– Bob Bahr reporting, Editor PleinAir Today –
Superlatives get tossed around in today’s society, but here’s one you can be sure of: Kyle Ma will be the youngest ever instructor at the Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) in San Diego this April. Here’s why.
Lead Image: “Into the Woods,” by Kyle Ma, oil, 20 x 24 in.
The Texas teen was born in 2000. Most of us have paintbrushes older than that. But peruse his work and you will see why he was invited to join the biggest gathering of plein air painters in the world. The dude has skills. Which isn’t to say he doesn’t have butterflies in his stomach.
“The thought of being the youngest faculty member does seem a little intimidating sometimes, but I’ve learned over the years to step out of my comfort zone,” says Ma. “So I feel extremely excited to have this opportunity to take part in this event. I’m expecting a great opportunity to meet and learn from other artists. Whenever I’m fortunate enough to work alongside another artist, I always feel that I gain valuable insight simply watching him or her work.”
Ma does sometimes work from photographs, but he says there’s nothing like painting en plein air. “I feel what makes plein air painting so appealing to me is the connection with the subject,” he says. “It’s always a completely different experience when I’m physically in front of my subject than when I’m using references to paint from.” His advice to PACE participants? “Really try to simplify,” says the artist. “With limited time, paint only what you feel is most important that you wish to convey. Oftentimes excessive detail or information can detract from your main focus.”
Ma says, “I hope to communicate the idea to not be afraid of mistakes. Realize that it is what is learned from the mistake that’s truly valuable.”
If you missed out on this year’s event, don’t make the same mistake twice. Check out the website for PACE 2017, in San Diego, California. It’s filling up fast.