While painting was her first love, music became equally important. Two years after the Alberta government aired a documentary on her work as an artist, she laid aside her career in painting to pursue musical studies. Artist and musician, Leohone holds a Master of Arts degree from Norwich University in Vermont and a Fellowship degree in Organ Performance from Trinity College of Music, London, England. From 1982 onwards, she performed organ recitals extensively across Canada and the Western U.S. until she retired from the concert scene to Hawaii in 1989. Once settled, she inevitably found her way back to her first love and has answered her call to paint.
Leohone is the hanai daughter of Paulie Keakealani Jennings, Executive Producer of the World Invitational Hula Festival, E Ho’i Mai I Ka Pika Hula. She is presently the Organist/Choirmaster at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in downtown Honolulu and the Choral Director for the Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club Chorale. She paddles with Anuenue Canoe Club in Waikiki.
“People Painter” since early childhood, Hawai’i artist LeoHone began this Hawaiian cultural series, ‘Ike Ho’omaopoopo, in 1999. The series depicts a present day Hawaiian person exhibiting a Hawaiian cultural skill, together with the spirit of the person who passed on this skill. This mentor may be a brother,sister,mother,father,grandfather,grandparent, teacher,friend or someone else. By putting this spirit image in the painting, LeoHone is, as she says, ‘Just painting an influence.”
“…No, not ghost. Spirits perhaps…
Spirit or ghosts? And the difference?
I think of a ghost’ as a shadowy vestige of something that once existed but now gone- and I think of a ‘spirit’ as the full- fledge essence of something that is still very much alive and vibrant. One can be filled with the ghost of something.
So it matters to me. I do not paint ghosts. However, I do paint spirits-the spirits of whomever passed on the cultural skill- and those spirit figures can be representative of dead or living people.