ōhi‘a lehua, Kelly Leahy Radding, hawaiian flowersōhi’a lehua
Metrosideros polymorpha

opaque watercolor on dyed calfskin vellum
8″ x 10″
$1800.00

The plants and birds of Hawaii have captured my heart and my mind. I know that I will be painting them for many years to come. The endangered species are especially tugging at my heartstrings for obvious reasons. The ōhiʻa lehua tree is a food source for many of the birds including the endemic honeycreepers. The common color is red, but this beautiful salmon variety at Limahuli Garden (find the actual name) was asking to be painted. The ōhiʻa lehua grows in the lava fields, in the rainforests and on the top of the mountains. Sometimes you come upon the tree in a dark area of the forest with the Hawaiian sun filtering through to create shimmering highlights on the leaves and flowers. I chose to paint it with opaque watercolor on dyed goatskin vellum to try and capture that feeling.

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