Halemaʻumaʻu Dusk

2015

As daylight fades on the south rim of Kilauea caldera, I watch events at the volcano’s summit unfold. Halemaʻumaʻu’s magnificent plume, dressed in tones of grey by day, transforms into a vigorous mix of crimson, orange and yellow as night falls. Its wild melding of colors evokes wonder and awe. Spellbound, I feel tiny.

Halemaʻumaʻu crater is home to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, and is a wahikapu or sacred place. In March 2008, after twenty-six years of quiet, the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu ruptured, causing explosions but no visible red lava. With time the gas conduit slowly widened, developing into a growing lava lake perched just below the crater’s floor.

Original painting size: 18in. × 24in.