Blackmore was auditor and Navy officer
"Blackmore" might not have been a famous or even well-known local artist, but those who have his paintings treasure the island scenes the late Navy officer/insurance auditor captured decades ago.
A reader asked if we could find out anything about the artist who painted a scene of two farmworkers tending a garden ("Kokua Line," Jan. 30). It was signed simply "Blackmore."
Friends and colleagues recall William Blackmore as a sweet, unassuming man who painted as a hobby. He died in 1976. No relative is known to be living in Hawaii.
Patricia Bost, who now lives in Tacoma, Wash., e-mailed to say she believed she met Blackmore selling his paintings at the Honolulu Zoo art fence in 1967.
"As I was a poor, young, single girl, I couldn't afford his paintings, but there were some beautiful scenes of the Windward side and other areas," she said. Bost said she also liked a picture painted by his daughter, Judy.
COURTESY TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
A farm scene painted by Bill Blackmore. CLICK FOR LARGE
LuVerne Buchele of Honolulu said she and her husband purchased a Blackmore painting at the zoo fence in the 1970s. It shows the no-longer-standing Piikoi Market. "We called it the banana store," Buchele said.
We checked with the Honolulu Zoo Fence Art Mart, but it had no information or record about Blackmore.
Yukio Ota, a retired insurance auditor living in Manoa, then called to say he believed the artist in question was Bill Blackmore, a retired Navy commander whom he met when Blackmore worked for the Hawaii Insurance Rating Bureau (now known as Hawaii Insurance Bureau).
He recalled Blackmore telling him that "he always had requests to have a drawing of Mount Olomana," so "he drew quite a number" of the Windward landmark.
Ota also has a Blackmore: "He drew something for me, poking fun at me as being the best-dressed auditor in Hawaii."
Ota suggested we contact Terri Pang and Kathleen Sansone, who worked with Blackmore.
Pang, now with Island Insurance, said he was her supervisor at the rating bureau from 1973 to 1976. She remembers him dying in 1976.
He "was the sweetest guy," she said. She also confirmed he had a daughter named Judy.
Pang has a painting of Mount Olomana painted by Blackmore and said she bought one of his seascapes for her mother.
Sansone, a retired senior vice president with the rating bureau, said she knew Blackmore well because she hired him as an auditor and they rode into work together "many, many times" from their homes in Kailua.
She recalled "his nickname was 'Shacky' because he liked to paint shacks."
Blackmore painted as a hobby and had no formal training as a painter, she said.
"My house is full of his paintings" -- about 10 of them -- "which I now treasure," Sansone said.
Meanwhile, we still have not been able to find any information about artist Vic Wiggington.
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