Surviving Adolescence


My painting, “Tumbling Pineapples”, recently won an award in the Hawai`i Watercolor Society’s Members’ Exhibit. You can see the entire exhibit online:

Would you like to know a story behind this painting? 

Tumbling Pineapples was started after I had made a quick stop at the Dole Pineapple Plantation on the North Shore of O`ahu.

After taking photos of all the pineapple displays and pineapple  plants on the grounds, I went back to my studio to sketch out my ideas.  Once the drawing was done, I covered the watercolor paper with texture  and paint, and waited for it to dry.

All paintings go through what I call an adolescent stage — a time of angst when things just don’t fit or feel quite “right”. This piece went through its share of growing pains before settling into being the painting it is today.

Tumbling Pineapples was submitted to four exhibits before it was accepted into this one — and then it won an award!

If I had stopped after my first, second, or even third rejections, if I hadn’t kept submitting this painting to different exhibits, it never would have won anything! 

The painting didn’t change during the submission process. The eyes making the selection changed, along with the other images submitted to the exhibit.

Tumbling Pineapples isn’t the only painting in this exhibit with a similar story.

Diane Tunnell’s“Magnificent Iris” painting was thought to be less than successful by her mentors. They encouraged her to enter other paintings, and discouraged her from entering the iris.

Diane took their comments to heart. She adjusted the colors and value structure of her painting. She believed in the value of her painting, submitted it to the show, and won an award.

Let these stories be a lesson to you — persistence pays off!

When we truly believe in our art, we must listen to our inner guidance and continue put it forward to share with others.

We never really know whose heart our art is meant touch.