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See famous artists at work in West Maui next month

By Staff | Jan 14, 2016

Lahaina artist Ronaldo Macedo said that the 25 plein air painters participating in the 2016 Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational are among the best in the nation.

LAHAINA – Master artist Kenn Backhaus from Pennsylvania, renowned Colorado artist John Wodark and Maui collectors’ darling Lori Putnam from Tennessee will be in West Maui for the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational on Feb. 13-20, event organizers announced last week.

The public will be able to get up close and watch them paint at several outdoor locations in West Maui.

“En plein air” is a method of painting outdoors on location, quickly capturing a scene before the light or weather changes.

Backhaus hosts an HDTV series called “Paint and Palette” (the next generation of art programming on public television) and is featured in the PBS series “Plein Air, Painting the American Landscape.”

He started his career as an illustrator in New York City and later turned to fine art. This Master Signature Member of both the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society will teach a Maui workshop on Feb. 22-25 for intermediate and advanced artists.


This high-level, three-day workshop, rarely available to artists in Hawaii, costs $700. For information, visit www.MauiPleinAirPainting.org or call (808) 214-9973.

The Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational welcomes Wodark for his Maui debut just after his “Best of Show” win in Laguna’s 11th annual “Best of Plein Air 2015.”

This exciting artist began as a cartoonist and later melded his love of the outdoors with a deep passion for painting in oils.

Wodark is a Signature Member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association and an Artist Member of the prestigious California Art Club.

Putnam calls herself a “contemporary American impressionist,” interpreting and expressing the nuances of character, uniqueness of place, relationships and what she calls “the color of time.” Her many awards and accolades back that up.


She is faculty demonstrator for the annual Plein Air Convention, sharing her skills with over 700 attending artists.

Putnam is returning to Maui this year to delight viewers and collectors with her impressive brushwork, intelligent composition and robust color – attributes that define a “Putnam” original.

Among our local treasure of fine artists is Ronaldo Macedo, revered for his unique real-life impressionism paintings.

The Lahaina artist heads up the “Islanders,” a group of Hawaii-based artists who were instrumental in starting the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational.

In 2008, he won “Best of Show” and in 2015 placed first in the Lahaina Poster Contest.


His early years as a river guide took him to river valleys all over the world. Under the tutelage of Maui’s George Allan, Macedo learned to express a serene harmony and movement of nature that keeps viewers mesmerized.

A crowd of fans will be following Macedo every day of this February event. Lahaina Galleries Inc. sells his prints and original paintings exclusively here and in California.

Visit MauiPleinAirPainting.org for dates, art viewing and purchasing opportunities. For other requests, e-mail Info@MauiPleinAirPainting.org or call Una Somerville at (808) 214-5294.