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Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational to offer two art workshops

By Staff | Jan 16, 2014

Billy O’Donnell taught a workshop at the 2011 event.

LAHAINA – The Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational announced the offering of two 3-day workshops led by award-winning artists and oil painters Greg LaRock and Colin Page.

Workshop teachers are selected from the visiting artists from the Mainland. It is an opportunity for aspiring and accomplished artists to learn from these professionals.

The pre-event workshop on Feb. 12-14 with LaRock is designed for oil painters who want to take their paintings to the next level.

LaRock has won numerous awards for his painting excellence, including the $5,000 grand prize at the Easton Plein Air Event in Maryland.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, Drawing and Painting from Long Beach State University.

According to LaRock, “If you feel you’ve reached a plateau in your work or are having problems with composition, values and simplification, then this workshop can help.

“Focus will be on how to organize elements to create a successful composition, maintaining and supporting a focal point, and how to direct viewers to your area of interest. Further goals are achieving depth and atmosphere, not just by painting what you see, but learning how to make it successful; what works and what doesn’t work; simplification – understanding the importance of large masses, finding them and maintaining them; the importance of edges – what they are and how they will benefit you; color temperature and values – when and where to use them; how to take the three-dimensional landscape you see and turn it into a two-dimensional painting, and ultimately, a work of art. I believe a painting needs to be built, and I’ll show my approach to achieve this.”

The post-event workshop with Page on Feb. 24-26 invites artists to learn the essentials of working outdoors.

Page, who received the Artists’ Choice Award at last year’s Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational, studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design and Cooper Union, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2000.

According to Page, “There is a great amount of value found in learning to paint from nature.”

In this workshop, he promises participants will work on painting the landscape onsite. Page will use demonstrations, class discussions and one-on-one time with students to teach paint handling, composition, color and drawing.

“We will do some exercises designed to improve these fundamental skills. We will work on seeing the landscape more carefully and painting more intentionally. Through oil painting, we will learn about the essentials for working outdoors, with the hope of capturing the sense of light in a scene,” he explained.

“We will talk about basics of good picture-making and also the more challenging task of taking an already good painting and making it better. The goal in each class is to create a fun and encouraging environment where we can all help and encourage each other.”

A portion of the funds generated from the workshops and the sale of paintings during the invitational goes to the nonprofit West Maui Cultural Council (WMCC) in Lahaina.

WMCC encourages youths to preserve and promote Hawaiian culture through art. Each year, WMCC awards workshop scholarships and provides art supplies to two high school seniors.

Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to learn firsthand from professional artists about painting techniques and career management.

Space in each workshop is limited to 16; submit the form at www.MauiPleinAirPainting.org. Once the form is received, participants will be contacted by a MPAPI coordinator. Advanced reservations are required; the cost is $395 per person.