The 'Uli 'Uli are colorful gourd rattles used in certain hula dances. The gourd is hollowed out and ali'i poe seeds are put inside to make the rattle sound. Decorative red feathers surround a yellow feather center, making the 'Uli 'Uli one of the most recognizable hula instruments.
This week's piece depicts two dancers who become one with the instrument. I wanted the entire painting to embody the sensual feathers of the 'Uli 'Uli. The dancers are a flurry of red and yellow, as their skirts, hair, and skin become the instrument. The concept seemed perfect for the second installment in the abstract hula series.
The 'Uli 'Uli instrument:
This week's piece:
"'Uli 'Uli" by Renee Coates. Oil on canvas, 6" x 6".
Creating a painting a week can result in artist's block sometimes... so I decided to venture into something new. The next few weeks will be dedicated to an abstract hula series, in which I'll focus on shapes, color, movement, and feeling. Usually my artistic process involves detailed sketches and precise painting. I tend to 'color in the lines'... which works for me, but lately I've been wanting to think outside the box.
'Hula Girl Twirl' is the first in the abstract series, playing with vibrant color and raw emotion. It's not about proportion or realism... it's about capturing a feeling. I hope you enjoy this series as I explore a different side to my artwork.
'Hula Girl Twirl' by Renee Coates. Oil on canvas, 6" x 6".