Instantly recognizable to those familiar with the location, the village of Kona, traveling along the Kailua River of the Big Island on the southwest slope of the Hualalai Volcano is a beautiful and historically important location. Millard Sheets frequented the Hawaiian Islands with some regularity, and his watercolors of the 50TH state are some of the most unique and colorful of career.
Kona, once a sleepy little fishing village and still holding some of that identity today, evolved through the years into an important port and always a place of such respondent beauty that King Kamehameha I established his royal court here. He is the one who gifted early missionaries with the land where, pictured here, the Moku'aikaua Church stands, its spire rising in the scene well exceed by the flush palm trees. This first Christian church in the islands features spectacular examples of local woodwork and the evolution of the meeting of two diverse faiths.
Locals fish and observe the catch on the Kailua Bank on the Kohala Coast, where Kona literally means ‘calm', as the westerly shores of Hawaii are the more easily navigatable. Layered tones of green applied with broad, sweeping strokes allow the artist to impact distance and depth into the scene, with just a couple of red flourishes to hold the eye, especially with the skirted fishing person. This is a wonderful Hawaiian scene by a premier artist, which came out of the Sheets Family Estate after his passing.
Provenance: The Estate of Millard Sheets, artist.
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