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Maui Arts League announces workshops for local artists

By Staff | Oct 22, 2015

A Maui honu is “Sunbathing” in this painting by Hiu Lai Chong. Chong will conduct a workshop on Maui from Feb. 9-11.

LAHAINA – Maui Arts League, sponsor of the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational, will host two intensive art workshops in February 2016, each taught by a nationally renowned artist.

To secure a seat, artists and serious art students may enroll now. Classes focus on painting “en plein air,” or in the open air. Teaching artists will demonstrate in oils, but classes are open to all mediums. National level workshops on Maui are an opportunity for our local artists to improve their skills without the added expense of traveling to the Mainland.

On Feb. 9-11, acclaimed artist Hiu Lai Chong, winner of the Best in Show Award at the 2015 Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational event, returns to teach “My Approach to Painting.”

As artists begin projects, they face critical decisions on what to paint and how to paint. Chong will share her process of designing a project from the initial thought through development of the composition.

In onsite plein air paintings, a process to resolve these challenges quickly helps artists capture the mood before light, shadow and weather change. Enrollment is limited to 15 intermediate and advanced artists. The workshop fee is $395.

“Road to the Harbor” by Kenn Backhaus, whose “dappled light” technique is featured on the PBS series “Plein Air, Painting the American Landscape.”

Chong trained in Hong Kong, at Navarre College, and as a fellow at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She honed her style in workshops and classes at The Art League in Alexandria, Virginia. Her home is the Chesapeake Bay area, but she travels and teaches extensively, acclaimed for her portrayal of mood and movement by combining vivid colors with sensitive brush strokes. Her favorite projects are landscapes, figures and portraits.

On Feb. 22-25, Master plein air artist and instructor Kenn Backhaus will conduct a workshop on the fundamentals of outdoor painting. It includes a special step-by-step segment on how to create more dynamic and powerful compositions, plus instruction on painting “dappled light.”

Two days indoors will focus on the landscape painting process, and two more days will allow students to practice painting outdoors on location. He will critique student strengths and weaknesses and provide individualized coaching. Enrollment is limited to 15 intermediate and advanced artists. The workshop fee is $650.

Master artist Backhaus is in demand as a nationally acclaimed plein air artist and instructor. Featured in a PBS series called “Plein Air, Painting the American Landscape,” he now hosts an HDTV 13-week series called “Paint and Pallette,” the next generation of art on public television. Backhaus studied art at Layton School of Art in Milwaukee. As a successful illustrator, he has won many national awards, including acceptance in the 30th annual Society of Illustrators Show in New York City.

Since 1984, he has worked in his passion: painting en plein air. He has served as president of the Plein Air Painters of America and is a Master Signature Member of both the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society.

For information, visit www.mauipleinairpainting.org, e-mail AnnPistillo@me.com or call (808) 214-9973.