Winds don’t stop creativity at NTBG ‘Paint Our Gardens’ workshop Sunday

PO‘IPU — The strong tradewinds that buffeted the islands over the weekend did not deter the aspiring artists Sunday at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens South shore visitors center.

“We are sold out,” said Marionette Taboniar of the Women Artists of Kaua‘i. “No one canceled and we’re using a lot of duct tape and blue tape to try and keep everything from flying.”

Winds generated by a high pressure north of the Hawaiian Islands prompted the National Weather Service to issue a wind advisory through Tuesday morning for the winds blowing in the 30 mph range with localized gusts up to 50 mph.

Outside of the grassy arena where the “Paint Our Gardens” workshop was held in conjunction with the NTBG ‘Ohana Day, visitors worked around the downed pole beans, toppled by the gusty trades, in the center’s vegetable garden.

But the tents, anchored by strong webbing, kept its occupants seated, the abundance of blue tape punctuating the collection of art supplies lining the tables where students worked.

Joining Taboniar, who offered watercolor painting instruction for tropical flowers, Dawn Lundquist led a group on Plein Air Oil and Patrice Pendarvis anchored her own tent with instruction on watercolor landscapes.

Joan Krech of South Carolina is a returning student, working with Taboniar on watercolor blooms while Lee Reger of West Virginia was working on his first painting.

“I don’t know if I’m going to do anymore after this,” said Reger, who normally shows his creative side by creating dulcimers.

Ironically, Krech has also built a dulcimer (a musical instrument) after taking a class at Clemson University.  

Meanwhile, David Thorpe, the Koloa Public Library librarian, was busy scouring the gardens for his own photogenic subjects, wondering if his photographic gear had the ability to stop flowers blowing in the wind.

Taboniar said the next event scheduled for the Women Artists of Kaua‘i will be the Summer Fine Arts Festival, scheduled for June and coinciding with the NTBG ‘Ohana Day.

“We have two fine art festivals,” Taboniar said. “One is in the summer, and the other is in the winter at NTBG with the proceeds going back to the NTBG.”

Jon Letman of the NTBG publications department said the gardens are currently hosting two accomplished botanical illustrators from New York — Wendy Hollender and Carol Woodin.

Visit for more information on the women artists.

Visit for more information on the National Tropical Botanical Garden.


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