Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui Arts League to Offer Plein Air Workshops

October 1, 2015, 9:13 AM HST
* Updated October 1, 12:13 PM
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Hiu Lai Chongʻs rendering of a Maui honu, “Sunbathing,” in Lahaina. Chong will be conducting a workshop on Maui, Feb. 9-11. Photo provided by

Hiu Lai Chongʻs rendering of a Maui honu, “Sunbathing,” in Lahaina. Chong will be conducting a workshop on Maui, Feb. 9–11, 2106. Photo provided by Maui ARTS League.

Enrollment is now open for artists and serious art students interested intensive plein air workshops to be offered in February 2016, hosted by the Maui Art League.

The Maui Arts League is the sponsor of the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational.

The two workshops will will focus on painting en plein air, or in the open air; one will be taught by nationally renowned artist Hiu Lai Chong and the other by plein air master Kenn Backhaus.

The teaching artists will demonstrate in oils, but classes are open to all mediums.

National level workshops on Maui are an opportunity for local artists to improve their skills without the expense of traveling to the Mainland.


Acclaimed artist Chong, winner of 2015 Best in Show award at the 2015 Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational event, will return to teach “My Approach to Painting” on Feb. 9, 10 and 11. 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 on-site 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.

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. She is acclaimed for her portrayal of mood and movement by combining vivid colors with sensitive brush strokes. Her favorite projects are landscape, figures and portraits. Fine Art Connoisseur and Plein Air Magazine hailed Chong, who received first place in Southwest Art Magazine’s 2014 “Artistic Excellence Competition.”

“Road to the Harbor” by Kenn Backhaus whose “dappled light” technique is featured on a PBS series, “Plein Air, Painting the American Landscape. Backhaus will be teaching in Lahaina, Feb. 22–25. Photo provided by Maui ARTS League.

Master plein air artist and instructor Backhaus will conduct a workshop on the fundamentals of outdoor painting from Feb. 22 through 25. The session will include 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 additional days will allow students to practice painting outdoors on location.

Backhaus 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, “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 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.

Backhaus served as president of Plein Air Painters of America and is a Master Signature Member of both the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society.

To register oor more information, visit, email [email protected] call (808) 214-9973.

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