I hurried out the door at 5 am to plein air paint this amazing location. The soft colors of dawn light are very hard to capture as the human eye sees them, so starting the painting on site helped me set up the color scheme of this atmospheric rendering of Kaiwanui Marsh and Olomana Mountain. I painted patches of the most important colors in on the panel so I could later work on it in studio but still have the advantage of relative color comparison. Many glimpses of the original layer are retained in this final version.
At the mauka (most toward the mountains) edge of Kawainui Marsh, there is a giant set of boulders on which Hauwahine, the beautiful and powerful shapeshifting mo`o goddess of protection, would watch over the marsh. A mo`o is a giant lizard/dragon creature of Hawaiian legend. Hauwahine’s promontory has a huge rock shaped like a mo’o head from which her legend sprang. This view is from the top of that rock outcropping. I have included the boulders on top of the vantage point in my painting, with rings of lichen reminding us that these are ancient rocks. When I look at this painting, I remember very well the feeling of sitting on the rocks, thinking about Hauwahine. It was so easy to imagine her sitting on the rocks in her human form patiently guarding the land. The promontory was a perfect perch to see the whole wetlands spread out in a commanding view of the surroundings, allowing for a view all the way to the ocean and to the edge of each surrounding mountain. It was serene and quiet, filled with nothing but birdsong as the light slowly bloomed in the sky. It faded just as gradually, transforming into a picture-perfect sunny day.