One of the bonuses of my new location on the west coast is closer proximity to Hawaii, the favoured vacation spot among our neighbours. We were very fortunate to be invited to accompany new friends recently on a two-week visit to Kona, on Hawaii's big island. This island's unique black lava environment inspired me to experiment with working on a black ground in acrylics. I have worked on black paper in pastels many times, but for some reason have never tried underpainting in black for other media. Here are some results of my exploration. I was quite pleased with the effect and will perhaps work some of these small studies up into larger works this winter.