Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 2007

Fireworks show over Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach, San Diego. I was trying to stay up for it but must've dozed off and the noise fortunately woke me up. There were fireworks throughout the city and I was at a vantage point to see much of it. I also spent the earlier part of the eve with my folks watching the yearly Japanese singing competition between the top male and female singers. It's a huge program, red (for women) against white (for men) and it's quite a production with thousands of extras. This year the men were triumphant. It's always interesting for me to watch and see their costumes. I also like the mix of classical Japanese folk style singing and Japanese rap. This event has been going on for over 50 years.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Though I'm not swimming with fish at the moment, I am fishsitting some gi-normous goldfish.

Suddenly, out of nowhere a big wind storm blew in, SoCal style. Click the photo for a better look.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

California Sunset

Here's a shot of the Pacific from across the way looking toward Hawaii for a change. It doesn't look like the same ocean from this side. Here in California whenever I see these calm seas I want to jump in which is my reaction in Kehena, but of course it's a little too cold to do it now. Maybe if I would've brought my wetsuit...

Sunday, December 24, 2006


I'm at my sister's house and she has this very cool book. It's huge. I put my coffee cup on it (just for a second) to show the scale. It's a great picture book on Andy Warhol, one of my heroes. He died in 1987. The book has illustrations and designs from his early years and he was always amazing. It was humbling and inspiring for me to go through the book. This is how I'm spending my Christmas Eve. With a good book. I also didn't realize that he was actually older than my parents (he was born in 1928). Somehow, when you're hip it keeps you young. I'm making a note of that, though it might be too late for me.

Mele Kalikimaka

It's Christmas Eve and I'm on the mainland. I just wanted to take this time to wish everyone much happiness and love to all. A good time to remember to do Ramdom Acts of Kindness and keep it up throughout the year. And don't forget to love yourself too. Much aloha, Tuko

Friday, December 15, 2006

Japanese friends come to the gallery

My Japanese friends, Miki and Yumiko came to the gallery and were treated with a visit from fellow artist Esther Szegedy who signed some books for them.

I'm happy to report that the ornament effort wasn't totally wasted. They are actually selling!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Big waves at Kehena

I didn't go in. I tried to shoot a big wave but everytime I had the camera ready to shoot only the medium waves would roll in. Then when a big wave finally came the camera would tell me "card full". I looked to see what was on there and it turned out to be my documentation of every new ornament that Arthur had done. Those dots in these photos are my friends, Kelly and Normand.

Last night was the art show at Kalani where I debuted the Kehena edition ornament, Hawaiian girl on one side and the illo of me with a crashing wave (that I posted earlier) on the other.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ornaments at the gallery

I finally got my ornaments in the gallery today. Arthur cut one of his Star Pines to make a beautiful Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Rainy day activity

Not that it would actually matter if it was rainy or sunny for this activity but it's been raining nonstop for the past 3 days. Day and night. The monsoon season got a late start but I think it's making up for lost time.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of ornament designs I came up. These designs are being decoupaged on to wood boards that have been sanded and painted. Arthur's friend Niko came to help sand and paint the edges. We had a production line going and it was a fun afternoon and evening.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Update - Recovery

My fins were recovered right away by fellow swimmers and yesterday I got a call saying someone had found my mask and snorkel!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kehena Beach is back to normal

I'm the person in this sign. I lost my fins, snorkel and mask and almost my shorts. Enough said.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bidding war

Today I bought something on ebay. It was quite exciting. Those of you who have bought anything on ebay can relate. I had put in a bid a week ago and for the longest time I was the only bidder. Until yesterday. So the game is to wait as long as you can but time your final bid so that your competitor(s) don't have time to go above your bid. Well, it was all accidental but it worked out. Accidental because I waited until the 5 minutes before the close after watching it go up again with ten minutes to go. Someone once told me that it was smart to bid a dollar or a penny above what you want to pay. That's basically what I did and I won by that $1.01. But it was accidental because 5 minutes before the end my connection decided to die (I have wireless and it's not always reliable--it's fast but less consistent than a land line connection). So I had to frantically reconnect, punch in all my pass codes before I could go back to my bid page. That only left about 2 minutes which actually made it perfect because the other bidder had no time to meet my highest bid (I watched them bid 3 more times to try to catch me in the final seconds).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bug story 2

I had another bug incident last night after coming home from AJ's studio (where I was working on those ornaments again). I came into the bathroom to brush my teeth (again) and I found a giant centipede in my sink! (Here it is almost life size, I kid you not -- actually, it was longer) This time I did react. It was trying to crawl out but kept slipping because of the smooth surface of the sink. With my eyes wide open I was trying to think what to do, what to do? Call Arthur? No, it's too late. Besides, he's in his studio and there's no phone there.

So then I thought, the bug zapper. I'll electrocute it! But when I grabbed the zapper, the battery was dead. So I ended up smashing the bug with it instead. Mission accomplished.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Jeff's house of Arthur's art

Thanksgiving morning AJ and I went to his friend Jeff's house. It was like going to an Arthur Johnsen museum house. Jeff has a nice collection. Someone at the beach was suggesting that Lower Puna have an artist studio tour. I told Arthur that a tour of homes with just his paintings would be an interesting twist since he is so well collected.

Jeff also has a great teacup collection.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving starts at the beach

I'm just posting this photo of Kehena Beach yesterday to show what I meant by it being like a lake. Usually there are huge waves and surging undertoe which makes it only for the adverturous, but lately it's been extremely calm. Yesterday, AJ and I swam to the second island which for people who swim here know is a pretty good distance.

I'm off to a tour of art studios in the Volcano area of the Big Island. In Volcano Village there many artists living there. Kalani leader Richard (see invited me to do a bike tour which would be fun but I'm going with Chie so I think we're just going to do the lazy car tour, or maybe walking tour if they are near each other.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Mahalo Day!

Mahalo is how you say thank you in Hawaiian.

And I have many to say Mahalo to.

Mahalo to my parents for giving me life. My mom wanted me to perm my hair (so I would look more grown up like her), I did once and it took 5 years for it to completely go away. I still think I have a wave in my hair now. On the other hand she was always happy and gave me the gift of laughter, so Mahalo for that.

Mahalo to my loving sister who has always been such a close friend. We miss our other sister very much but thank the universe she was in our lives for as long as she was. Mahalo to her husband (one of the best people on the planet I know) and wonderful son who is always coming up with more stuff to amaze us.

Mahalo to my brother for his kindness, his sense of humor and his 4 great kids who all have their unique talents and personalities but are all good kids! (and his wife for marrying him, what a saint)

Mahalo to all my friends who have to put up with me, call me, write me, invite me to do stuff, go to the beach with me, and are just there to listen to me and give me much love when I need it.

And last but not least Mahalo to my partner who also encourages me in whatever I endeaver!

Kehena Beach is a lake today, so you know where I'm going... have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


So I went to get a haircut today. I think that's a hard job. I mean you're dealing with someone's looks and most people are pretty sensitive there. So how nerve wracking to have someone say give me a cute hair cut when you ask them what they want (short, long etc.). I'm really asking them to make me look cute. A tall order. It reminds me of my parents. My mom asks my dad what he would like for dinner he always says, "something that tastes good". Not chicken, or fish or steak.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Loosely based on my hairdresser Randy.

You know you've been in the jungle too long when... feel something on your arm and you look and see a bug and you don't scream, you just brush it off (with your other hand) and go about doing whatever it was you were doing which in my case was brushing my teeth...

The monkey chases the weasel

I can't complain too much about the assignments I get, they're usually pretty fun, for work.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Christmas elves 2

Here are some actual finished ornaments to be sold at the Arthur Johnsen Gallery.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Christmas elves

We also have been Christmas elves this week. Last year, AJ and other gallery folk made ornaments. I had to go to the mainland so I wasn't around for that. This year I joined in. I was planning to do something with some sculpey clay I had bought many months earlier but Arthur had these wood blocks pre cut and I thought what the heck, this may be easier. Except that we had to sand them and prime paint them (2 coats) before we could even put any designs on them. So basically I'll be making a dollar an hour if all goes well and they actually sell. If not, maybe I'm working for free.

Wailuku River Swim

I had a dental appointment and ended up at the gallery where I ran into Cosette and Arthur. After helping for a short while AJ and I decided since we were all the way in Hilo (a whole 45 minutes away from home sweet home) we would go for a swim to salvage the day. Nothing like a swim to feel better. I was suggesting we go the beach. Arthur knew about a spot on the Wailuku River that was very close to the gallery (so we wouldn't have to drive far--we hate driving far--I hate driving period). It was cold and kind of slimey but I'm glad I did it. I didn't have my camera so here are some quick scratches.

Funny thing was that the spot was exactly under the private property that we had painted from just two weeks before with the Plein Air Painters of Hawaii group (on the blog earlier).

Saturday, November 11, 2006

More Puako photos

Peter Garati and his wife, Liz, from Williamsburg, VA, were visiting Kona for a wedding at the Mauna Kea and sent these photos he took of Arthur and me painting in Puako. Click on any photo to enlarge.

Puako painting trip

Last week AJ and I went to Kona on a painting trip and also to deliver some paintings at the Third Dimension Gallery at the new mall at the Mauna Lani Hotel complex. An upscale gallery. I think Arthur's work is by far superior to anything else in the gallery but there's no accounting for taste regarding what sells and for how much. Still it was good for me to meet the managers who were very enthusiastic. Well, it helps to have the Arthur connection.

We painted on location. In Kona you can take the occasional swim when it gets too hot because you're not painting on the side of a cliff like in Puna.

That's Punahele serving up juice at his B&B. He's a dancer and quite the storyteller.

Regarding the last photo here, the wild turkeys in Kona have good taste in beaches, choosing to frolic at the Mauna Kea Beach. They must not be looking at their calendars and haven't realized what holiday is around the corner.