Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Island Road, on being "Lucky" in Kauai

6"x12" oil painting titled "Island Road", awaiting a new home...
Painting can be purchased for $185 plus $6 s/h: from the artist, Jenny Floravita

I've just returned from an intense three week hiatus from my studio. For the middle two weeks of March I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Kauai. "Lucky" is really the word that I used most often when counting my blessings, along with "fortunate" and also "hard working". Those words were spoken a lot when I realized that there weren't a lot of other people in the age range my husband and I are in or younger touring the island without their parents checkbooks visibly paying for the trip. What this means is that our generation just isn't enjoying the luxury of Kauai right now due to the times. We also didn't see very many families with children. And though we are not immune from what is going on, we are in fact directly effected as Itwrite, I felt thankful for what we could experience.

While in Kauai we noticed that a few of our favorite dining spots including a 20-year established Thai restaurant and a lovely and elegant lunch place with a breath taking view of Bali Hai had gone out of business or were slated to close. We also noticed that the Guava Kai Plantation closed. As we drove around the island hoping to stop in familiar haunts we soon began to wonder which establishments were also closed. Other businesses that we frequented had moved or consolidated. A favorite breakfast joint (which was closed for lunch) teamed up with a dinner place that was closed for breakfast. Now the two businesses could share the rent more efficiently.

Last year I was "lucky, fortunate, hard-working" enough to be on Oahu a couple times so it's actually been two years since we had visited Kauai. So many stark changes in terms of business but the island will persist in it's beauty and Aloha no matter what. The people will re-build their businesses in new times to come and many will prosper soon if they aren't prosperous right now.

And this isn't to say that the island is in tough times because many still do well, I just couldn't help but be moved by the visible changes that I saw when we hoped to visit restaurants, shops and businesses that we looked forward to. Behind each one of those businesses are working people and that's my main point.

My time in the islands is essential to my life's work. It re-connects me to the subjects that inspire my paintings and I look forward to being a patron of the island as a way of thanks for the inspiration it provides for my work. Traveling to the islands is not a vacation but a journey that takes me to my next body of work as an artist. Now that I am back in California, I am preparing for my spring and summer festivals where I will hear countless professionals in lucrative careers tell me that I am so "lucky and fortunite" to be able to do what I do. Some will also understand that "hard working" is also a factor in my success as an artist.

To see more, please visit my websites: www.floravitalights.com
and www.floravita.com

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