I print the lino block onto watercolor paper and after the ink has dried I sketch in pencil the tapa design. Then I begin water-coloring the background.

As I work my way around the image with watercolor I'm choosing colors that are earthy and rich. My pallet follows the natural colors of jasper red and celadonite green.

I choose the colors inside the figure to feel like ti leaves that are in different stages of dryness. I want it to remind the viewer of dried ti leaf pa'u skirts as they rustle with the movement of the dancer.


Lino is the process of pressing a carved, surface inked, linoleum block to dry paper. It is burnished from the backside of the paper onto the inked block to transfer the ink to paper. A hand pulled print is considered an original and is given an edition number like 1/20. One represents the first print of an edition of twenty prints. Usually the date of printing is indicated on the right of the print with the artist's signature. There are as many styles of lino block printing as there are artists who print lino. My particular style has no graininess typical of lino. The images are sharp and black which gives them a particular look and feel not wholly unlike pop art. I have altered these lino prints with watercolor. When an artist modifies a print after it has been pulled from the block it is considered Altered.


The altered print is almost ready for ink illustration. At this stage the print looks it's most natural but I want it to pop. At this point of the process I always question if I need to ink it in with pen.

Tapa Nude finished with illustration. It appears old but still has a pop quality of definition because of the final illustration in ink.