Cher McMacken

There is something different about Kauai. For me, it is the color-saturated, intense, moving. Red dirt, green straight out of the tube, and blues—which looked unreal when I first painted them—were hard to grasp. My Pacific Northwest palette didn't work at all. The challenge was to paint these new colors the way I felt about them.

Having lived in seven countries, I've experienced how easy it is to move from awesome to familiar to mundane in that place-experience. Yet, how could that happen here . . . the air, the light, the people, the red earth, the sounds, the precious birds, the amazing shapes and color-light reflections. In my quest to be a better artist, I try to see with fresh eyes every time I paint.

My formal training after college and teaching junior high school, was in an excellent fine art program at the Caulfield Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. When asked if I recommend art school, I always answer "if the teacher gives critical evaluation." It is initially more important than technical skills, and crucial to growth. I am still learning as an artist and am blessed to be married to a very good art director who is a gentle critic.