Christian Enns stands in front of Barela Gallery. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BARELA GALLERY)
A painting by Christian Enns. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BARELA GALLERY)
Hawaii is one of the world’s most beautiful locations. Through oil and resin, Hawaii Island artist Christian Enns manages to capture its serene landscapes and historical landmarks in his signature work. A surfer and world traveler, Enns developed his style while studying art in more than 20 countries.
“I got started with my appreciation of light,” said Enns. “When I was young I started surfing in Santa Barbara and would admire the view of the cliffs and watch how the sun would set and how the waves would come in. That really got me inspired to try and capture that experience.”
This Friday, October 4 from 6 to 8 p.m., Barela Gallery hosts an evening event entitled “ENNS — Finding Paradise, Puako Big Island of Hawaii,” showcasing the emerging artist.
“Meet the artist and enjoy wine, pupus and music by Travis Wittmeyer,” said the gallery’s owner Phoebe Barela. “A painting will be offered as a door prize and 2 percent of art sales will benefit the American Cancer Society.”
Though he holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Laguna College of Art and Design, Enns first started painting in junior high school.
“I was taking art class in junior high and the teacher was an avid surfer,” says Enns. “He had both art and surfing going on and I thought that was really great. I started painting in my room at night and began coming up with my own colors. He really encouraged me. I wasn’t that great at drawing but he said, ‘Just keep painting.’ So I stuck with it and now 25 years later I’m really having a great time with it. It feels great.”
Currently residing in Puako, the artist brands his art “ENNS” and creates contemporary oil paintings and resin on panels, in a variety of sizes. Enns’ art is a reflection of the landscapes and historical landmarks around Puako. Structures such as the Holukoa Church, the General Store, beach shacks and picturesque beaches.
“I focus on things closest to my heart — things that I love the most,” said Enns. “I have created a show of art representing my experience in Puako. It’s a story of light and appreciation for the natural beauty of the environment here on the Island of Hawaii.”
“Living in Puako, I paint the scenes that I see while I enjoying surfing and spending time with my partner,” he said. “It got to the point where the scenery was so overwhelming, I just had to paint it. The series I just finished is of 14 different shacks here in Puako. These little shacks keep getting torn down while big houses keep getting put up. This show is predominately the older landmarks that have a lot of history.”
Enns says the Puako paintings are a moment captured in time.
“The purity of simple shacks and calm, empty beaches offers a window into the past,” he adds. “It’s a reflection on what was, and at the same time, focuses our attention on the current beauty of Puako.”
In addition to ENNS artwork, the show debuts a video release on the artist and his art leading up the show. The HD mini-documentary, “ENNS – Paints Hawaii,” is by Kona videographers Al Ronzio and Janet Fisher and offers an intimate look into the life and style of the artist. Barela Gallery is located at the Shops at Mauna Lani in Kohala. For information, call Barela Gallery at 885-5111.