About Shay Niimi Wahl

Artist's Statement

“The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
Where morning dawns, where evening fades,
You call forth songs of joy.” (Psalm 65:8)

Though it’s not possible to capture at once all the beauty that surrounds me, I’m satisfied to express praises and thanksgiving to the Creator, one painting at a time.


About the Artist

Hi, I’m Shay! Here is a little bit about me.

The once-thriving sugar plantation town of Paauilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii, is where I grew up. Except for the first years in Honolulu, it was country upbringing that made me aware of the beauty and diversity of the island that I tried to copy in drawings and simple paintings.

Upon retirement from a career in teaching, I began life as a full-time artist. I had already found favor in the traditional Chinese style of gongbi painting on silk, and later applied the method to paper as well.

I paint with watercolor and sumi on silk and paper, always beginning with the traditional Asian method of gongbi, which is meticulous detailed painting. I add to it the spontaneous style of xieyi, resulting in a combination of styles and also a combined flavor of east and west. That is what it’s like to live in Hawaii, known as the melting pot of the Pacific where many cultures meet and mix.

My paintings are a reflection and appreciation of the beauty found in nature. They are in galleries on the island, including my humble studio and on this website, and have found beautiful homes locally and worldwide.

Art is in my soul and spirit. It inspires me to paint my beautiful surroundings to my heart’s content, and also to inspire others to do the same. I offer small group workshops to adults who want to learn how I paint, or to just get started in painting. It gives me great pleasure to see creative energy happen.

I live in Waikoloa Village with my happily retired and very supportive husband Ric, and Hoku, our sweet Border Collie.

Thank you for visiting.



I would love to hear from you!

Email: shaywahlarts@hawaii.rr.com


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2017 Workshops

April 17 and 19 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Lily/Lotus)

April 24 and 25 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Lily/Lotus)

May 8 and 9 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Cherry Blossoms)

May 22 and 23 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Poppies)

June 19 and 20 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Gladiolus)

June 26 and 27 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Peonies)

July 17 and 18 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Silk Fan/More Peonies)

July 24 and 25 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Lotus and Kingfisher)

October 16 and 23 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Roses and Bluebird of Happiness)

November 13 and 20 – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Lotus)

November 27 and December 4 Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Lotus)

January 5 and 8 (2018) – Chinese Brush Painting Workshop (Angel’s Trumpet)

About the Instructor

To encourage art in the community, Shay offers watercolor classes in the style that has become her signature, a blend of the traditional Eastern gongbi (meticulous) and xieyi (spontaneous) styles with Western materials and influences. Shay’s teaching background complements her artistic talents to inspire her students to become independent artists.

Thank you for your interest in Shay’s art.