To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My Hawaii Nature Journal ~ Day 4 ~ 12/21/2007

Bright and early on my fourth day I left Kulana Artist's Sanctuary and once more headed for the western side of the Island. But when I reached the Park entrance again I reentered on an impulse: I hadn't yet sketched that wonderful pahoehoe lava.... and wait! maybe I should check at the park gallery to see if they ever sponsor workshops....(one of the nice things about traveling alone, you can do whatever you want, when, why, wherefore....etc).

So I dressed warmly in jacket and fuzzy hat for the cold breeze (it's cold on the volcano in the early mornings, and the wind can be biting) I drove back down the Chain of Craters Road and sketched this gorgeous section of pahoehoe. If you've ever made a chocolate cake from scratch (or better yet, brownies before you add the nuts) then you have seen an edible version of pahoehoe. On the way I met a pair of gorgeous Kalij pheasants along the road -- aliens from India, but fascinating nevertheless.

This is the general area where the first Polynesians arrived, on the south end of The Big Island. I forgot to mention that yesterday I discovered some petroglyphs across the road from some specimens they encourage one to visit at Pu'u Loa Petroglyph Trail. It was nice finding my very own lava petroglyphs! There was red stain in one of them. I understand that ancient Hawai'ian parents chipped these holes in which they placed umbilical cords from their newborns. The circles shown here are about 8" across and are chipped about ¾" deep.

The pahoehoe picture shows an area about 10'x6.' That's one big cake batter....

Back onto the highway, the road went through scrubby uplands I'd never have associated with Hawai'i. I watched for nene geese, but didn't spot any, although I'm pretty sure I heard one ~ "HWAH-hwah-hwah!" ~ in the distance at one point.

I stopped several times within the next few downhill miles to strip off items of clothing. First the hat and jacket, then the fleece top, then the turtleneck and the fleece pants under my zip-off pant-legs, then the pant-legs themselves, until finally I was at Black Sand Beach in my t-shirt and shorts, in the warm, humid more-what-I-was-expecting Hawai'ian sunshine. And there, as I arrived, my turtle came.

That was wonderful.

When I was full of turtle and my sketchbook was satisfied, I returned to the highway and shortly took the South Point Road 8 miles down to the southernmost point of the island. I think from where I was standing, the next point of land was the South Pole.

The island ends in an abrupt bluff, and if you look down over the edge the water is perfectly clear and turquoise, and you can SEE the fish swimming in it. This was a favorite Hawai'ian fishing spot, but the currents were fierce, so they drilled holes into the lava edge of the bluff (you can see the holes in the picture) and tied their canoes to the shore so they wouldn't be swept away.

By the way, a note about these journal have undoubtedly noticed that they aren't perfect in terms of design, additions, etc. I decided that spontaneity and just DOING the journal was more important than creating a polished, finished product from the get-go. Sometimes I just sat down on the ground and sketched because an opportunity occurred, not taking time to figure out a beautiful design or layout. So wotcha see is wotcha get, and even if they aren't gorgeous, they're still fun, and within reach of us all with a bit of instruction and practice (that's what my workshops are all about!). BTW, the black patch on the turtle journal page is a little pile of the shiny black sand firmly battened down with clear package tape.

My day ended further up the highway, along the west side of The Big Island, at Shirley's house in Holualoa (ho-LOOuh-LOWuh). Shirley was one of my recent workshop students, and when I discovered she had a home in Hawai'i -- well things just took off from there! On arrival I found an enchanting house, with a bold neon-green welcoming gecko (it's a Gold Dust Day Gecko) waiting on the doorjamb, an absolutely perfect ending to my day full of adventures.


Unknown said...

I'm happy someone took your photo so we could see how BIG the turtle was! You make great scale!
Can't wait to see a gecko illustration!

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that the workship possibilities sound like maybe too many rather than too few opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Hi ebear and Dr. Kirk,

That gecko drawing is definitely on my list. For one thing, it is a great journaling demonstration of how you can leave openings to illustrate later. I've been trying to decide how much those turtles weighed, and I'd guess around 40-50lbs.

I'm still working on the workshop sitings. I'm convinced you CAN'T have too many possibilities!

Anonymous said...

I had time to view Day 4 at least -
love it! I especially enjoy your sketches of the lava and the turtle, they are wonderful!

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