The Ohia Lehua Tree is common on the Big Island of Hawaii from the coastlines up into the "Alpine" region on the mountains. It is one of the first plants to grow after a lava flow. The blossoms are typically red, but can be yellow, orange or even salmon colored. They are beloved by everyone in Hawaii and important in the native Hawaiian culture. Unfortunately, very recently a disease was introduced to the Big Island called Rapid Ohia Death. Biologists are very concerned about it since it kills a tree within a matter of one month and spreads quickly once established in an area. They are beautiful trees with or without blossoms on them. All the islands are deeply concered by this recent disease.
This image was made with beeswax in a process called Encaustic Image Transfer. Without getting into great detail, it involves burnishing an image into a warm beeswax layer which picks up the pigments from the toner or ink. You then remove the paper by rubbing it while wet until it literally pills away. Eventually you are left with just the image set into the beewax and no paper. The process takes some time and care, but the result is transluscent and soft, appearing to both glow and float above the background layer the wax sits on. The general art of Encaustics is several thousands of years old, dating back to the time of the Greeks. It is a very durable art form, with examples of it having survived in beautiful condition back from its earliest uses.