Street Art Hawaii Kaimuki Beautification Project

On Saturday 22 and 23, a group of artists volunteered to beautify the traffic boxes in Kaimuki.  Though I was only able to participate for one day, I was able to finish a very large (6′ X 10′ in all) traffic box mural on the corner of Waialae Ave and 16th Street – right next to a bus stop. It was a great experience and the neighborhood was very supportive and appreciative!

The design process began with a sketch a couple of weeks prior.  It’s rough, but you can see I stuck fairly close to the plan, just adding a few more native and Polynesian-introduced plants when I found out that the extremely nice family living close to the box would know and enjoy having more plants on the traffic box.  It turned out the neighbor adjacent was an avid gardener and bird aficionado, and they will be looking at this box all the time, so I wanted to make a special adjustment as a thank you to them for their unusually kind hospitality.  They even brewed me a cup of tea using leaves from their own garden! 

If you look at the box in person, make sure to peek at the back.  I painted all the sides – the back was just as important as the front.  The back is inspired by the name of this neighborhood – Kaimuki.  Ka imu ki means “ti plant oven”.  It was an area famous for the many ti plant ovens on its hills.  The ti plant was a very important and useful plant to the Hawaiians.  It is still in heavy use today as the raw material for hula skirts, lei, and also as a leaf that can be used to cook. Hau, a plant used for medicine and for fiber for tough ropes is also on the back.  I painted a lot of taro on the front and sides which is a Hawaiian staple food that is often growing wild in wetland areas.  Finally, I painted pickleweed, pohuehue, a small fern that looks like a 4-leaf clover, and a wild pink hibiscus, all plants that preceded human settlement.

The finished piece was accomplished after a very touching Hawaiian blessing. I felt the power of the ceremony followed me throughout the day, inspiring an unusually productive painting pace.  I skipped lunch to race the sun, moving around the box as the shade moved.  I enjoyed talking to various visitors throughout the work day, especially meeting a lot of the neighbors.  This area really has strong community feeling.  Despite the major road, the neighbors know and care about one another.  Many have lived there a long time.  I was treated exceedingly kindly all day long – countless shakas, “mahalos!”, and nice comments from passing cars, and neighbors offering juice or chocolate milk, etc…  I cannot thank the community of Kaimuki enough for the aloha spirit they showed during this process.  It was very heart warming and made me really want to do this project justice!    

I am very grateful to Jennifer Noel (the organizer), Bill Brizee, and Tracy Brilhante for getting me involved with this project and helping to make it all work.  Thank you to the Kaimuki neighbors who were so supportive and grateful for the project.  They made all the artists feel like a million dollars!  Thank you to the following photographers who kindly posted photos of native birds and flowers online in creative commons like Flickr Commons and Wikimedia Commons to allow for accurate reference photos for this project:  Dan Clark, David Eickhoff, Forest and Kim Starr, John and Karen Hollingsworth, and Rick Obst.  Without the lovely photos I could not have made the various Hawaiian Moorhens and plants as believable. Mahalo nui loa to all.  I hope the traffic box will brighten the area and be something the neighbors enjoy seeing.

  

Ultra Exhibit II: Now on Display at Pauahi Tower

In August, I helped once again to organize and design the hanging schema for Windward Artists Guild’s new show at Pauahi Tower’s gorgeous second floor space. Covered in beautiful travertine stone and topped by soaring coffered ceilings, the spacious venue allows WAG artists to show their large works which offer a valuable interior design option for offices and homes and the chance to collect major works from talented local artists.

“Beach Sentinels”, my piece is at top right.

At the moment, I have one large piece in the show (above at top right), but may add a couple of smaller works later in the show. Speaking of small works, we have a lot of size range in this particular show to fit a wider range of budgets. I think it is a nice compromise between the larger works (more rare in most galleries here) and the smaller work, perfect for gifts as the Holiday season comes closer.  Some of our top plein air artists are in this show, so it’s a must-see for those who love small plein air pieces! The show also has a lot of diversity in 2D genres.  There are landscapes, abstracts, florals, portraits, stilllifes, and more.

What I am most excited about is the flow of the paintings together within the space. I hope as you view the show, you enjoy the juxtapositions and groupings that are designed to let each piece shine while adding harmonious or interesting collaborative elements to the wall as a whole. Grouping works to maximize the beauty and individuality of each piece, and not letting one piece dominate the wall is a difficult but highly satisfying goal. I often go in with a plan and then invite others to help refine the plan – they never disappoint – the final show is the result of the guild’s refinement of my initial ideas, and together we made the show arrangement work very well within this great venue!

All works are for sale and 15% of those sales are donated to Windward Artists Guild whose mission since 1960 has been to stimulate the visual arts on Oahu.  We will use the proceeds to fund our education grants, workshops, and to help sponsor art events that are beneficial to the community.

The Ultra Exhibit is on the second floor (up the escalators or elevators).

Show Dates: August 4, 2018 – End date to be announced later (Likely early 2019)
Pauahi Tower is open from 6 am – 6 pm on weekdays, Saturdays 8 am – 2 pm; Closed Sunday
Location: 1003 Bishop St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Parking entrance is on the left at approximately 1080 Alakea Street (Bishop Square Parking), or you may park in public parking at Alii Place across the street if you prefer a more affordable option with a small walk.

Summer Studio Report part 1: Small Floral Works

Florals have been on my mind over the time since I last blogged.  I have been splitting time between small pieces and large works.  All my small works lately have been either indigenous florals like these:

Dreamy Hawaiian Floral, Oil on Panel, 9 X 12

Yellow Hawaiian Floral, Oil on Panel, 9 X 12

Or orchids:  

Golden Orchids, Acrylic on Gessobord, 5 X 7

Yes, Gessobord is spelled strangely to protect copyright.  I always feel like a kindergarten kid typing it out, but I swear it is the company’s trademarked name, not my poor spelling skills. 

I have been working away on a large portrait and a massive landscape as well.  They should be done before the end of the year. Here’s a sneak peek of the portrait:

I wrote to my email subscribers that this would likely be the completed eye, but the very next day I proceeded to paint another coat and covered some of it to blend it in with the new flesh surrounding it and now I am even happier with the way the face is shaping up – It goes to show I never know which pieces will actually be retained because a painting is a sensitive balance of relationships between the various pieces. This is still kind of fun to share as an in-progress tidbit.  The landscape I will wait to show until it is done.  It shouldn’t be too long of a wait at this point. I hope to unveil it at my upcoming solo show at Kalapawai Cafe in Kailua in October.

 

A New Leaf

From March 2015:

“I am turning over a new “leaf” with a new series.  I am working on adding precious metals to my work.  I’ve been reading up exhaustively on the age-old methods of gilding and painting on copper.  I have always loved the old elaborate works from Italy in the 1500s, from artists such as Fra Angelico, and likewise, the beauty of impressionist landscape.  I have wondered in the past what it would look like if the old illuminated manuscripts were made in a tropical location, and it has spurred me to make a new series, tropical illumination.  I plan to paint the beautiful landscapes of Hawaii with the beautiful metals of an earlier time.”

I found this little paragraph in my drafts from 2015 and thought it was a good tidbit of “thought-history” to share.  I have since acted on this idea and learned to use metal leaf. 

What I had in mind was an array of results. I’m going to do the exact opposite of what I probably should do and reverse the countdown to share my favorite one first.  This realistic landscape, Sacred Space, with just a touch of subtle leafing in the water and leaves (my favorite use of leafing to date) really catches the eye with movement as it shifts and reflects the lighting.  At night it softly reflects any lights in the vicinity, remaining interesting to look at when other paintings have ceased to be visible.  

 

 

The whimsical metal leafing celtic-type manuscript bird painting below with an apapane and ohia woven into the image is probably the closest to the source of what inspired me to start using metal leaf.  The Secret of Kells – a gorgeous animation featuring the beautiful illuminated manuscripts of Kells was the spark for me that led to learning how to leaf.  The story within the animation is fictional, and full of fairy folk and charm, but the book is real and so is the heart of the message within the movie.  It’s gentle in spirit and stunningly beautiful!  I highly recommend it.  This animation made me think of the beauty of the illuminated manuscripts, and I began to wonder what monks from Ireland would have painted they would have seen Hawaii. This is a visual combination between the Celtic style and realism. The monks would have translated the bird and the ohia into their imaginative style, but I wanted to have a play between the two worlds.  Busy and intricate celtic knotwork featuring birds is leafed on top of adaptations from a page from a celtic manuscript that weaves around the realistically painted apapane and ohia that intertwines decoratively with the realistic bird and flower. This endangered bird and the iconic flower of Hawaii that provides its habitat, are more rare than jewels (and just as colorful).  Here they are treated like precious treasures  – illuminated like the most important words of an ancient world.

Sometimes it’s nice to paint a bird in front of a simple background of metal leaf like this copper/zinc leafing surrounding the red crested cardinal. The leafing is allowed to show off the interesting ripples that run through this particular type of leaf. Here I have shown the piece in two drastically different lighting schemes.  I love the life that metal gives to the piece – constantly affected by the surroundings.  Sometimes it is hard to do it justice in a photo.

In this last painting below, I was looking to Jesse Arms Botke, an amazing decorative painter during the turn of the century, as my inspiration.  Here, I am using the copper leafing as a  major feature of the surroundings.  The copper leaf in this painting took on a patina before sealing.  I utilized the natural variations in tone from green to coppery orange to create the effect of a shallow pond (actually a loi – a Hawaiian taro garden flooded with water)

I am continuing to explore the realm of metal leafing both in oil and in water-based works.  With different sizing and sealants, I can work with metal in either media.  It is very exciting to see what it can add to artistic creativity. It can go under or over paint, and multiple metals can be used in the same piece.  It produces a piece that cannot be replicated by a camera, which is a major bonus in my opinion, I love the light and movement it imbues into artwork. I use it judiciously in some but not all of my pieces.

Beach Sentinels

Beach Sentinels by Wendy Roberts

There is a type of weather that happens right before a small summer squall that is fleeting but beautiful.  The sun glistens on low, choppy waves that glitter like sequins under a spotlight.  Offshore islands fall into dark purple shadow.  This contrast makes the ocean look particularly surreal.  It emphasizes the green tones in the waves and creates a creamy turquoise color as the waters are churned with oxygen.    This will be a short refreshing storm that will make the hot sand smell damp.   It will finish in a sun shower as rain and sun combine in diamond drops on every leaf. Perhaps there will be a rainbow arcing across the sky.  The forecast is in front of your eyes if you know the beach well. 

How many summer squalls have these trees seen?  How many waves have they heard rushing ashore?  When I see weathered trees along a coastline, I think of them as sentinels – guards for the approaching wind, waves, and storms from the sea.  The boughs of these trees at Kalama beach are sculpted by wind, the flow of air made solid.  Their roots are protecting the shore, holding on to grains of sand although it seems an impossible task.  It is a marvel to me that anything can grow in the sand and the heat of the beach.  Despite the sparse nutrients and the blazing afternoon sun, they provide shade and protect against wind and erosion.

This oil panting will be at the elegant and refreshing Lion Coffee Cafe (1555 Kalani St, Honolulu, HI 96817) which has been newly remodeled.  If you are on Oahu, you can have a cup of coffee and a cookie or pastry and enjoy the show anytime Monday – Saturday from 6 AM to 5 PM between now and June 30, 2018.

Hawaiian Floral for Lei Day

Happy Lei Day & May Day! I just finished a painting celebrating Hawaiian Flowers.  These are all flowers that were here long before humans found the remote beauty of Hawaii.

On the left is the vivid magenta flower stalk of the rare and gorgeous Lobelia gaudichaudii plant which grows only in high in the mountains of Oahu. In the center, peach-colored  ‘ie’ie (freycinetia arbora), is the focal point.  It is a high elevation vine that climbs the massive trees and cliffsides spreading bursts of long, thin leaves along a robust woody vine. Below that, the delicate yellow flowers of ilima, (Sida fallax) are the official flower  of Oahu (every island has a special flower as a symbol on lei day).  Ilima grows from the beaches up to the mountains and makes a wonderful landscape plant!  Speaking of official flowers, Hawaii Island’s official flower, ohia, the tree which is among the first to grow forth from the barren lava, is just to the right of the ie ie.  I chose the rare orange ohia blossom to continue the orange tones.  Ohai (Sesbania tomentosa) is in the bottom right corner and would be wonderful to plant in your yard if you live in the drier parts of the island.  If you are on Oahu, check with the specialty native plant nursery, Hui O Ka Maoli Ola – they will have it (and ilima) or will know where to get it and will probably be able to advise whether it is a good choice for your yard.  Finally, rare endangered Hawaiian tree-thistle (Hesperomannia arbuscula) incorporates all three major floral colors to complete the composition.

Thank you to Nate Yuen for his excellent blog http://hawaiianforest.com/ where I have learned so much about these gorgeous plants!  If you want to have a more beautiful Facebook feed, follow him and enjoy the gorgeous photos he takes.

This painting is currently on the wall of the newly renovated Lion Coffee Cafe in Kalihi (1555 Kalani St, Honolulu, HI 96817).  They have generously provided space on their large wall with special lighting and hanging systems specifically for artists to show and sell work. It’s a new venue for artists on Oahu, which is very exciting.  I helped them design the hanging system and have become the first artist in the space to “break it in”.  It’s been a fantastic experience!  It’s a wonderful place to get a cup of coffee and a delicious bite to eat as you see the art on the wall. I will have my work there for two months, ending on June 30, 2018.

Ultra Exhibit I

Ultra Exhibit I at Pauahi Tower Lobby
(lobby is the second floor – up the escalators)
Dates: March 3 – August 3, 2018
Open from 6 am – 6 pm on weekdays, Saturdays 8 am – 2 pm; Closed Sunday
Location: 1003 Bishop St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Parking entrance is on the left at approximately 1080 Alakea Street (Bishop Square Parking), or you may park in public parking at Alii Place across the street if you prefer a slightly cheaper option with a small walk.
Artists Reception: Thursday, May 17, 4 pm – 6 pm

Peaceful Sanctuary

Three of my art pieces are in the Ultra Exhibit at Pauahi Tower.  The Ultra Exhibit is named for the large pieces and the unusually long time period in this “ultra” venue – Pauahi Tower, which has a gorgeous travertine marble lobby with soaring ceilings somewhere greater than 20 feet high. We are so thankful to Douglas Emmett and the Pauahi Security team for their permission and support for this show, and to Katherine Love, our curator who ranked and juried the pieces so that we had an impartial decision of which pieces were on display first.
 

Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree

Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree

I serve as show chair for this very long show – it will be 5 months for stage I and at least 5 months for stage II (which will be entitled Ultra Exhibit II).  It’s been an experience that has cemented my confidence in organizing and running a large show, and it continues to take time and ingenuity to readjust the way the art is hung with every sale (because of frequent sales which is absolutely wonderful!)  I don’t put the new art in the same place as the one that just sold.  An show is about the way pieces interact with the neighboring images.  Every piece deserves a chance to be seen, so the paintings must be carefully arranged and re-arranged to give a harmonious grouping where every piece draws your eye in turn. I find on average that I can usually find a way to move three or four pieces to ensure the best look to the show, but it’s very tricky to know which pieces will look good together. I decided to use Photoshop to aid me in my quest for the best hanging scheme.   I have scale models of each wall and all 60+ pieces in the show.  I use them like digital paper dolls to arrange the work.  It saves me hours – especially since I am unable to see every wall at the same time.  This is a vast display space! 

Sacred Space

The public is invited to come to our reception. There are 27 artists in the show. I am not sure if they will all be able to come, but I hope so! If you would like to come but you don’t know what an art show is like, don’t let it intimidate you. You can read my handy guide to attending a reception here: How to Attend an Artists Reception  Below I have posted a handy postcard with all the info you need to join us. We will hope to see you there!

Easy Paint Party: Waterlilies

I am teaching an easy, fun, paint party themed around an interpretation of one of Monet’s recurring color schemes.

Brilhante Custom Framing and Art
1247 Kailua Rd #2a in Kailua
May 12, 2018 starting at 5:00 pm
Call to reserve a spot:  (808) 263-1096  

Pricing is $45 (plus or minus $5 – Brilhante can confirm the exact price).  This time we will be replicating a color harmony present in one of Monet’s waterlily paintings.  We will work on color mixing and painting wet in wet.  That is extra challenging in acrylic with its quick dry time. Acrylic is versatile and can act like watercolor or oil paint depending on how you handle it.  I will be sharing tips and tricks to get your paint to behave a little more like oil paint for the majority of this painting.  Most of all, we will aim to be joyful and expressive with our strokes, perfect for a fun and easy night.

Monet painted around 250 waterlily paintings.  They usually feature a large view of his exquisite garden.  Someone said he was a “gardener who could also paint”.  I found that quite a delightful description of his massive skill with the garden.  Because we are making this easy, we are going to “zoom in” and focus on two flowers and some lily pads with just a hint of peachy clouds at the top. 

There are a myriad of sophisticated color combos in Monet’s gorgeous paintings, but I chose a pinks/greens/blues scheme, focusing especially on the bottom of this painting:

These similar blues, greens and pinks appear in other works as well, so I think he was rather fond of this bright and lovely color relationship. The top of this next painting is nearly identical in color.

Image credit: Google Arts and Culture  https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/water-lilies/1QFVEEzvlmrVzg

Here is a softer, lighter version that is still a similar relationship of colors, especially near the bottom right corner: Image Credit:  Painting “Nympheas” by Claude Monet – Neue Pinakothek, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3334951

 

Project: Enchanted Forest Mural

The “Enchanted Forest” is a bedroom mural on all wall surfaces, and the ceiling as well, featuring glow-in-the-dark painted fireflies and a plethora of flowers. The setting is intended to feel like twilight in a magical forest garden with a limited, soothing palette.

Enchanted Forest: I designed the room with the position of the bed in mind. If you are sitting on the bed, or laying down looking toward your feet, this is the main wall. It’s also got the least furniture, so it contains the most detail. 

A progress photo showing my eventual containers of color. I mixed small batches of paint that I could use as a mixing shortcut and to keep my colors consistent from wall to wall. I wanted to create harmony by using a limited color palette especially since it's a bedroom mural.

A progress photo of the left lily pond showing my paint set-up.

Because there is a huge closet on one end of the room, windows opposite, and a door in a certain configuration, there is only one way that the furniture can be arranged in the room.  That made it really easy to plan the optimal vantage points, and to know where to lavish details that were not going to be obscured by furniture.

I never did share all my photos from the Enchanted Forest Mural before this, because it is being renovated and the moulding isn’t up and new windows are pending as well, but it’s time to share it anyway. I used a lot of tips and tricks for this mural that I learned from Mural Joe, one of my favorite teachers on YouTube.  I highly recommend his videos – they are wonderful!  Recently I posted on his channel to thank him for his help and he asked to see the mural.  Even though the photos show that the home was/is in renovation (there is a lack of moulding and lightswitch panels, etc…) you can see the painting well.  I will post again in a few months when all the finishing details are in place.

Enchanted Forest Mural: A palm painted over three surfaces to soften the corner

A palm painted over three surfaces to soften the corner

This photo tour will travel clockwise, through the room.  The prior three photos display the main wall – the wall with the lily pond and waterfall.  This is the wall seen when lying in bed.  It has less furniture than any other wall, so it needed the most lavish details.

The second wall spans the door and is mostly a narrow two-foot-wide panel because the entire rest of the wall is a big closet. These photos show the transition from the lily pond and waterfall wall to wall #2, the lilac and iris garden.

Clockwise: A detail of the right end of the lily wall wrapping around to the lilac garden – there is a closet next to the lilac garden.

Enchanted Forest Mural The wall with the massive tree and and a view over a misty cloud forest

The wall with the massive tree and and a view over a misty cloud forest

The third wall is the one behind the bed. Because of this, it has the most furniture obscuring it. I kept the bottom of the wall very simple, but I still made it beautiful because the furniture might change someday if it turns into an office.

The room also needs to have visual interest that extends onto the ceiling so that there is something to look at while lying in bed staring at the ceiling. I love to relax under a tree in the summer – I do not do that very often, but I wanted to give this room that illusion of looking up at the tree canopy when the viewer is lying in bed.  There is a beautiful fan that echoes the style of the room, so I didn’t want to compete with it. The tree ends before conflicting with the fan, but allows for a lot of detail on the sweet spot of the ceiling over the bed where the sleeper will end up staring a lot.

Detail of the right edge of the massive tree, looking off of a cliff over the forest canopy

Enchanted Forest Mural: The massive tree. When the bed is in place, the viewer is lying directly under the tree. The perspective is designed to make the tree look like it is disappearing up into the sky. It is surprisingly effective in person!

The massive tree. When the bed is in place, the viewer is directly under the tree. The perspective is designed to make the tree look like it is disappearing up into the sky. It is surprisingly effective in person!

An ancient path to a mysterious door in a tree. This part of the mural is between the two windows in the room.

Enchanted Forest Mural: An ancient path to a mysterious door in a tree

The final wall is a mysterious ancient path to an archway door.  The door is set into a tree that appears to be hundreds of years old.  Hopefully it prompts an imaginative journey – where does the door in the old tree lead? To the right of the path, the edge of the lily pond begins, and the mural has fully wrapped around the room.  On every wall, there are fireflies painted with the strongest glow-in-the-dark water-based pigment money can buy.  It is really cool to turn off the lights and see the fireflies glow green.

Enchanted Forest Mural: The massive tree and the ancient path. The old windows are in the process of being replaced.

This photo is from “in progress” when the  massive tree was 70% complete (no branches on the ceiling yet) and the ancient path walls complete.  I computer-generated “moulding” to mock up how it may look someday, but I like this photo because it shows the transition of the massive tree to the ancient path.  In a few months I should be able to post an update with all the finishing touches, but it will look a lot like this.

The base color for the room was a blue I mixed up from other paint cans I had around the house. We had moved a lot, and I read that as long as the paint is all the same base (you cannot mix latex and oil) and if it hasn’t mildewed, it’s ok to take old paint and mix it with other interior house paint to make a new color, keeping in mind that I always choose eggshell paints, the  resulting gloss was going to be what I wanted for durability vs. glare. I spent some time and testing mixing up a nice mid-tone blue with a touch of green and black to muddy it up a bit and keep it from overpowering the room. From an interior design standpoint, the colors of a room make a big impact on mood and the feeling of space – does the room look large and spacious or small, or cozy – exciting or soothing? That is what color can do for the interior. I wanted the blue to be soothing and mid-toned so the space would feel meditative and spacious. I knew the mural’s illusion of depth would help make the space feel larger if I did a good job on the perspective. I chose for all the lighting to come from the direction of the windows. Everything I painted, I made sure it had the same lighting direction – I often had to change it in my head from a reference photo with the wrong lighting – Joe’s videos were very helpful in this aspect as well – knowing how the light changes as it reflects and diffuses through foliage was really a huge help for me. I imagined the light coming from  the top center of the “window wall”.

The other trickiest bit that I knew the least about before starting this particular mural was the perspective. Unlike my prior murals which were much simpler, this one was quite a complex undertaking with a lot of imagination-fueled components. Thinking about perspective was really important to make it all feel like a real setting.  I needed a true understanding of how to place and convert each element to be the right size in the right place.  I averted a couple of total disasters using Joe’s trick of “halves and doubles”, plus estimates of how tall I thought each item would be and a little simple math in order to place some of the most intricate parts of the mural in the right places at the right sizes. With a little practice, I was able to make hundreds of elements come together into a plausible world. Thanks Joe for all the great instruction! I couldn’t have done this mural without your awesome videos!

Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree

Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree by Wendy RobertsShama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree
Oil on Canvas
12″ x 12″

Under-painting progress of Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree

Under-painting progress

Today I have finished a painting that I shared the early phases of on my Instagram account. 

Halfway done: progress of Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree

In-Progress view of Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree

I completed “Shama Thrush in a Mountain Apple Tree”, a piece meant to share the best aspects of one of my favorite hikes deep in the shade and protection of the lush Ko’olau Mountains.  In the background, you can see the same waterfall I featured in my prior piece, Sacred Space.  I love this waterfall because the rocks have a lot of character.  This time, the falls are not the star of the piece, but take a supporting role as the very real location where many white-rumped shama thrush live.  The shama thrush, its flowing tail a visual echo of the waterfall, perches in the branches of the mountain apple tree.  Here I have recreated the magical experience of finding the bright pink flowers of the mountain apple in full bloom.  If I could show it all in the same painting, I would depict how the petals carpet the ground with a layer of vivid pink, and I would paint the smell of the cool moss and the sound of the water.

 Shama are very curious birds and will often follow you, gliding from branch to branch for a long time as you hike, watching and listening to you as you walk through the trees.  As highly intelligent birds, they are not only keen observers, but also mimic birds to a limited extent, capable of learning short calls if you whistle to them repetitively.  If you are lucky, they will whistle the song back, quickly evolving your small tune into their own variation (4 or 5 notes is a good maximum if you are trying to teach them).  They may add clicks, chatters, trills, and melodic chirps until it blends seamlessly into their own repertoire.  Their voice is one of the sweetest of the island, with a clarity I would compare to the Meadow Larks of my childhood.  Some of my most unusual experiences with wild birds have been with shama thrushes.  If you are quiet and still, they will venture extremely close, and examine you carefully with their shiny black eyes. Unlike Snow White, I haven’t managed to convince them to help me with my laundry…yet.