The Hui No'eau in Upcountry Maui
As a watercolor painter, there are always times when I know I've got to get out and paint - but don't really have any particular subject in mind. So I go to a place I know will be peaceful, shady, out of the rain, if need be, with a world of interesting cluttered corners to grab my painterly interest. A place like the Hui No'eau.
When it comes to my search for subject matter, the fact that the Hui grounds are beautifully landscaped and manicured, the fact that it's main house is an ornate and historic mansion on a hill like something from "The Great Gatsby" is beside the point. The fact that it is Maui's richest source of art classes, programs, and artist support, helps me to feel welcome, but that isn't why I come. I'm drawn to the places way in the back, the ridiculously old and worn down pottery sheds. Every corner in these sheds tells a story. One can't help but wonder what they must have been a long time ago, all of the artists who have spent their lives working there, creating, imagining, inventing while improvising ways to patch the roof and walls, posts, and beams back together as time took its toll.
Forgotten, abandoned, half-finished ceramics hang and lean randomly on the splintered wooden walls and wait on shelves and racks and tabletops for their artist to return from parts unknown. Buckets, tools, jars, and boxes fill dark storage rooms with glaring gashes of light that finds its way through gaps in old wooden walls and tin roofs to wrap itself sparkly over the contours of clutter.
Most days I've had the whole place to myself. When someone does appear we exchange a quiet hello and then they go off to bury themselves in their work, leaving me to mine... the perfect kind of company.