May 28th, 2019 / posted by paularath

“Prayers for Puna,” mixed media on gallery wrap canvas, 36 x 36 inches

In my Nia dance class Friday night at Still and Moving Center, Krista Hiser set the evening’s theme as “bowls.” She talked about bowls full, not empty. And about what bowls full of joy and happiness mean to her. I found myself dancing with a full heart and open mind.

As it happens, bowls have been a theme in my art for the past few months. As I have segued from small art (the size of greeting cards) back to to large art, paintings on canvas, I am finding great joy in the subject of bowls.

Bowls have a strong connection within my family. My father collected antique Korean brass bowls, which now grace my home. One of my earliest memories of my maternal grandfather (my namesake, James Paul Jacobs), is a mixing bowl of cereal which was his breakfast after an intense workout that included running and jump rope. My mother had a dish fetish and bought exquisite bowls all around the world, from Shanghai to Ireland and Norway.

You get the drift.

The first bowl painting I did was in remembrance of my father. It echoes the beautiful shades of verdigris (gray-green) the brass has taken on throughout the years. It also contains the unusual green of my father’s eyes. It’s a color very close to that of the ocean off the reef where he once threw fishing nets, Hawaiian style.

“Blessings from My Father,” mixed media on gallery wrap canvas, 24 x 24 inches

I am easily seduced by color, especially royal blue. It was my mother’s favorite, and I can still remember one night when she walked into our living room on Portlock Road (I was about five) in a royal blue evening gown. She and Daddy were going dancing, and she whirled across the living room, reminding me of a glorious blue waterfall cascading across the room. Such beauty!

In honor of my mother, I painted “Blessings from the Sea and Sky,” trying to capture a little of the depths of the elements. Mother was among the most deep, intelligent and thoughtful women I have ever known.

“Blessings from Sea and Sky,” mixed media on gallery wrap canvas, 24 x 24 inches

My most recent bowl painting is “Prayers for Puna” (see top of blog). My cousin, Rusty Perry, has been a papaya farmer in Kapoho for 45 years. Last year’s lava flow was a tremendous strain on him, but his farm did survive. I send prayers to him, and to the other families so affected by the volcano.

And a little secret: Each of my paintings contains a tiny bit of gold leaf that I purchased in Mandalay, Myanmar. Sharing this tiny treasure reminds me of the intense toil involved as the men stood over the gold, pounding it into submission to create the impossibly delicate gold leaf. They pounded non-stop for 15 minutes, then took a sip of water, then continued the back breaking task. Blessings to those who toil to create such a delicate gift.

Paula Rath

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Lynda Sakraida
May 29th, 2019 at 1:28 am

The are all beautiful, elegant and exquisite, and the colors are breathtaking. Wow.

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