The Sweet Smell of home – Gardenia, Kona, Hawaii
28 x 22 original oil on canvas
The Big Island of Hawaii has had a lot of drama lately. It is, after all, the home of an active volcano. Kilauea spits and grumbles most of the time, but in May of 2018 Madame Pele, like a woman after a big meal, it decided to loosen her garment and relax. Maybe that’s not the right word picture, but I’m a painter not a scientist. For months, some wonderful friends and I had been organizing a visit to our friend Jane at her beautiful home in Kona. We planned to play, explore, refresh and hike the volcano. And now the island had indigestion. My husband put it best. “Well honey if we lose you to a volcano, that would make quite a story.”
The people and places of the Big Island have been a source of inspiration to me since I was 14 years old. This time, sharing the adventure with dear friends was like a dream come true. Jane met us at the airport in the traditional way, with leis of fragrant island flowers and a heart full of hospitality. She chauffeured us up the hill where the clouds often rest and the land turns green. Jane clicked open the gate that restrains (on a good day) the various goats and sheep she cares for. A long gardenia lined driveway led us to her beautiful home. A gardenia lined driveway! Hedges, entirely comprised of gardenia. Are you tracking with me? After a good night sleep, we rose to explore the property and the feed the baby sheep. The sun came out. My fellow shutterbug Veronika and I walked down the driveway enveloped in the intoxicating smell of gardenia. And this painting was born.
Over the weeks to come, many residents would lose their homes as fissures opened, and lava consumed the old landscape. It will be a long road back for many. The best thing we can do is continue to visit the beautiful island, see the sights, support the business. You won’t be able to hike the volcano for some time, but the residents want you to know they are open for business. And if you can’t go to the Big Island, there any many “Made in Hawaii” items you can purchase online. I recommend Royal Hawaiian Gardenia Cologne. But you knew I would. The sweet smell of home.
More Hawaiian paintings to come…