Lahaina Harbor is one of my favorite places in Lahaina. Every time I go down to the harbor I have to take pictures. Sometimes I go down just so I can take pictures. I also love doing paintings of the harbor. The photo above was taken during a morning photo adventure I went on to get reference pictures for future paintings. Many of the cruise and fishing boats had already gone out, leaving quite a few slips empty. The yellow submarine in the photo above really stood out. It caught my attention and I took many photos of it from lots of angles. This photo also became the subject of my newest harbor painting.
Originally my focus for this painting was to feature these two landmarks. However, the yellow submarine kind of took over. It's bright happy yellow color began to dominate the painting and the eye kept wanting to focus on it. To help pull more balance into the painting I added more yellow to the palm trees and added people with yellow shirts on the Trilogy ( boat on the far left ). The reflection of the lighthouse and tall mast also helped to balance the scene.
My original title for the painting was "Yellow Submarine". Every time I said the words I thought of the Beatles song and the lyrics would come to mind. I later changed the name to "Reef Dancer" when I discovered that was the name of the submarine. How I discovered the name was on Instagram. Heidi, the person responsible for running the Reef Dancer Instagram account liked my post I shared and began to follow me. She later followed me on Twitter and then sent me a message offering me two free passes for a ride on the reef dancer. I was thrilled to accept and told her I'd get in touch soon with our best day to do so.
Now here is where the adventure comes in. A few days later I received an email from a friend of Heidi's who lives in Philadelphia, wanting to know more about the painting and how to get a print for Heidi. After a few emails back and forth she decided on a canvas print to be stretched on a box frame. She also asked If I would personally deliver the print. I agreed I would and asked if she knew when Heidi would be working at the Reef Dancer. After getting the dates I used that as a perfect time to use my two free passes. I booked the ride for April 8th. This gave Charlie plenty of time to get the print made and mounted. Since the print was a surprise gift for Heidi I decided to wrap it up in a gift bag and wrote a card stating who the print was from.
The day arrived for our adventure on the Reef Dancer. I was pretty excited. Mostly because I couldn't wait to meet Heidi and give her her surprise. I had Charlie ready his camera so that he could capture the moment. When I walked up to the counter to check in, a young blond lady greeted me. I asked if she was Heidi and she said yes. I introduced myself and place the gift bag on the counter. After a few minutes of excited conversation about the history of Reef Dancer and the loss of her father ( the original owner of the submarine) I handed her the card and gift bag. When she unwrapped the print she became very excited. I was so happy and couldn't stop smiling. It felt so good to bring this sweet stranger a secret gift. Before boarding the yellow submarine, Heidi took the print to show the crew. Once I boarded I felt like a celebrity, all the crew members asked if I was the artist of the beautiful painting.
We couldn't have picked a better day to go out on the Reef Dancer. The weather was perfect, the ocean was calm and the sky was clear. The underwater cabin has air-conditioning and is completely surrounded by windows so you can see out both sides. The ride out to the reef took about 15 minuets. Most of that time we stayed on top to take in the views of Lahaina and photograph it. We watched as two lady divers got ready to jump in. It is their job to find sea creatures to bring to the viewing windows below. The kids on board had a great time seeing what they brought up from the sea floor. Charlie took a lot of great photos, you can see them and read his blog on his website, click here
So there you have it, my story of how I went from photo to painting to an adventure. I hope you enjoyed it.