Reflections on Pele

Earth, Air, Fire and Water I Earth, Air, Fire and Water II Earth, Air, Fire and Water III Loihi Rising (Pele 1) Pele II Pele III Pele IV Pele IX Pele V Pele VI Pele VII Pele VIII (Halemaumau)

Pele is the Hawaiian word for volcano; more specifically, an embodiment of the elemental potency intrinsic to the volcano. These paintings are a few of an ongoing series inspired by my over thirty years of observing the active Volcanos of Hawaii. I first saw an eruption of Kilauea in December of 1970, and since then have seen her many times. In March of 1984, I witnessed a major eruption of Mauna Loa and Pele's flight to Kilauea.

The material transformation and powerful electromagnetic flux generated by an eruption can have spectacular effects on atmospheric conditions, and in Hawaii where Pele often flows to the ocean the dynamics of earth, air, fire and water can be truly wondrous. The qualities of light, color and form change constantly and can be both dramatic and subtle simultaneously.

These paintings are impressions of the infinitely varied interactions of light, color and form seen through the responses Pele has invoked within me over the years. The perception of Pele as an awesome display of both the creative and descructive potential of nature has engendered in me a very broad range of experiences. From profound and exalted feelings of amazement and wonder to, an a few occassions, absolute terror.