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Local and mainland artists converge for Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational

By Staff | Jan 21, 2010

Larry Moore paints at Kapalua Bay during the 2009 event.

LAHAINA — Beginning Feb. 13, the week-long Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational will bring together 26 top plein air artists from Hawaii and the Mainland to capture Maui’s Upcountry vistas, pristine beaches, majestic mountains and historic towns. 

Hawaii’s premier plein air painting event offers visitors and local residents the opportunity to watch the artists at work, learn about outdoor painting and support art activities in the community.

After painting all over Maui throughout the week, each artist selects three paintings completed during the invitational to be displayed at the Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine Gala Reception on Feb. 19 at The Village Gallery in Lahaina.

The term “plein air,” a French phrase meaning “in the open air,” has long been associated with painting done outdoors directly from nature. This style of painting is often traced back to its first followers in 17th and 18th century Rome, followed by the French Impressionists in the mid- to late 19th century, and then to the California Impressionists in early 20th century America.

To learn more about techniques for painting en plein air, event sponsored workshops by visiting artists Clark G. Mitchell and Ned Mueller will be held before and after the event. Mitchell’s workshop will be held Feb. 9-11, and Mueller’s is set for Feb. 22-24.

“For some artists, the major goal of the workshops will be getting comfortable with the materials and all the unique challenges of painting outdoors,” said instructor Mitchell. “For those used to plein air painting, the challenge will be to try new techniques, such as a liquid under painting to start the scene. I’m looking forward to what participants familiar to the island can show me as well.”

Contact Coordinator Bonnie Fox at bonnie.fox@sympatico.ca for more information on the workshops.

The 2010 Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational will begin with the Kick off Paint Out at D.T. Fleming Beach and Kapalua Bay on Saturday, Feb. 13, from noon to 3 p.m. The artists then spend the week painting on their own and at special events. 

Jean Stern, executive director of the Irvine Museum in Irvine, California, and a recognized authority on California Impressionism, will again be the guest speaker and juror during the event. Stern will present a lecture and slideshow, “American Masters: From Frederic Remington to Mark Rothko,” on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. at the Pioneer Inn in Lahaina.

The Pacific’O Sunset Paint Out at Kamehameha Iki Park on Wednesday, Feb. 17, is another chance to see all the artists in the same vicinity. The artists will gather from 4 to 6 p.m. at the popular beach park next to 505 Front Street to find inspiration in the sunset and beach scene. 

By Friday morning, the 26 artists are faced with a two-hour time limit to finish a painting that will be sold later that evening. The horn sounds at 9 a.m. sharp, and the artists have exactly two hours to complete a painting at the Pioneer Inn Lahaina Harbor Quick Draw.

Three of the best paintings from each artist, plus the Quick Draw painting, will be unveiled at the Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine Gala Reception at The Village Gallery at 120 Dickenson St. in Lahaina from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19. Awards will be given, and art collectors and lovers will have an opportunity to view and purchase the fresh work.

At Coffee and Pastries with the Artists on Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9 to 11 a.m., the artists will replace paintings sold on Friday night, and the public will have one last chance to interact with all of the artists and purchase work from the event at The Village Gallery. The show and sale ends at 9 p.m. that evening.

Host families are an important tradition in plein air painting events, and once again, Maui is welcoming the artists with open arms. Sixteen artists will be staying with families during the one-week event.

“We’re all so well-taken-care-of by our host families,” said Mitchell.

“Maui is spectacular place to paint, from the rugged mountains to the glorious beaches, with dramatic weather playing in and out all day. It’s also a delight getting to know all the terrifically talented artists from the islands.”

This year’s artists include George Allan, Ken Auster, Jacobus Baas, Pierre Bouret, Mark Brown, Jan Bushart, Saim Caglayan, Mike Carroll, Joe Fletcher, Betty Hay Freeland, Darrell Hill, Debra Huse, Carleton Kinkade, Jim Lamb, Ronaldo Macedo, Clark G. Mitchell, Larry Moore, Ned Mueller, Billyo O’Donnell, Colin Page, Macario Pascual, Mary Pettis, Scott Prior, Randall Sexton, Marty Wessler, Mary Whyte and Jean Stern.

The 2010 event is coordinated by Islanders-Hawaii Plein Air Painters, West Maui Cultural Council, and The Village Gallery. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.MauiPleinAirPainting.com.