The Heart of My Palms

Mahalo nui loa (a big Thank You to YOU), to those of you who visited my studio December 6 & 7th. I am still basking in the joy and conversation we shared.

The paintings and giclées hanging in the studio tell the story of my painting life. By asking questions, you jogged a few memories loose and helped me to “connect more of the dots” linking my paintings together.

I am most appreciative of your asking about my coconut paintings. Their lineage feels especially important because I just finished a new coconut painting.

I did quite a lot of housesitting around the island for the first few years that I lived here.  Housesitting is interesting, sometimes fun, and often more involved than you might expect.

One morning, as I walked the golden retrievers along the beach while housesitting in Kewala Bay, I was thinking about all the changes I had experienced in the three years since I’d moved here. I was amazed that the dreams I had of becoming an artist had brought me so far from home.

Big Dreams Require Big Seeds © Patrice A Federspiel, 2003

Just then I saw three or four coconuts bobbing in the water along the shore. “Big Dreams Require Big Seeds” popped into my head. Immediately coconuts became synonymous with my dreams, and I knew a painting would ensue.

Then There Were Two © Patrice A Federspiel, 2004
This painting hangs in Kai Ku Hale in Hale`iwa

Since then, I have painted several coconut paintings. One painting, “Dreamscape: Lift Off” hangs in the front room of my studio.

Unless you have seen a coconut beginning to sprout, you might not recognize the object “hanging in the sky” of the painting as a coconut (the color is a bit more brilliant than true coconuts are).

Dreamscape: Lift Off © Patrice A Federspiel, 2004

That painting was an affirmation that my career was about to “take off” even before I really felt that to be true.

My most recent coconut painting is also not immediately recognizable as being a coconut; and its lineage is a bit out of the ordinary as well.

It began during a mini-meditation three months ago. During the meditation, I “saw” something growing in the palms of my hands. That something was my creativity.

A few weeks later, I found an empty coconut hull still in the husk in which it had grown on a tree. It looked like a heart to me so I brought it home and kept it in a plastic bag in my studio. I was saving it until I had time to paint it.

A few more weeks went by before I was able to begin the painting.

“The Heart of My Palms” is now complete. It speaks to the love I have for, and feel from and through, my hands.

The Heart of My Palms © Patrice A Federspiel, 2014

The coconut still symbolizes my dreams of being an artist. My hands are used to create my paintings.

All of my paintings come from my heart, through my palms, to you.

Thank you for the role you play in summoning them forward.