Located at the eastern end of the Ko’olau Valley in Haleakala crater on the island of Maui, at an altitude of approximately 6,400 feet, Palikū is situated at the top of the Kaupo Gap, a deep gorge which runs down the side of Mount Haleakala to the ocean. It is an ancient site which was known to the early Hawaiians - the word palikū translates  as summit of a sea cliff, and on a clear day the Island of Hawaii is clearly visible to the to the south.


This is an area of ever-changing atmospheric effects, and such views are apt to be fleeting as clouds and fog often roll over the great vertical cliffs behind to the north and east immersing the valley in dense fogs, mists, half-lights and a wide range of ever-changing colors and atmospheric effects.


In contrast to much of the crater, Palikū is wetter and therefore more lush and green most of the year. The effects of light and atmosphere are most dramatic, albeit highly variable from one moment to the next, and this was the motivation for the series of paintings.