Sunday, March 7, 2010



Toward Molokai

Oil on board, 5" x 7"
$125 plus $6 shipping in U.S.
SOLD

We're back--all sunburned and exhausted--from our mini-vacation to Maui. It was a great time--what a beautiful, magical place!

The visit was made even more memorable than we could have imagined when the phone rang in the wee hours Saturday morning. It was a good friend in North Carolina, who told us that a tsunami alert had been issued for the islands, in the wake of the Chile earthquake. Our condo was literally steps from the water, so we rousted everyone up and got ready to evacuate. At 6 AM the alert sirens went off--a chilling sound that reminded me of World War II air raids. By that time we were already on higher ground--a private golf course overlooking the island of Molokai.

Several hundred found their way to this spot--a mix of locals and vacationers. We parked our cars in the shade of some small trees, tuned our radios to local stations, and watched and waited. Our daughter and her fiancee were there too, along with a goodly number of the wedding party, watching their carefully laid plans for the afternoon's beachside wedding melt away. It was a surreal experience, strangely boring and exciting at the same time, as we ticked the hours off scrutinizing the coastline for any sign of change.

Thankfully, it was a non-event. The waves came through, virtually imperceptible to us. I don't believe there were any reports of damage. Around two in the afternoon the all-clear was given. We resumed our tourist lives; the wedding was re-scheduled for Sunday and went off without a hitch...life went on.

I took hundreds of photos, some of which are begging to be interpreted in paint. I saw these beautiful flowers while roaming around near the golf course on tsunami day.

22 comments:

René PleinAir. said...

Wow what a story and what a painting to accompany it. One to remember Don.

Thanks.

Susan Roux said...

Who would have thought you would return with this story! You must have wondered how you could have this kind of luck? Leave the cold weather to go to Maui. Should be a dream, but no, tsunami evacuation! I can just see myself in that situation. Shaking my head saying, just my luck!

What an experience! Great story for the grandkids, someday...

Love your painting. That red is powerful yet comfortable in its surroundings. Well done!

Glad your back and ok...

rahina q.h. said...

good to have you back Don and with a nail biting story. strange that amidst all that commotion the flowers remained perfectly still, unperturbed and present. just beautiful.

SamArtDog said...

Oh boy, you're back! I'm so looking forward to the combination of your painting and Hawaii, both of which I admire. No pressure.

Thought of you all on "tsunami day". Glad to hear it turned out to be nothing but something you'll never forget.

Don Gray said...

Hi Rene--yes, it's one for our memory recordbooks. :) Nice to hear from you, thanks for coming by.

Don Gray said...

Hi Susan--yeah, "who'd a thunk it?!" I guess we can technically say we've been through a tsunami, can't we? :)

Mainly I felt so bad for our daughter and her fiancee, for this to happen on what was supposed to have been their wedding day. But when we started feeling sorry for ourselves, thinking about the devastation and loss of life in Chile put our minor problems in perspective.

Thanks for the kind words!

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Rahina. I guess that's what struck me about the flowers too--that on this day when potential devastation could come to the islands, the flowers went on waving gently in the breeze.

Bruce Sherman said...

Hi Don!... Love youe work! Very solid design and lovely rich Colour.

I guess we all took a time out for Olympic indulgences... lifts the spirits to see such pure excellence and exemplary courage!

Good Painting!
Regards,
Bruce Sherman

Lee Ekland said...

Wow, this is absolutely beautiful! One of my very favorites, you capture that pristine sunlight wonderfully. It sings!

So glad a potentially dangerous situation turned out well. Congratulations to your daughter and son-in-law!

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Bruce--glad you paid a visit. I enjoyed visiting your blog...happy painting!

Don Gray said...

Hi Lee--thnks for the well-wishes and kind words!

Last Cup Of Coffee said...

beautiful painting!

susan hong-sammons said...

excellent comp. puts me right there. No wonder it sold so fast.

Micah said...

Welcome back Mr. and Mrs. Don :) WOW....what a story!....and beautiful paintings to go with it!

Mark Landes said...

This painting stood out. By coincidence I spent a great first year of college in Maui 1962-63 in a smallprivate jr college just above Paia. We could see Molokai in the distance. At that time Maui had 35K opoulation and one street light (in Lahaina). Good times.

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Last Cup.

Don Gray said...

Thanks for your comment, Susan.

Don Gray said...

Hi Micah--glad to hear from you--thanks for the kind words.

Don Gray said...

Thanks Mark, and welcome. It must have been a lot different on Maui then. It looked to us like most of the commercial development probably didn't begin until the eighties. It's still very beautiful, though, and still lots of places to escape the crowds.

Dean Grey said...

Gorgeous Don!

The little bits of red just pop in this painting.

And if you squint ever so slightly it almost looks like a photograph!

-Dean

Don Gray said...

Hi Dean--thanks a lot!

della said...

Nice story and nice work.