in which I talk about my life at the pool house until everything gets busted open by a swift kung fu kick.
|the house from a neighbor's boat|
|and from the water side with prints drying|
Yesterday I messaged a friend that I was going to the opera to see Turnadot and he came back with the question what the opera has to do with the New York Niggers. My answer was: “It’s all in my life” and that the NYN had quite a few fans from the opera world and that Leo and I used to occasionally hang out with opera singers and musicians on the upper Westside. New York and Hawaii are the two places where I spend almost as much time as growing up in Germany, the three places I have called home. I live on the island of Oahu now for almost 23 years, my first 6 month on the North Shore and in the Kailua/Kaneohe area since, so I want to talk about this home.
|they don't call it rainbow state for nothing|
don't miss this special link
|sun and rain|
|mango tree still looking for a home|
|reality check - plenty planes and copters|
|pure kitsch sometimes|
|the view on canvas|
|garden by the sea|
The northeast coast of Oahu is called the windward side facing the Pacific Ocean with the Ko’olau mountain range behind. It is a special place with more rain than the Honolulu or the west sides of the island and therefore greener and a little cooler too. For 15 years I worked on the beach in Kailua teaching windsurfing and kitesurfing until I started graduate school. Since I finished my MFA thesis exhibition in 2008 I have tried to make my life making art and music and teaching art, taiji, yoga and occasionally still kitesurfing. I have taught art in Colorado and New York City, painted houses and done other odd jobs and since this fall work as a substitute teacher.
|kitesurfing on the Northshore, pic Stephen Whitesell|
|and in the backyard. pic Steve Chismar|
|heading out for glassy surf on early Thanksgiving morning|
The center of my life since 2008 has been the 2 ½ story cottage I rent on the shore of Kaneohe Bay. It has a magical view and I have a 10’ x 20’ downstairs studio where I print, make music and work on other art projects. It also has a couch where guests sleep or I do when guests use my bedroom area. There are no separate rooms. I love being here, cooking in my outside kitchen and working at home whenever I can. Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly difficult to come up with the rent. This is what people here call the ‘price of paradise,’ Wages are very low, compared to places on the mainland, while the rents are very high, because there are enough people who are able to buy anything attractive and lower income housing is scarce. When you walk down Kailua Beach you’ll find up to ½ of the houses/estates empty.
|mixing ink. pic Alorah Kwock|
|clean up. pic Alorah Kwock|
|rolling ink.pic Alorah Kwock|
|prepping the paper. pic Alorah Kwock|
|Jason Farris checking out his first ever wood block print|
|studio looking east|
|24" block - scrolls on mulberry paper|
|48" block on linen|
Here is video walk through my studio/house as I was winding down a printing session a few years back.
My typical day looks like this: up at 4:30, bathroom, neti pot, drink some hot water followed by pranayama and meditation (ca 1hr+), followed by asanas. The length of my asana session depends on whether I work at home or away. If I work at home I usually cook for lunch and eat the leftover for dinner, without it going into the fridge, trying to avoid keeping leftovers longer than 24hrs. When I work away then I cook the night before. I’m up before the chickens and in bed not long after them. This keeps me pretty balanced and healthy (knock on wood). (hahaha, not always. later edit, see below) This lifestyle also has an element of isolation, since the art and music scene is happening in town of course and many of my friends have moved to other islands or different parts of Oahu.
|Kayo Iwaki, fellow yoga teacher, practicing|
|DIY pallette, brush and paint storage on wheels|
|Stephen & Maya at a dinner|
|Gaye Chan, Lian Lederman, Alleta Van Patten, Jaimey Hamilton, Thanksgiving|
|Susanne Pridoehl and Toren visiting from Germany|
|never too early to express yourself|
|the author in front of his rock'n roll wood block prints at a pop-up|
|Brandon Lund, Stephen Niles, Will Williams III|
|with Taylor and Jordan Fite|
|occasionally nothing can be done - just looking up|
Last Monday I tore a ligament in my right shoulder demonstrating some kung fu stuff to one of my taiji students. I hadn’t practiced this in 30 years. Now, everything I do is very slow, awkward and potentially painful. This includes typing of course. Siri doesn’t understand me yet. I have been going through a difficult time trying to become open to new possibilities and exploring my inner demons and resistances. Now, all of that is cracked open in one single move.....
in case you missed this funky video from my 64th b-day. Gotta love that wha wha!
|the wildlife doing their thing|