My husband Bill and I recently got away for several days to my hometown of Kailua, Hawai’i. Until we arrived I didn’t realize just how much I needed the break. The unrelenting cold and gray of the Northwest takes it’s toll on me and coming from a sunny, warm climate most of my life it’s been quite an adjustment. We’ve been here 12 years now and I’m starting to wonder where we will retire. I love Portland, but IT WON’T BE HERE. I’d love it to be in Hawaii but that’s not practical just yet.

In the meantime, I use the islands to rejuvenate my body and spirit, and to feed my creative soul. Much of what I soak up here finds it’s way into my paintings, through color, texture or subject matter. We were very lucky with the weather and were able to get in lots of beach time and visit with family and friends. One of the most exciting things I get to do on these vacations is — nothing. I actually had time to sit and enjoy watching waves, clouds, shadows, foliage and yes, even a little rain — warm rain — and it reminded me that I can do these things at home too. And now I will.

Lanikai Beach on O'ahu is always my first, and last stop.

Views like this one from Makapuu light house inspire the colors in my paintings.

The blues in the channel around Rabbit island are even more brilliant in person.

I take many photos to help inspire color, light, layering and texture in my paintings.

This painting was directly influenced by my trip to Hawaii. Can you see it? It's called Long For A Moment, 18 x 24", encaustic and mixed mediums

I grew up on this beach, Kailua Beach, not far from where the Obama's stay.

Happily reading the first complete draft of my husband's novel, First Thursday.

Our hosts, Lynn, Lohe, and Allan (above) really know how to throw a party!

Bill goes crazy for the seafood here (I'm allergic!) and even got to make his own poke.

Dinner at our favorite restaurant with my sister Laura and her fiancee Alan.

Lunch with my buddy Shari (and Mai Tais) on the beach.

One last look at the Windward side and Mt. Olomana on our way to the airport.

Here's a different view of Diamond Head, with that beautiful water below. A hui hou!

A visit to the local nursery today reminded me that spring is right around the corner and soon I’ll be enjoying the feel of sun on my skin here too. Until then I’ll capture the feeling in my paintings as best I can, while taking time to enjoy a little quiet time for myself, even at home.