I’ve been very excited about painting on objects lately. As I upgraded from painting skateboards to painting a surfboard, I also finally decided to give my ukulele a little refreshing coat.

I bought this cute little instrument when I was in Indonesia a couple of years ago, and had a shorter period of time where I would actually play it, until it has mostly been hanging out on my wall collecting dust. So I thought it at least deserved to have some homeland vibes. Although I could’ve given it a fair Indonesian upgrade, I actually wanted to take it further back to it’s fatherland; Hawaii. Which color-wise I would say is pretty similar. But, as I started to do my usual research, I was reminded that the state fish of Hawaii is the so called Humuhumunukunukuapua’a! Which, obviously, made me very excited. I listened to a podcast a good while back when they talked about this fish and as I was listening I knew I wanted to include it in a painting at some point. What better point than now?

Another name for it is the Reef Triggerfish or Lagoon Triggerfish, but where’s the fun in that. The literal translation of Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is “triggerfish with the snout of a pig”. Isn’t their version so much better? Not only do they have a wonderful name, they are also pretty cute! It has little teefies and it sometimes makes little grunting noises. On top of these charming features, they are also known to bite swimmers in the area! What more would you want from a fish, really?

I'm painting these lovely fish together with the yellow hibiscus, also called pua aloalo in Hawaiian, a very rare and therefore listed as endangered flower and is the state flower of Hawaii. Don't you also just want to press your little teleportation button and pop up in all these tropical colors?! For now I'm going to have to keep painting and dreaming.