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I have a long history in Hawaii, having been sent as a graduate student in 1964 to live on Mauna Kea and do site testing for what turned out to be one of the world's greatest observatories. In the last two decades I've had an invitation to teach at the University of Hawaii Hilo Campus, which gives me painting time around the Big Island of Hawaii. (See also "Hawaii Scenic" gallery). I show paintings at the wonderful "Volcano Art Center," located 100 yards or so from the park visitor center in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The Hawaiian Islands were built by volcanism. Maui still has its enormous eroded crater, Haleakala, and the Big Island of Hawaii has several sites of active and/or dormant volcanism. The beauty of the topography and flowering plants, set against the rugged lavas and active vents, makes for some of my favorite painting locations. Everywhere you look there's another painting motif. (Motif is a favorite word of mine, being the term the French impressionists used to indicate not just the physical subject, but rather the subject at it appears under the specific conditions: time of day, lighting, season, weather, current circumstances.)

761 Kilauea Skies

749 HAWAII Kilauea Eruption June2012

761 -- Kilauea Skies (1972 lava flow 39 years later). (Copyright William K. Hartmann).
749 -- Kilauea Eruption June 2012. (Copyright William K. Hartmann).

706.5 - Dinner by the Volcano.

705.5 - Kilauea eruption, seen from the Mauna Loa Road.

706.5 -- Dinner by the Volcano. Kilauea is a very civilized volcano!  The Volcano House, one of the grand old hotels of our national parks, is perched on the rim of Kilauea Crater (see painting #629).  It’s a favorite spot of mine.  The dining room offers a panoramic view of Kilauea and the smaller pit crater, Halemaumau, on its floor, which has been erupting in 2008-9.   I made sketches at the hotel and completed the painting the next day. (Incidentally, the “.5" added to the painting number appears when I sometimes slip up and omit a painting from my numbering system, and have to insert it later between two other paintings!) (2009.) (Copyright William K. Hartmann).
705.5 -- Kilauea eruption, seen from the Mauna Loa Road. The Mauna Loa Road is a leafy, bucolic road that winds up the slope of Mauna Loa, above the main part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  In 2009, I drove up there to paint a view of the 2008-9 eruption cloud, as seen across the forested slopes.  The subtle cloud colors are fascinating.  The lower parts of the cloud may have tannish tones from ash and/or sulfur compounds, depending on the emissions of the moment.  But hot masses rich in water vapor would rise and condense into bright white cumulus clouds in the cooler air aloft. (2009.) (Copyright William K. Hartmann).

689 - Halemaumau eruption.

642 - Among the steaming vents

689 --  Halemaumau eruption. This shows the 2008 eruption in the pit crater Halemaumau, as seen from a hiking path on the rim of Kilauea.  The cloud of steam and smoke is so hot and concentrated that it keeps expanding as it drifts in the wind, and as more and more water vapor condenses into cloud droplets.  It is impressive from this distance of about ½ mile, but even more impressive from 2 or 3 miles away! (2008.) (Copyright William K. Hartmann).
642 --  Among the steaming vents. The “steaming bluffs” area in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is a long term attraction in the park.   Sulfurous-smelling steam clouds issue from fractures that lace this field, not from from he Volcano Art Center.   The 14,000 foot Mauna Loa volcano looms in the background. (2006.) (Copyright William K. Hartmann).

629 - On the Kilauea Rim.

494 - The beach at Halape, afternoon

629 -- On the Kilauea Rim. This is a view across the lava-covered floor of Kilauea crater toward the Volcano House hotel, perched in the distance on the far rim.  The clouds on the north horizon are very typical as we are looking from the Kilauea summit across the rainy windward side of the island. (2005.) (Copyright William K. Hartmann).
494 -- The beach at Halape, afternoon. This camp spot is at the end of a long hiking trail down a cliff in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Some years back, several Boy Scouts were killed here when an earthquake dropped the beach about three feet and produced a tidal wave that created the bay seen here. Started from nature, finished in the studio. (1998.) (Copyright William K. Hartmann).

375 - Eucalyptus trees of Hale Pohaku, on Mauna Kea. 340 - Steam Plume from the Kalapana Lava Flow Entering the Sea, Late Afternoon, Hawaii
375 -- Eucalyptus trees of Hale Pohaku, on Mauna Kea. This grove is on the grounds of the dormitory complex for Mauna Kea Observatory on the island of Hawaii. Painted from nature. (1993.) (Copyright William K. Hartmann).
340 -- Steam Plume from the Kalapana Lava Flow Entering the Sea, Late Afternoon, Hawaii. Close to this spot, the Kalapana flow of the 1980s and 90s flowed across and blocked the coastal highway of Hawaii, and then flowed a few hundred meters further into the sea. For some years, the flow has continued underground, still emptying into the sea beyond and below the cliff-coastline in this view. From beyond the cliff, a huge plume of steam rises from the spot where the molten lava hits sea water. Painted from nature. (1991.) (Copyright William K. Hartmann).

307 - In the summit caldera of Haleakala Crater, Maui

307 -- In the summit caldera of Haleakala Crater, Maui. Cinder cones, flowers, and lava flows present a beautiful and varied landscape crossed by hiking trails in Haleakala. The green slopes of the caldera rim are in the distance. Painted from nature. (1986.) (Copyright William K. Hartmann).


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