New art display speaks ‘Aloha’

A painting a day keeps the sight-seeing blues away.

That was the attitude of Parkdale artist Wendy Best when she and her husband, Dick, traveled to Hawaii with their two children, children-in-law, and baby grandson.

The trip was the childrens’ gift to celebrate the Bests’ 40th wedding anniversary, and included stops in Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island.

Best has customarily used acrylic or oil paint on canvas, but for traveling she didn’t want to lug along all that heavy equipment. Watercolor paper, a minimal assortment of acrylic paints, and a few brushes made up her entire kit.

“And a ruler for the horizons,” she added. “Acrylic-on-paper was a whole new medium for me, and I really enjoyed the spontaneity it allowed me. I used the acrylics rather like water colors, and got quite a nice washy effect, but then could overpaint for strength and color.”

In twelve days Best created 14 paintings.

“When painting in the open air,” she said, “you can’t take more than an hour or so to capture what you see, the light changes so rapidly. And I could fit all my painting gear into a small shopping bag, so I could hike around and look for subject matter.”

“Although, there isn’t much trouble finding something to paint in Hawaii. Everywhere you look there is color, light, motion, and beauty.”

Best portrayed plenty of beaches, palms, and rocky headlands, but she also painted a still life of flowers, a fountain, and her memories of Volcano National Park.

“I’m so glad I brought along cadmium orange light paint, because it is exactly the color of glowing lava,” Best said.

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