It’s Day Three of our Hawaii week. And fasten your seat belts – today we’re visiting with someone with so much energy and love of life that her delightful personality just jumps off the page!
Say hi to Dava Shepherd, of TreasuresfromHawaii.
FK: Aloha Kakahiaka, Dava. I must have my coffee in the morning. What are you having?
I drink chocol8 soy milk in the morning with some yogurt.
FK: That must be an excellent energy drink because you are involved in so many activities. Let’s list them:
FK: Tell me about the Women Artists of Kauai.
It’s a wonderful, supportive and giving group of women artists founded by my friend, Marionette (featured yesterday here). WAK takes part in art festivals/events all over the island and gives back a portion of proceeds to charity.
FK: Do you live fairly close to Marionette?
I live about mid-way on the island of Kauai in Kapaa.
FK: Are you from Hawaii originally?
FK: How sweet is that!?! So when did you get involved on Etsy?
Funny coincidence in that I opened my shop on 2/10/09 - which also happens to be my birthday - was looking for some kind of fulfillment in life, happiness I'd never experienced in a career(having spent 20+ years in the field of law), and I found my soul's craving in photography...
FK: Since you live in Paradise how do you decide on which subjects to photograph?
It's always been a personal joke to myself to try and figure out my favorite "genre" or "subject"...This changes from one photograph to the next...I'm so passionate about what I do and Nature itself that whatever I'm photographing or editing becomes my favorite at that moment ... I adore photographing rain and things with raindrops or dew on them ... I love chasing a butterfly, rooster, chameleon or bee around for a couple of hours trying to get just the "right shot"...
The ocean has a plethora of never-ending emotion-filled sights(from dark, turbulent and stormy to light splashes of whimsical delight in the waves) ... editing photographs - inverting the colors and seeing what new "Ethereal Series" creation I come up with - I get lost in pure joy! So, I guess, my favorite is the act of being surrounded by Nature and being able to capture even just a fraction of its awe-inspiring essence - it's a gift from God!
8x10 Matted Fine Art Photo - Stained Glass, Kauai, Hawaii
FK: Wow! What a delightful and colorful way to describe the creative process!
There are so many talented, gifted artists/photographers here on Kauai it's like there's something magical in the water! I'm so humbled by others' visions and works - they inspire me to better myself in my own ... My work differs in my vision - it can change from haunting and dark to child-like, breezy and free depending upon my mood ... I also get a kick out of giving my viewers a glimpse of different, unusual parts of Kauai - the worn, antique alley door in Hanapepe; the sarcasm in some of my "Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign" series ... I guess I like to go against the "norm" sometimes - I've always been somewhat of a rebel with a little kid's sense of humor!
FK: I understand that – I’m the same way sometimes. So what are your personal favorites among your own work?
FK: Your Ethereal World series is beautiful! So how do you decide which medium to use for your vision – you do so many different things …
Photography is my main passion and genre - self-taught and constantly learning and improving...However, acrylic painting is fun(also self-taught), have dabbled in watercolors (thanks to the talented guidance of my friend/Kauai artist, Marionette) and I enjoy gathering treasures from Kauai's shores to cre8 my "Beach-in-a-Bottle"/"Message-in-a-Bottle" gift vials/pendant-charms and hand-embellished photo matting...
FK: I love those little bottles! With all that activity you must have some moments when you have to go to your “quiet place” to rest, refresh, meditate. Where do you go?
FK: Hamsters on the brain! Funny but I know what you mean – my mind is always racing too. What’s most gratifying to you as an artist, and what do you dislike the most?
FK: Amen to that! What do you do when you’re not creating? How do you relax?
When I'm not snapping photos like a fiend (I carry my camera almost everywhere - even to church!) my husband and I take drives all over the island and soak in God's glory ... We end up doing different things like walking on the beach or collecting shells, light hiking or just sitting in our "backyard" where we have views of both Kong and the Sleeping Giant mountains and a huge parcel of untouched land (except when the cows come about once every other month to "mow" the grasses) - Reading is another escape of mine and has been since I was little ... Gardening, I love to get my hands dirty! While living in South Florida I worked at a wildlife sanctuary for about 2 years where I had the blessed experiences of hand-feeding and caring for such animals as tigers, cougars, a black bear, a three-toed sloth, prairie dogs, coatimundis, and so many more, cleaning their cages (hey, you can't complain about cleaning until you've scooped tiger poop!), getting sprayed - from the chin down - by a friendly tiger named Darlene (you've never screamed with simultaneous disgust and delight until a tiger claims you as its own by spraying you!) and witnessing a 4-hour-old llama take its first leaps around its mama ... (sighs in peace at the memories) ...
FK: How absolutely funny and sweet at the same time!
FK: I really must get to Hawaii. What should I not miss seeing?
While visiting Kauai you should experience everything you can! To suggest one thing or place you shouldn't miss is like trying to tell someone about one place or thing not to miss in Disneyworld - you have to soak up the entire experience and then go back and see your own personal top 3 to 5 (or 100 if you're here as a snowbird!) again before you leave! A few of my favorite spots of delight, however, are Spouting Horn, Waimea Canyon/Falls, Opaekaa Falls, westside sunsets, whale-watching during the season and finding monk seals napping when and where you can!
FK: Do you have a favorite Hawaiian saying?
My favorite is Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) - just because the way it sounds makes me smile!
FK: Funny, that’s about the only Hawaiian phrase I've known since I was a kid because my oldest sister’s Marine boyfriend was stationed in Hawaii and taught me that one.
FK: Dava, it has been an absolute pleasure to visit with you today! Didn't I tell you, everyone, how delightful she is?
Dava, tell us about your giveaway.
I will be giving away one free 8x10 of the winner's choice from these three prints:
K: That's a beautiful and generous giveaway. Mahalo, Dava. I truly enjoyed visiting with you!
Here’s how to enter:
I will also pick a second winner to receive a selection of “I’d rather be in Hawaii” bookmarks and/or magnets from me.
You have several opportunities to enter your comments:
1. Enter a comment about your favorite piece of art by the artist.
2. Enter a comment if you signed up to follow her blog (or comment that you already follow)
3. Enter a comment if you signed up to follow her on Facebook and/or Twitter (or comment that you already follow)
4. Enter a comment that you signed up to follow MY blog (or comment that you already follow)
5. Enter a comment that you signed up to become MY Facebook fan (or comment that you already follow)
(And – please – if you say you signed up, be sure that you DID sign up!)
Another island artist will be interviewed each day for the rest of the week. You will need to comment each day if you want to be entered into that day’s drawing. Your comments for this post will NOT carry over to the next day.
NOTE: As the week's giveaways are posted, I will list the ending dates on the right-hand side of my blog under "current contests and giveaways."
Mahalo and good luck. Come back tomorrow to meet yet another artist!