• "In the Elements" Plein Air Plein Air Painting Invitational Exhibition - November 15-26, 2022 @ Downtown Art Center Hawaii

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Downtown Art Center at 1041 Nuʻuanu Ave. Second Floor, in Chinatown Gateway Plaza, is thrilled to host 'In the Elements,' an invitational exhibition featuring local Hawaiʻi plein air (outdoor) painters. The beautiful paintings, featuring outdoor scenes from around Hawaiʻi, will be on view during regular gallery hours from November 15-26, Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The plein air style of painting gets its name from the French phrase "en plein air," or "outdoors," and refers to the act of painting outdoors. With Hawaiʻi's balmy weather and breathtaking scenery, there is no shortage of inspiration for this painting style, and the groups of artists who partake in it.

Some of the well-known local artists participating in this show include Dennis Daniel, Frances Wong, Mark N. Brown, Donna Sommer, Dwayne Adams, Spencer Chang, Annie Irons, and Jimmy Tablante.
The exhibition opens with a third Friday reception on Friday, November 18, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Current Main Gallery Exhibition

In the Elements

Plein Air Painting Invitational

On View November 15-26, 2022

The exhibition opens with a third Friday reception on Friday, November 18, from 5:30 to 8 p.m

Downtown Art Center

1041 B Nuuanu Avenue

Honolulu, HI 96817

View Map.

The plein air style of painting gets its name from the French phrase "en plein air," or "outdoors," and refers to the act of painting outdoors. With Hawaiʻi's balmy weather and breathtaking scenery, there is no shortage of inspiration for this painting style, and the groups of artists who partake in it.

FeaturedPlein Air Artists:

  • Dwayne Adams
  • Susie Anderson
  • Lynn Boyer
  • Ed Brennan
  • Mark N. Brown
  • Spencer Chang
  • Dennis Daniels
  • Robert Dusendschon
  • Ed Furuike
  • Mark T. Howard
  • Anne Irons
  • Alla Parsons
  • Donna Sommer
  • Yvonne Manipon
  • Frances L. Wong



Mark is one of the few Plein Air Artists in Hawaii. Plein Air artists paint their paintings entirely outside at the site of the painting subject. He teaches this method at the University of Hawaii and his work can be seen all throughout the Hawaiian islands.


  • Mark N. Brown is one of Hawaii's premier Landscape Artist.
  • He is a Plein Air Art Teacher at the University of Hawaii art department.
  • His art is featured in Hawaii Art Galleries all over the islands.
  • He offers commissioned art.
  • He is a well known Hawaiian artist.
  • He does outdoor oil paintings of Hawaiian Scenery.
  • He is one of Hawaii's Artists.
  • He has over 100 Scenic Hawaiian Paintings


Artist Mark N. Brown, born and raised on Oahu has been active in the arts for the last 40 years.

He has been teaching weekly Plein air painting classes with the University of Hawaii at Manoa Outreach College since 1999 to 2016, and Mark currently runs the same classes on his own with registration on his web site, www.marknbrownfineart.com

And since 1988, running a uninstructed life drawing class with Chamanade University to 2011 and continues with a similar one with the Honolulu Museum school of Art every Monday Evenings.

After starting his own graphic design business in 1984, he used that business knowledge to paint full time in 1998.

And between painting for galleries, commissions ,Staged home painting rentals, and murals, it keeps his Palette always loaded.

In 2017 ,Mark and his team of 4 fellow artist was hired by Howard Hughes Corp. to paint a mural on the South Shore Marketplace Wall 60'x 300' Mark has represented Oahu for the last 14 years in the Maui Plein Air Painting invitational competition with 24 nationally known other Plein Air Artist,and he has won 6 awards judged by Jean Stern of the Irvine Museum, including Best in Show on February 22, 2019.

His Easel has traveled with him to Germany, Italy, France, Tahiti, New Mexico, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, Seattle and California

A Native of Hawaii, Mark comes from a family loaded with artistic talent. He attended local public schools and art quickly emerged as his favorite subject. Inspired by the drawings from his favorite comic books, Mark's natural artistic abilities rapidly developed.

Mark voraciously studied art books and while still attending Castle High school, he began taking uninstructed Life Drawing classes which led him toward entering his work into shows and contests, receiving commissions for work and eventually starting his own graphic design company in 1984 specializing in calligraphy, lettering and silk screening. Mark has since been monitoring a similar Life Drawing class weekly at Chaminade University.

In 1993, Mark joined en Plein Air (outdoor) painting class offered by the University of Hawaii outreach college. It was through this immersion in Plein Air oil painting that Mark was able to unearth his unique style of impressionist landscape paintings that he is now so well known for.

His Plein Air class instructor Florence Ko retired in 2000 and passed the teaching reins on to Mark. He continues as a teacher of the Plein Air painting class on Saturdays. Mark's daily outdoor painting pursuits produce the majority of his work for galleries, commissions and shows.

Mark's success and enthusiasm for Plein Air painting and his genuine joy for offering instruction to others has brought him respect and recognition in the art community as well as many invitations to hold workshops throughout Hawaii and the world.

Mark has earned numerous awards and has been the recipient of many honors.

His paintings of Hawaii's Landscape and Scenery can be seen all throughout the Hawaiian Islands in private collections, as well as numerous Art Galleries, Fine Retail Shops and Government facilities.

His home is in beautiful Kalihi valley where he lives with his devoted cat Petruse. And his studio is in the various Hawaiian landscapes, where ever he can find room for his easal.


  • 1995- attends uninstructed life drawing group on Sundays at U. of H. while a sophomore at Castle High school
  • 1977 -- masthead design winner / Castle High school
  • 1979- 1983, accepted drawing /painting entries for Printmakers assoc, Hawaii watercolor show, Easter art show, AHA show .
  • 1984- 1998- starts Signs & Graphics by Mark , a dba that specializes in Hand lettering , silk screening , and graphic design , clients include . CS Wo ,HomeWorld, Meadow Gold daries, Triple Crown of Surfing
  • 1988- 2011 , heads up a uninstructed life drawing group once a week at Chamanade university,
  • 1988- 5- 15' x 15'portraits completed for National Hula Bowl Halftime performance , of the late Elison Onizuka, John A. Burns , Alfred Apaka , Duke Kahanamoku, King Kamehmeha.
  • 1988- awarded temporary signage contract by Media 5 For the renovation work for Ala Moana Hotel ,
  • 1988- Travel to Italy for self study of art , 30 days
  • 1993- 1999 attends painting on location class with the U. of H. outreach college , Florence Ko instructor
  • 1995- takes plein air workshop with East Coast instructor Tm Nicholas
  • 1996- Mural created for Waikiki ,Duty Free Shop
  • 1997- 6'x 4' oil painting "Humble Beginings" selected for cover of Music CD : HomeGrown , Ron Jacobs , producer
  • 1998- show at Leeward Community College of original plein air and figurative oil paintings , show was purchased by Robyn Buntin galleries to start Oceanic gallery on Beretania st.
  • 1998- to current ,one of many featured artist for Punahou Schools annual Art carnival exhibit
  • 1998-2008 exhibits paintings seasonally with the Pacific Handcrafters Guild
  • 1998 -- hired as subcontractor by Brandy Signs to dress the Duty Free Shop with a graphic curtain 60' high , by 250' x 250' square ,
  • 1999-to current - participates in annual Haleiwa Art Festival
  • 1999- painting chosen for cover of music CD for KINE Radio station
  • 2000- City & County of Honolulu culture and the Arts Purchase of 3 paintings for Mayor's office./ Jeremy Harris
  • 2000- American Savings Bank , selects 13 paintings for year 75th anniversary calendar .
  • 2000- to 2016,becomes instructor for U. of H. Outreach College, painting on Location class
  • 2002- travels to France and Italy for independent art study
  • 2002 -- original painting " a lazy day in Haleiwa" chosen for the Haleiwa arts festival poster and T-shirt
  • 2003 --#12 original paintings purchased by Bob Armstrong of Armstrong builders , to dress the model homes of Ka Lani At Ko'olina, starts the home staging business /rental
  • 2003-4' x 32' mural of " History of Surfing commissioned by The Honu Group for the restaurant " All Star Café" with advisory assistance from Triple Crown director Randy Rarick
  • 2003- paintings selected by Woody Kirtley of Kirtley designs For reproduction in the rooms and suites of Hilton Hawaiian village , Tapa tower , Diamond head tower , and Rainbow tower
  • 2004-2008,#55 paintings are purchased by HTH corp/ Pacific beach hotel for their collections . CEO Corrine Hayashi
  • 2004- attends plein air painting workshop in Kauai taught by Kevin Macphearson
  • 2004-2006 becomes partners in gallery Atelier 4 on Queen st as the downtown gallery walk hits it's stride, gallery later becomes Bethel st. gallery
  • 2004 -- invited to San Louis Obispo for Plein air painting competition
  • 2004 -- attends plein air painting workshop with the late Ken Auster
  • 2005 to 2019 -- invited to the Maui Plein air painting competition invitational and wins the Quick Draw competition in 2005 representing Oahu ( painting completed in 2 hours). wins 5 other awards judged by Jean Stern of the Irvine Museum, including "Best In Show " Award on 2/22/2019
  • 2006-paintings selected by Outrigger hotels, Marimar, and Black Rock Sheraton for reproduction for their properties.
  • 2007- one person shows at Gallery Bibelot , Kapiolani community college fine dining room, Roy's Restaurant Hawaii Kai .
  • 2008 -- takes workshop with national portrait painter Daniel Green
  • 2008 -- starts a weekly uninstructed portrait group with costumed models at Chamanade University.
  • 2009 -- current, yearly plein air trips to New Mexico, Mass. Ca. Maine, etc for learning
  • 2009 -teaches plein airworkshop at Hui Noeau , Makawao ,Maui
  • 2011 -- commissioned by City & County on Cultural in the Arts for Public mural for 15' x 15' Waipio Gentry Aquatic park
  • 2011- heads up a uninstructed life drawing group at the Honolulu Museum school of art. to replace Chamanade group that had to relocate due to renovation.
  • 2011- to current : paintings rented for every season as backdrops for CBS TV show Hawaii 5-0 staging ( Prop Director : Jullian Gettman)
  • 2012 -- painting selected for Haleiwa art festival poster of Haleiwa Harbor
  • 2013-2014- hired by Rehab hospital of the Pacific to be in charge of art program
  • 2014-2 Film Video of Mark demonstrating Plein Air at Makapu'u and Queen's Beachfor DOE , produced by Anna Marie Kirt " Here's Something to Do " Airs currently
  • 2014- art show in Bon Germany , to show alongside deceased student Brigite Tidge , sponsored by surviving husband Boy Ludge .
  • 2014-Parking Garage Mural for Hosoi Mortuary
  • 2015- 35' x 350' mural completed for Kamehameha schools on the Nishimoto trading company building , Goto construction , contractor
  • 2016 -- Camp Mokuliea Plein Air painting workshop , David Turner , Executive Director.
  • 2016-Mural On South Shore Marketplace Wall 60'x 300' Commissioned by Howard Hughes Corp.
  • 2016- Current , Hired by Kahala Nui to teach painting to Seniors once a week.
  • 2018 -- Paintings purchased by CBS Studios for TV Show Magnum P.I. for Permanent set dressing and featured 20 paintings on Episode #4
  • 2019- Showing of paintings at Sak's 5th Avenue Waikiki , 3rd floor, Art on the Avenue , Feb. 7th to April 1st , 2019
  • 2019-"Best of Show" Winner at Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational Competition , 2/22/2019


  • 2012 Honor Hawaii, Honor Maui Award
  • 2011 Pacific 'O Restaurant award
  • 2010 Honorable Mention, Maui Plein Air Invitational
  • 2006 Starbucks Choice award, Quick draw competition
  • 2006 - 1st place Quick Draw juried competition, Maui Plein Air Invitational
  • 2004 - Signature Artist for Islanders Plein Air Painters Organization
  • 2004 - Selected as Signature Artist for P.A.P.O.H.
  • 2000 - To present - Featured Artist for Punahou Carnival Art Benefit
  • 2000 through 2006 - Honolulu Academy of Arts Invited Artist for "Showcase Exhibit"
  • 2005 - 10'x15' Mural Commission for City and County of Honolulu, Arts in the Parks, Waipio Aquatic Park
  • 2003 - "Atelier 4" Queen Street Gallery Opening
  • 2002, 2003, 2005 - Aloha Airlines Executive Calendar
  • 2003 - Mural Commission for Tory Richards Duty Free Shop
  • 2002 - City and County of Honolulu, "Mayor's Culture On the Arts" Paintings for Mayor's office
  • 2002 - Haleiwa Art Festival Featured Artist, poster, t-shirt
  • 1999 - 20'x 80' Mural Commission for TV series "One West Waikiki"
  • 1998 - Portrait commissions for Nationwide telecast of Hula Bowl Halftime Show
  • 1998 - Mural Commission for Victoria Ward, Ward Centers Amphitheater


"I enjoy painting outdoors on location because it limits the amount of time that you have to capture the light in your painting, it makes you call attention to the most important elements and puts the non essential objects to be out of focus , as Kimon Nicolaides the author of the book "The Natural Way to Draw " would instruct in the gesture chapter of his book "don't draw what it looks like" "draw what it is doing" , and I honor that with the spirit of responding to the gesture of the landscape , light, movement, texture, brushwork when a person listens to a live music concert, he responds with clapping, head, body moving, foot tapping, and when I watch the breaking surf at Makapu'u, I respond the same way with my interpatation of colors, brush work on canvas, moment, and editing of information.

To be in the moment before the landscape that I am painting and not be in the analitical mode, you have to be veresed in the fudamentals, so I draw daily from life and do weekly life drawing studio sessions.

Our vision is always ahead of your ability to paint, but when your in the moment, for that brief time you feel as time is standing still."

For more information about this show, and other exhibitions and events at Downtown Art Center, visit downtownarthi.org.

About Downtown Art Center (DAC):

Located in the historic Chinatown Gateway Plaza building at 1041 Nuʻuanu Ave., Second Floor, the nonprofit Downtown Art Center is an evolving gallery and workshop space for Oʻahu's arts scene. DAC is a thriving center for the arts, providing display space for local artists and art organizations, creative classroom space, and more. DAC is dedicated to the revitalization of Downtown/Chinatown Honolulu through culture and the arts. Parking for DAC is located at nearby municipal parking lots (onsite at Chinatown Gateway Plaza, parking entrance off Bethel Street) or at Mark's Garage (entrance at 22 S. Pauahi St.). DAC is easily accessible by public transit as well; get directions, routes and timetables at www.thebus.org.

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