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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts I am painting in RUM..so I can drink my brush cleaner!!!!
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I am painting in RUM..so I can drink my brush cleaner!!!!
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 30, 2004
Posts: 610
Posted: 2008-05-10 11:35 am   Permalink

ALoha All...

This is a quick thread to introduce, informally one of my latest experiments in artistic mayhem!! It started by accident..but has become my new sorta signature series endeavors. Some of my neiboring artists in Hawaii that are painters...Lassen and Wyland do this thing where they do fairly quick Chinese brush and ink paintings of dolphins and simple sea creatures in swooping lines. Basically..something that can be done in 15 minutes or less. Visitors at some of my signings have asked me why I don't offer this as well. It allows for someone to own a small original piece for a more affordable price. Well...first of all, I thought, I like this, but am not going to be a copy cat and emulate any artist. That's a bore!! However, I recalled something I did once by accident..that turned out pretty cool! This could be my answer to the challenge!

Those who know me know I love my rum. I have been known to sip a fine rum as I paint at the end of a long day. One day, I made the mistake of dipping a brush into a fine mug of sipping rum. It was a Lemon Hart I think. Not a bad rum to sip. Well, this brush that I wanted to have full of water to blend an area of acrylic washes drenched my canvas with a golden brown, sweet smelling splash of magic. I though..wow..this is a beautiful, subtle golden brown. I was horrified at ruining my rum, but delighted at the idea of making good use of my tainted drink.

Fast forwarding...I experimented with rum as a sort of "Ink." I found that I could light a Demerara 151 rum in a Sake cup and as it burned, I would do a fast, light pencil sketch on watercolor paper. The rum would reduce in volume and darken in color. It also left a wonderful caramelized residue on the inside of the cup I could pull my brush into for the darkest brown accents in my sketch. So..by the flickering glow of rum on a cool spring night..I painted. I am having a ball!!! (yes..I do drink a little of my "ink"..to justify my investments in the finer rums!!

We are just about to release a framed series of these under UV glass..all are small..about 11"by 14" unframed. The response has been unbelievable so far..so it looks like this is one of my fun kinna trademark creations. I committed to my publishers to paint as many as possible this month in rum!! We hope to have a good stock for summer. Poor me!!! Everything in my studio smells like rum!! What a true pirates dream!

Anyway, just sharing with my friends here as a sort of first glimpse. Figured you guys would get a kick out of it. Here are a few. I just paint whatever fun thing that comes from my head at the time. In my mind, I imagine being a pirate at sea who paints things he saw on adventures or aboard ship. So..the subject matter is based on this idea. I spray fix them at the end to seal the pieces. The UV protective glass will assure these will not fade over the years.

So..there's my answer to competing with fellow artists in faster brush paintings in Hawaii!! I think it suits me just fine!! If you visit Waikiki this summer..I plan to do a bunch in the gallery and you can wittness the burning event. It will smell like a still in there... but as long as I don't lose my goatee or eyebrows, I should kick out a few fun rum soaked sketches for the eve.

Oh, On a side note. I posted a response to a thread here regarding the closing of the Holakai grill and feelings on the new Beachwalk development in Waikiki. There was a comment or two where some TC'ers were concerned the THOR STOR closed it's doors. Not the CASE!! We just moved to the new area on Lewer's street and if you read the thread comment there it explains our new plans for this season!! LOTS of fun stuff in store!!! We are growing!

Anyway.. I got rum on fire that's just the right color to paint with, so I better get goin!!...see ya around soon!! some rum sketches below!!! Tiki's and more pirates coming soon! Check out my MYSPACE page for better pictures...it's @

[ This Message was edited by: THOR's 2008-05-10 11:43 ]

[ This Message was edited by: thor's 2008-05-11 12:30 ]

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Tiki Shark Art
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3894
Posted: 2008-05-10 12:49 pm   Permalink

Yo ho yo ho, a pirate's palette for me....!
Thor that's a great idea! The sketches have a nice loose energy and have a (dare I say) cool Disney pirates of the Caribbean Look. Like those fantastic old Marc Davis sketches. Really really cool! How much are they going for?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 30, 2004
Posts: 610
Posted: 2008-05-10 1:28 pm   Permalink

HEY OL' BUD!! How's life on the Big Isle???

I noticed the similarity to Marks drawings from the 50's and 60's. I think it's party because you rarely see pen and ink sketches anymore with washes. It gives a feeling of more old world techniques. Of course..all anyone has to do these days is think of a pirate and we connect it to Disney. LOL!

We are a few weeks away from releasing this little series. I don't believe the final prices have been set yet so I will defer that question to Max..who holds the torch for the Thor program and helps me set prices. I am keeping the subject matter really simple and fun. Stay tuned for prices... The new website will be up and running in a matter of days too. Looking forward to seeing you and all your great new stuff soon!! We will be at Oasis for sure!


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2005
Posts: 650
From: Amesbury, Mass
Posted: 2008-05-10 3:44 pm   Permalink

This is realy cool. I am amazed that you can achieve such rich depth of color. As always your style and imagination prevails. One question that I have is the permanence of the color, I wonder if the originals will fade at a more rapid than 'normal' pace.
Looking forward to the series. Thanks soo much for the sneak preciew Thor.
Yo ho ho, they be mighty fine!
Madd Jon Kidd

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Robb Hamel
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 07, 2008
Posts: 1013
From: Ohio
Posted: 2008-05-10 4:28 pm   Permalink

Double Rock On! The sepia tone is very appropriate for the retro style. You have forged new, cooler (and marketable) turf.

This reminds me of when I got a graphite look from black acrylic by adding detergent. My motto: EXPERIMENT OR DIE.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 30, 2004
Posts: 610
Posted: 2008-05-10 5:23 pm   Permalink

Hey thee Mad Jon!!

As far as fading. What fades a pigment is ultra violet light. Rum may not fade even in UV light. However, to make sure these are preserved just as a fine watercolor would be, we will be placing these in frames and behind a high quality Ultra violet screening glass. It's what they use to protect an art piece or photo from fading. I also use a high quality artists fixative/sealer to the final image to set the pigment and pencil lines. So..these things will probably outlast the Moai on Easter Island!! LOL!! Thanks for the enthusiasm!!!!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4284
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2008-05-10 5:46 pm   Permalink

Hey mate, long time no see! As always, anything you turn your hand to turns to gold! (although maybe not that first glass of rum! ). I must admit, this thread does explain a LOT about your creativity! These are sweet pieces of art, hoping the budget allows for one when they come up for sale. How about some vintage tiki bar type pieces (like old menu cover art)? More than definitely goes with the rum soaked theme, and the tiki heads will snap them up too!

Make sure you post more!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 03, 2007
Posts: 267
Posted: 2008-05-10 5:51 pm   Permalink

WOW those are great to see. What a great way to paint! Look forward to seeing more of these from you.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 10, 2007
Posts: 528
From: San Diego CA
Posted: 2008-05-10 6:59 pm   Permalink

awesome idea thor! they all look killer, and im sure they taste just as good!, haha

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 30, 2004
Posts: 610
Posted: 2008-05-10 7:25 pm   Permalink

Hey Hewey!! YES!! Long time no chat!!! I miss ya buddy!! I need to see what your creativity is brewing lately! Great quote you have here from Sven regarding good taste and art!! The great thing about painting in rum is that no matter what you create..if you scratch, sniff and take a lick of it..it always has GOOD TASTE!!(smell too) ARR ARRR You predicted that right Tiki Thomas!!

Thanks Kahu...I will keep up the monkey shines. Painting with this medium is a wee bit nonsense, I know. However..recall what the first Willy Wonka said, "A little nonsense now and then is brandished by the wisest men". Cheers!!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7930
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-05-10 9:01 pm   Permalink


( nice head!!!)

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 30, 2007
Posts: 47
Posted: 2008-05-12 07:52 am   Permalink

Wow these are cool - do you ever catch your brushes on fire?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 30, 2004
Posts: 610
Posted: 2008-05-12 2:55 pm   Permalink

YES!! Several times!! But they are ok!! It's like having a tiny Tiki torch that needs to be extinguished is all. It doesn't hurt the fibers at all... I am working on a fire eating routine as I paint!! lol I am hoping MArina can help me with that!!!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2003
Posts: 1795
From: Boise, Idaho
Posted: 2008-05-12 8:32 pm   Permalink

Mighty fine sketches in rum!

Good work!


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 30, 2006
Posts: 1530
From: Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Posted: 2008-05-13 12:44 am   Permalink

Rum-markable! (groan)

*When a great idea meets a bit of talent and enthusiasm, you've got a winner!

I remember reading an article years ago about this strange goth/wizard artist who painted with his own blood (pretty cool stuff actually and very 'apt' for his style/subject matter - as is your own rum/pirate flavour..), but I know which Id rather take home.. Well done for finding a quick money-spinner/people-pleaser too, Im a fulltime artist and can fully appreciate that.

Best of luck with them!


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