audience gathered
around him. There were no
fees or lines to stand in,
but I was dressed appropriately.
All the boys, his friends, were there talking.
But they stopped. We all stopped.

My paint dried on the canvas, the wind shifted and Bishop made the earth stand still for just a moment.

Thank  you, Bishop, your voice is the sound of Hawaii.


WINDY DECEPTION- unfinished version, halted for a coca-cola

I have painted 1B life saving station from many angles. Today I set up my French Easel in the shade along
the sidewalk. A family parked nearby and out came all their wares. They had the large 4 poster tent and
grill and coolers. The grandson in the group loved my cart and took off with it immediately. This is the way things are done here. The Queen is quoted as saying that this park was for her people. It is still that way.
They come and set up camp for a day. They bring everything they can with extended family in tow. It is a site
to behold.
I added no people in my painting. You can not even tell that it was a terribly windy day. It is deceiving.
There is no way to make Ala Moana Beach Park real, unless you add the people. They are the reason
the park exists. They are the energy that makes the sun shine and the waves crash. The locals here are
 the sand and the coral, the palms and the sky. It is a lovely place because of them.

Thank you for allowing me to paint in the park that the Queen gave to you. It has been such a joy.



I try not to covet material items but I am only human.
I purchased a pair of pink suede heels this week (which I will take back once I finish prancing around the living room with them on).
I also purchased a watercolor from a very popular artist on Saturday.
I purchased a watercolor called "SUGAR MILL" that depicts the mill past Chinaman's Hat near North Shore. First of all it is a painting I saw at Mark's Garage during the Hawaii Watercolor Awards Ceremony.
Secondly it is by one of my favorite artists here on O'ahu, Spencer Chang. Thirdly, there are just some things that you are supposed to own and everyone should own a piece of Spencer's work. He comes to watercolor
with his architectural background, but his paintings flow from that base with dance-like movement. Spencer is that guy in art class that could teach, but instead is the constant student. He is a student of the landscape, always seeing beauty, always finding the perfect composition, always looking at O'ahu through artist eyes.

THIS IS "SUGAR MILL" by Spencer Chang
I own this and will enjoy it while standing in my living room barefoot...no pink suede shoes.
Thank you Spencer, for allowing me to own something that I coveted.


Decisive Oarsman on the Ala Wai Canal

                              THE ALA WAI AT THE ENTRANCE TO WAIKIKI

Saturday morning I walked over to Magic Island to paint plein air with the group that gathered.
The  Ala Wai Canal was so beautiful and full of the excitement of the outriggers racing.
They recently changed the finish point for the outriggers at that location and now it is possible to see
them 'ROUND' the marker in the inlet. The call goes out for the change of positions of oars
and there you can watch the orchestrated energy of each outrigger team member as they position to
get the canoe turned around without a hiccup. The guy in the back puts his oar in the water to guide the canoe like a rudder. He is also the one doing all the yelling.

I am that guy in the back sometimes...yelling what I want, trying to orchestrate things, wanting smoothness
and expecting no hiccups. The difference is, I never plant that oar, it is never deep enough in the water...never completely SOLID and decisive. I am pretty sure I can be heard, but it always appears that
I am not sure that I'm sure. Maybe I better hand over the oar.



Quick poses directed by Mark Brown at the lovely old stone building near the Honolulu Academy of the Arts. The model, so beautiful and recently engaged to be married. Her short cropped hair so delicate
around her petite features. She struck great poses and transitioned quickly between them with complete
confidence. I was lucky to have paid my 10 dollars for this walk-in class. If you paint or draw and visit Hawaii, please stop by on Monday nights and draw with Mark and his group.

If the poses are changing rapidly, then don't even change paper, and don't look down at the paper.
Just draw until you can feel the model's body in your hand. After about 5 poses you will know the model
and have a better grasp of the form. Understanding where the model puts her weight is key. I used to always
give them my neck, or my eyes or my arms. That is not unusual.  I also don't put enough weight on them,
which can be remedied if I use the side of a piece of charcoal and draw the volume of the form not the
contour edges.

There are 4 quick poses in this picture, all contour drawings. I used cretacolor on simple charcoal paper but
changed to watercolor paper so I can adjust the lines with water later. I am in a class with some very accomplished drawers which can be intimidating. But the atmosphere is welcoming and there is always great music and sometimes chocolate!



" giving up is not bad"

okay, so this painting needed some more planning
Body is off, shading is off, etc
I like the subject
I love the composition
Just need some time thinking the rest through
I think the thing he is wearing is called a Malo.
It is a taro skirt , but I think it needs to be shorter.
I promise to research men in short skirts
for the sake of art.



we all need a life saving station in our life
a place that holds the answer to our life in peril
I always want to look up and see the little pointed roof of that station
and the palm tree swaying close by
and the curly blond hair on the surfer ...sitting...waiting for me just in case I need him.


This is a fast sketch from a photo of 1B that I took recently. In the distance, Kewalo Park and some folks hanging out on the beach. In the foreground the Life Saving station and two lifeguards talking at the bottom of
the ramp.
Do those two people need to be there? They come across as lovers meeting on the beach, they are almost outside our view, they are hard to focus on , they are not important.

Or are they? do they need to exist for the sake of interest to the total composition?

Maybe I will stay confused about the couple for a while..or maybe they should not be treated as two, but instead as one shape, one important shape in the total picture.

What do you think?

Fast sketches, the first initial gut rendition of something pure and perfect. It's not thought through, it's not overworked, it's just simple and straight from the heart.


I think it should say stop running and SWIM


Warning signs with big yellow, black and red marking
are all over the beaches if you care to look for them.
There are warnings for Jellyfish that sting and coral that
will cut and current that will take you out to sea.

My favorite is the warning on 1B (which I have not
finished painting). The warning shows some guy
venturing out in to the surf and suddenly falling!
It is the warning for the SUDDEN DROP OFF.

I am not keen on Jellyfish but most of the time
you get over the sting. Coral hurts once it's
in your heel but you can dig it out and move on.
Oh and you can pretty much avoid the current
if you swim with it then come ashore.
sounds like a BAD DATE SCENE.

kozhawaii.blogspot will get you revved up



Acrylic on Canvas

Meet me at the PARADE on June 12th



Colorful floral floats, glamorous Pau riders, and outstanding marching bands traverse the streets of Honolulu beginning at King and Richards Streets. Parade continues on Punchbowl Street, Ala Moana Boulevard, Kalakaua Avenue, and ends at the Queen Kapiolani Park. Awards presentation follows. Craft demonstrations and food booths. For more information call (808) 586-0335

(painting by Rebecca Snow Cleghorn)





I keep drawing these stations, but soon, the painting.



No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

John Donne, Meditation XVII

English clergyman & poet (1572 - 1631)

Okay so that's a little over the top to explain a poor disjointed composition of random rocks and people.
Somehow, though, they are all connected, all part of the main.