I believe a painting holds something of the energy of where and when it was created, and in that case, this painting is special. I have been hiking through Haleakala Crater with my family since I was a child, and when we cross the Crater floor, there is an area where we pass closely through two cinder cones that seem to hold every color that can be fired out of the Earth.
"I am in this landscape as I put brush to paper. My love of this place, its silence, the crater wind, all find their way into the intention of each brushstroke."
We would often make this our lunch spot. I always feel conflicted about where exactly to stop and rest, though. Right in the narrow pass between the cinder cones you have the closest view of Pele's cinder painting, but a little further in either direction on the trail, you have some of the most expansive views of the Crater. Nearby there is also Kawilinau, or Bottomless Pit. This is a vertical lava tube that extends deep into Haleakala. Hawaiians consider the summit of mountains to be sacred. They are piko, or belly buttons, and serve as connections to their spiritual source. Thus, a newborn's umbilical cord is also special, and was often brought to Kawilinau. This place is the piko within the piko. Haleakala Crater is one of the quietest places on the planet, and this place seems to hold a subtle yet powerful vibration. Perhaps it is just that I am for once somewhere silent. I bring this quiet inside of me, and I carry it with me later when I return to the outside world. I come here to stop, listen, breathe, and remember gratitude.
This time, as I stopped here, my eyes fell on the trail just ahead, leading to Pele's Paintpot. I knew I had several papers prepared to create a vertical triptych. I could see the painting already. The trail winding among the cinder colors and native kupaoa, a close relative of the silversword. The cinder colors as seen both from a distance, and up close. Here is where I would paint. I am in this landscape as I put brush to paper. My love of this place, its silence, the crater wind, all find their way into the intention of each brushstroke. They become a part of the painting.
Maggie T Sutrov
These are the stories of where I paint.