Artist Bill Myrick
Bill Myrick's artistic career began in the Bay area of California where he painted scenes on cars and motorcycles, earning him recognition in six major magazines. While traveling Bill fell in love with Maui and was inspired by the local artists who repeatedly drew him back to the island.
Eventually Bill moved to Maui and began his career as a local artist making candles, wreaths, and night-lights created from the colorful local shells. Bill enjoyed this art form yet it seemed to lack the spark for which he was searching.
One day, while diving in the clear waters of Maui, Bill saw a dark object slowly swimming up from the deep darker waters. Concerned and curious he waited as it approached, then Bill saw it was a "Honu" or Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. As the creature swam up close it showed no fear of him, and Bill saw that the turtle's face and neck were covered with large fleshy nodules.
Bill was deeply touched by their encounter and "felt the spirit" of the Honu. Later he learned that the Green Sea Turtle is under study for these tumors which eventually kill the affected Honu. Bill also studied the spiritual aspect of Hawaiian culture and how it involves the Honu.
Inspired by the encounter Bill wanted to "heal" the turtle and sat down to paint. He painted what he remembered of their meeting but without the tumors. "The painting came from my heart and not from my mind," says Bill. "It was the least amount of time I have ever spent on a painting. It just flowed from my brush." He named the painting Aumakua which means "ancestral spirit."
While the painting was on display Bill noticed a Japanese visitor bowing in front of his painting and asked what the man was doing. He was told that the visitor could feel the spirit in the painting and was showing respect.
As you view Bill Myrick's art, you will sense his reverence for the creatures he portrays in paint and it is hoped that viewers will become more aware of how human actions can have a devastating effect on the natural world. Bill Myrick's mission in life is to use his art to raise awareness of the plight of the Honu, the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. We are happy to report that the number of nesting Hawaiian green sea turtles has increased from 150-300 in 2007 to about 800 in 2022.