Hawaii – Maui Plein Air Invitational

February 24, 2018 - Art Sale and Artists' Panel discussion

Maui En Plein Air 2018 Artist list - Leon Holmes

The event is slowly coming to an end.
All artists spent most of the day at the Art Sale, socializing with the audience. Concisely, all is going very well.
For the last hour of todays exhibition, a group of four artists, including Leon, were booked in for an Question & Answer session. Here, each of them shared their ‘story’ of how they became an artist, their journey, artistic career as well as their individual experiences and challenges. This was a free event open to the public and a unique opportunity to pick up tips while talking to some top of the range Plein Air artists at present.

February 23, 2018 - Ka’anapali Quick Draw and Gala Exhibition

Man In The Boat - Leon Holmes

Quick Draw  "Man In The Boat" - 10x12"

Four best paintings for Gala - Leon Holmes

Leon's pick for the 'Art to Heart’ Gala & Art Sale

Gala Evening - Leon Holmes

The Gala Exhibition Night

Leon Holmes and Jennifer Diehl

Leon and "Best in Show 2018" winner Jennifer Diehl

At 9 a.m. this morning the Ka’anapali Quick Draw started off at Hanaka’o’o Park and its immediate vicinity. This was a timed event where artists had only two hours to start and compete a painting, while the public was watching over their shoulders. The location, also commonly referred to as Canoe Beach, offered great imagery for the artists. The colourful activity on the beach was just what Leon captured in his Quick Draw called "Man In The Boat", not long after marked by a red dot. By noon, all paintings had to be framed and were taken to The Royal Lahaina Resort Ballroom for presentation.
The rest of the afternoon Leon and some  other artist finally had time to relax and organized a group lunch enjoying Hawaiian Poke (raw tuna) at the beach. A good opportunity to finally meet, after they had mostly spend time working next to each other during the event. Leon is always blown away how amazing and how much fun the artists are at these events. Doing what they love and having made this their profession just seems to make them such happy people.
Later, the renowned Gala Exhibition and Art Sale was held from from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. As explained in detailed yesterday, this is the big event of the week for both artists and art collectors with the opportunity to view and purchase the four best paintings of each artist while awards are getting called out.
The exhibition will continue till Sunday 4 p.m, so please come in and have a look at all the great talent.

February 22, 2018 - Artwork submission deadline


Emerald & Amethyst - Leon Holmes

Emerald & Amethyst - 16x12"

All day, artists were sorting administrative work and preparing for the beginning of tomorrows judging and art sale. They were selecting and framing four of their best paintings ready to be hung in The Royal Lahaina Resort Ballroom in the afternoon. During the exhibition, artworks will be showcased on display skirts dedicated to each artist, with four pieces on the wall at any time. Up to four additional framed artworks are allowed to be placed behind the skirts. That way, sold items may be replaced with new ones on Saturday morning.
The 'Art to Heart’ Gala & Art Sale is starting off tomorrow evening as a preview for art collectors. An exciting and fun event for art enthusiasts and artists mingling together, while waiting for the awards to be announced.  This is a ticketed event with an admission fee of $175 per person, including beverage, food and entertainment. To register for tickets please complete the Gala Registration Form.
The general public is welcome to view and purchase artworks from 10am onwards on Saturday morning, when fresh art will replace sold ones of the evening before. The exhibition will remain open till 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

Due to a lot that had to be organized today, Leon did not find much time to paint. Can you imagine how difficult it is to find names for all these paintings and of course, organizing and choosing frames from the other side of the world is quite a challenge too.
Anyhow, in the morning Leon managed to spend a few hours watching the surfers at Honolua Bay while finishing the painting above.

February 21, 2018 - Afternoon Paint Out & Art Sale

Man Versus Truck - Leon Holmes

Man Versus Truck - 12x16"

Leon Holmes

Silla's Sun Dance - 12x16"

Leon Holmes and the local Historian

Leon with his model Silla

Up again before sunrise, Leon got inspired by an urban scene or maybe the jeep in it, looking very similar to his own.
For the afternoon, a Paint Out on the property of Montage Hotel overviewing Kapalua Bay was scheduled. This was a great opportunity for the public to see all artist working close together. An Hawaiian model was also on side, however, Leon decided to paint a mid-aged woman wondering around in the crowd. When he met the lovely lady afterwards, he found out that she is the local Historian and an highly respected person on the island. A well chosen subject to be imortalized.
From 6:30pm to 8pm all artworks were available for purchase in the vicinity of the Cane & Canoe restaurant, with Leon's being one to sell.

February 20, 2018 - A supposedly relaxed day

Sleeping Giant - Haleakala Vulcano - Leon Holmes

Sleeping Giant, Haleakala Vulkano - 8x16"

Leon Holmes painting Vulcano Haleakala
Drawn Curtains - Leon Holmes

Drawn Curtains - 12x16"

Hippie Dreaming - Leon Holmes

Hippie Dreaming - 16x8"

Today Leon went for a drive and tackled the vulcano Haleakala in the South of the island. First, he painted the giant from the distance, then after climbing 10,000 ft he found himself again amongst the clouds. I was a bit of a battle finishing the piece while fighting the cold (it had snowed the day before) as well as quickly rolling in clouds. By comparing the photo of him at work with the final result, it looks like he really captured the scene in front of him.
Toward the last glow of light, Leon came across an old VW sheltered under some palms, a subject he couldn't resist of course. Although the sun already started to set and it had turned dark by the time he finished, he managed to get another masterpiece down. Surely, having an artistic liscence helped a little!


February 19, 2018 - A lot of painting today

7am Cloud Band- Leon Holmes

7am Cloud Band - 8x16"

Free Rangers - Leon Holmes

Free Rangers - 8x16"

Sea Of Colors - Leon Holmes

Sea Of Colours - 8x16"

Bay To Bay- Leon Holmes

Bay To Bay - 12x16"

Lanai Sunset- Leon Holmes

Lanai Sunset - 8x16"

What a big day! Finally, the weather had become sunny and Leon spent basically all day non stop painting at the beach, his first board on the easel at 6am, packing up 12 hours and 5 beauties later. It was as if he had to capture everything today, before the weather would turn again or just because he was so excited about how the light finally hit the scene.
The evening continued with a S
ilent Auction of Mini Paintings, little treasures that each artist had brought with them from home. Between the first and second bidding session, Leon was listening in on a lecture of Jean Stern, Executive Director of The Irvine Museum Collection at University of California. When the auction closed at 8:30pm, his and many other paintings had sold and another day finished successfully.



February 18, 2018 - Challenging circumstances

Leon Holmes Sunday Painting
Leon Holmes 8x16” (20x40cm) - cloud drift

Cloud Drift - 8x16”

Leon Holmes - Low Light Lanai 8x16

Low light Lanai - 8x16"

This morning, Leon and artist Greg Barnes captured the backlit mountains at sunrise. They continued painting in the town of Lahaina, but strong winds, clouds, lots of rain and only the occasional tease of sunlight, made it very challenging to even finish a painting today. Let's hope for some more pleasant weather the next days.

February 17, 2018 - Kick Off Paint Out & Art Sale

Leon Holmes and first collector
Leon Holmes

Molokai Morning - 8x16"

Today at 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. artists started creating freshly produced artworks painted on location at Lahaina Harbor. These were on display in the Pioneer Inn’s Courtyard from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. with Leon's "Molokai Morning" being the lucky first to sell. What a great start!
The rest of the day artist continued painting at their leisure anywhere on the island.

February 16, 2018 - Workshop completed

Leon has finished teaching today and by now all other invited artist have arrived on Maui. An orientation meeting and Host/Artist gathering has taken place tonight and Leon caught up with many familiar faces, looking forward spending the next week painting with everyone.
Stay tuned for the start of "Maui Plein Air Invitational 2018" at Lahaina Harbor tomorrow and check out the event schedule here .

February 15, 2018 - Workshop Day 2

Leon Holmes Maui Day 4
Leon Holmes Portrait 8
Leon Holmes Portrait 11
Leon Holmes Portrait 9
Leon Holmes Model 2

Tough conditions on Maui today teaching a workshop on Plein Air painting. All day, it poored with rain and you could hardly see three meter ahead. Leon had to improvise and held a portraiture class instead. This turned into lots of fun, with Leon being the model instructing from a chair in front of everyone. Can you imagine how that works? Anyway, it was a great experience for both students and teacher with fabulous results, don't you think?
Considering the angle you can almost guess who painted which.

February 14, 2018 - Workshop Day 1

Leon Holmes Maui Day 3.
Leon Holmes Maui Day 3

After having had a day off getting over his jetlag and familiar with the environment, Leon started scouting for good light and location at 5.30am this morning. The class joined in at 9am and for the first day of the workshop he taught colour and light. While his students had lunch, Leon took the opportunity to paint a small demonstration piece. Apparently it was very windy and the wet painting blew off the easel and landed on him.
He must have fixed it alright, I don't think anyone could tell. It just looks perfect to me, very fresh and vibrant, just a beautiful Hawaiian scene.
Have a look yourself at presketch and final demonstration.

February 12, 2018 - All over again!

Leon Holmes Maui- Day 1

Having jumped the date line, Leon is reliving Monday again. Meanwhile, the artist and all the luggage and equipment has arrived sound as safe on the island, but the 28 hour haul as been tiring. After a few hours of rest, Leon spent the evening with hosts Ann and Dominic, having enjoyed a lovely dinner of fresh asparagus risotto from their garden. Like himself, all the other artists will be accommodated by host families during the entire time of the event.
Above, a photo Leon has taken from the alfresco dinning area tonight, overlooking the magical Maui sunset.
By the way, I am Sara, Leon's wife and I will continue ro run this blog keeping you up to date...


February 12, 2018 - Aloha!!!

Today, Leon is flying out to the Hawaiian Islands to take part in the exciting Maui Plein Air Invitational 2018.
Let us tell you a bit more about it and quickly rewind what happend last year, before keeping you updated during the event.

Leon Holmes Big Cheque

In a few days the renowned Outdoor Painting Event is kicking off again. Awarded 'Best in Show 2017' Leon has been invited back to defend his crown. Like last year, he is the only international painter exhibiting alongside 24 other Fine American Artist. Leon will also be conducting a sold out three day workshop before the main event. Maui Plein Air runs from the 17th till 25th February in the city of Lahaina. For furter information please click here


Heading East - 12x16"

'Heading East' - Leon's 'Best in Show 2017' is a very nostalgic piece depicting the recently closed and only Sugar Cane Refinery remaining on the island. A lonely car added in memory of the former workers on their way home. The story back dropped by the sunset over the West Maui Mountains.

Leon Holmes Mini Painting 2018

In The Rain Shadow - 6x8"


'In The Rain Shadow' is the painting Leon will bring for the Mini Paintings Silent Auction. Like every year artists  are asked to bring a painting from home, no larger than 8″x8″ with the intention to convey a bit more about him-/herself, their home environment, their travels, and style of painting. Viewing of the mini-paintings and bidding will take place from 6 to 7 pm with final bidding 8-8:15 pm on Monday, February 19 at the Pioneer Inn in Lahaina.

Comments 7

  1. Hi Leon,
    I like the fresh colours of the painting “In The Rain Shadow”.
    It reminds me of our visit to Australia.
    Good luck and a lot of fun in Hawaii.


    1. Post

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