How to delight a community. Step 1: Take a big stump. Step 2: Paint it for every holiday.

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:40 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If you’re ever in Hawaii Kai, you can’t miss it.

It’s an ever-changing colorful display in the form of tree art.

The tree is more of a stump that’s 8 feet tall and stands along Hawaii Kai Drive ― between the 7-Eleven and Kuapa Isle.

Anna Marie Watkins is the woman behind the art.

She’s lived in Hawaii Kai since 1965 and enjoys brightening up her neighborhood.

“We did Valentine’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day. We painted a green background with a big rainbow and some leprechauns,” said Watkins.

The long-time resident tried to remain anonymous. “I usually try and do it when it’s not very busy outside and there aren’t too many people and I sneak out and do the painting really quickly!”

HNN found out about Watkins on a neighborhood online forum.

Her tree art is the talk of the town with residents saying:

“I look forward to seeing her artwork every holiday!”

“She puts the HAPPY in Hawaii Kai!”

“Your tree stump art makes my day!”

“The amazing giving tree!”

Watkins says she isn’t looking for attention.

“I’m actually embarrassed because I know what the paintings look like,” she said, laughing.

The tree was supposed to be removed by city crews who cut half of it down in 2019. Watkins says she called the city to have them come back to remove the tree but no one ever came.

“So, I thought, why not make a nice decoration on it and maybe that’ll show them they should take it down?” she said.

Little did she know, it was actually the beginning of a new neighborhood tradition.

“Right before Christmas, I did a red and white stripey thing and a sign that said North Pole,” she said. “Now that it’s Halloween, on one side you’ll find Frankenstein and on the other you see the bride of Frankenstein.”

Who knew that something so simple could bring so much happiness to so many?

“I’m just happy it makes them smile,” said Watkins.

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