Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Some shots of my latest painting in the making...

With the triptych you see evolving here, I continue to explore a theme inspired by the Pacific Voyagers vaka project - a fleet of seven double-hulled canoes representing various Pacific island nations, creating history this past year by sailing across the Pacific using wind and solar power.  While their adventures have revived an interest in ancient Pacific navigation methods, visits by the resilient vaka crews have touched the lives of many islanders, sparking a new awareness about ocean conservation and pride in our local cultures.

My silk paintings always start out with pencil sketches on paper, which eventually become the ink-line masters drawings that will be traced onto white silk. 
I will have to paint lots more kasaqa (frigate birds) before I can get them out of my system!  As they do not have water-resistant oil protecting their feathers and can therefore not fly far from dry land, these wonderful seabirds, with their jagged wings and forked tails, signify to the sea-weary sailor that solid ground is not far away... 

My master-drawing has been transferred onto the silk, and outlined in metallic-gold resist.  Now comes the fun part- applying the dyes!  Here, color is added to the twin sails of my vaka fleet.

The middle of three paintings evolves, late one night when the rest of our busy household is asleep, and the only noise is from my radio, as BBC World Service broadcasts bring me up to date with news from other corners of the planet!

"Journey of the Vaka III" takes shape: a reflection of the age-old navigation methods used by Pacific sailors...

Floating vegetation was amongst the many navigational cues used by our Pacific ancestors,  who would note the direction it came from and the condition it was in as a way of envisioning what lay beyond the horizon...

A mother and child feature in "Journey of the Vaka I".
Yes, I know, the colors I use can be somewhat unorthodox!

Nearby, my late night studio companion lends his moral support to the "Journey of the Vaka" triptych project - KitKat does not realize that we spent several hours washing and cleaning these pieces of  masi vula (white barkcloth) earlier today!

Sneak preview of the finished pieces - more to come on my next blog!


  1. This is truly amazing work......marvellous creative you are...and you enjoy the BBC as well. Keep it up.You inspire.