Calendar of Events

The Volcano Art Center invites you to a free drawing class with artist Ken Charon!
Jul 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Free Drawing Classes with Ken Charon

Gain inspiration from the stunning natural environment of VAC’s Niaulani Forest. This one-and-a-half-hour instructional class will meet at 11am. at VAC’s Niaulani Campus Thursday, July 18 & 25th.
Free to adult visitors, island residents and keiki over seven years of age accompanied by an adult.

Charon covers basic drawing techniques and other helpful tips before leading participants to a scenic location to capture its unique natural beauty.

Sign-up is on a first-come, first-served basis the day of the class, please arrive prior to the 11a.m. start time to ensure your place. Bring supplies if you wish, otherwise supplies will provided.  Dress for both warm sun and chilly rain, as the weather is unpredictable. These offerings are free of charge with partial support from the Hawai’i County Waiwai Program.  For more information call (808) 967-8222 or visit


Abstract Watercolors with Broken Glass with Patti Pease Johnson
Aug 10 @ 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

student working 2 250dpi Abstract Watercolors with Broken Glass

Join Big Island artist, Patti Pease Johnson for the Abstract Watercolors workshop on Saturday, August 10th, from 9am – 12:30pm at Volcano Art Center. Cost for the workshop is $75 and $70 for VAC Members plus a $15 supply fee. Beginner and intermediate artists are welcome.

Imagine glass being shattered. The random shapes and patterns are totally unpredictable. Now take these haphazard glass pieces and marry them with watercolors; then add your own playful attitude. This is Experimental Watercolors! Like music on paper, colors flow in delicate waves.

Each student will create three to five separate 8×8 inch watercolor paintings on cold press watercolor paper using pre-broken glass as a catalyst to spark creativity. Students will also be taught theories of good composition, along with color theory and color wheel use. Abstract qualities are the focus in this workshop using three – four paints right out of the tube with the glass. After the first drying and glass removal, each piece is brought to further expressiveness by using detailed watercolor techniques of washes, spatters, lifting, value gradations, dry brush and more.

When asked to describe the experience Patti explained, “You can’t help but wonder what is going to happen after your first piece of glass is put on watercolor paper. In painting, the more chances you take, the more you will stretch the limits of your understanding, and in turn the more you will grow as an artist.”

Patti Pease Johnson’s artwork can be found at galleries and shops across the State and in collections around the world.


Pen Sketching & Watercolor Washes with Patti Pease Johnson
Sep 7 @ 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Pen Sketching & Watercolor Washes with Patti Pease Johnson

Saturday, September 7, 2024,  from 9 am – 12:30 pm at VAC Niaulani Campus in Volcano, Village.

Learn mixed media line and wash technique on 6 x 9” watercolor paper and create 2 paintings in the 3 ½ hour session. “It’s a great size for journal travel recording for lively illustrative looks,” says instructor Patti Pease Johnson. This workshop is a chance for beginners and intermediate students to experiment with simplified line exaggerations and painting outside the lines. All materials are supplied so it gives a person a chance to see if this is their creativity spark before investing in the materials.

“Simple line drawing for the outside of objects is what it’s about,” says Patti. “Make it a suggestion of the object. Draw and paint loosely. For example, no need to complete the leaf outside edge, have a closed petal on a flower, or a tree with full branches. White space is good, chant it when you begin painting,”

Your intuition and playful attitude are part of this journey. First is a discussion by looking at many samples and asking the question: is it about drawing vs. color? Students then practice the minimal drawing first on newsprint from looking at a simple still-life setup. Then it is redrawn on the watercolor paper, and outlined suggestively with the permanent black fine-tip pen. Students learn a pen hashing technique for the darkest darks and cast shadows; plus learn watercolor techniques of washes, blending, glazing, dry brush, and lift-off. A 4-page handout with a basic 10-step procedure lets you remember the steps.

Patti Pease Johnson has been a working artist for 27 years and a teacher of various mediums including two other watercolor techniques, soft pastel still life, and Plein air landscapes. Her workshops for painting on silk using liquid dye and wax resist. She has had artwork in numerous juried shows and has collectors in many parts of the world through gallery sales around the state of Hawaii.

The cost is  $75/$70 for VAC members, plus $10 supply fee, and a $5 registration fee. For more information call (808) 967-8222.


Cooking with Canoe Plants Workshop with Heather
Sep 14 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Join Heather Penfield on Saturday, September 14th, 2024 , from 9am – 11am., for the Cooking with Canoe Plants Workshop at Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus.






In this workshop you will dive deeper into the uses of the first edible plants brought to Hawaii by Polynesians, and explore 5 or more different plants and how to prepare them. You will gain hands on experience making recipes from start to finish, including salad, main course and desert. Heather will discuss  the nutritional, social and economical benefits on buying locally grown produce. The class will include: class handout with recipes, and in class samples.

You will be using in season produce which includes:

 Ulu (breadfruit), Uala (sweet potato), Olena (turmeric), Kalo(taro), Ko(Sugarcane), Mai’a(banana), Niu (coconut), Ohi’a ai (mountain apple), & Ki (ti)

All New Recipes! Beginners are Welcome!

 The class fee is $60/$55 for VAC members plus a $20 supply fee


Photo Encaustics Workshop
Oct 5 @ 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

Join Mary Milelzcik at Volcano Art Centerʻs Niaulani Campus (19-4074 Old Volcano Road) on Saturday, OCTOBER 5, 2024  from 10am – 2:30pm for a PHOTO ENCAUSTICS WORKSHOP.

Encaustic is a mixture of beeswax, damar resin and pigment, which is applied to a solid absorbent surface. Each time a new layer is applied, it must be fused. The layers can be enhanced by adding fine art papers, carving with tools or drawing with pigment, oil sticks, and transferred images.

This is a hands-on workshop, where you’ll learn safe studio practices, encaustic painting basics, and various photo and collage encaustic techniques. Two wood panels, encaustic medium and gesso, an array of R & F encaustic paints, handmade Asian papers, an assortment of mark-making tools and brushes, fibers, and other materials will be provided for students to incorporate into their paintings.

Participants should bring a selection of small B & W or color LASER printouts on cheap copy paper (Under 12” x 12”). An assortment of laser prints will be provided for those who are unable to get copies made.  (I usually print mine at Office Max in Hilo). You can also bring INKJET images printed on thin papers (to imbed in your pieces -not for transfer), along with other items you’d like to incorporate.

The class fee is $70/$65 for VAC members plus a $55 supply fee. To register, call Volcano Art Center at 808-967-8222 or visit Space is limited. Please email the instructor in advance regarding special projects or any questions


Paint Your Own Silk Scarf with Patti Pease Johnson
Dec 14 @ 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Paint Your Own Silk Scarf with Patti Pease Johnson

Big Island artist and instructor Patti Pease Johnson teaches the Paint Your Own Silk Scarf workshop on Saturday, December 14th, from 9:00am-12:30pm at Volcano Art Center.

In this workshop, you’ll paint your own 8” x 53” scarf using three colors of your choice, which will create many more colors on the silk. Pick a main color, then, choose the other two after learning about color theory. You’ll then be ready to mix your desired colors, achieved by pre-mixing the four process colors of dye (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). Students from previous classes have been amazed by what they refer to as “happy color accidents.”

Johnson will tell you, “It’s all about playing with colors. I supply all materials and guidance, you create. The fun time is your art journey for a few hours.” Beginner and intermediate artists are welcome. Open up your creativity and challenge yourself by learning this fun technique. It’s guaranteed to change the way you look at color.

silkscarf2Cost is $75 and $70 for VAC members plus a $20 fee per person, inclusive of supplies.

In the final hour, students will use hot wax with the tjanting tool on Habotai silk to outline your more representational design and create a resist line for the dyes. Then you will paint and mix colors on the 10” x 10” silk artwork.

Patti Pease Johnson’s artwork can be found at galleries and shops across the State and in collections around the world. Patti has a designer’s ability to distill natural subjects into their most essential forms and to rearrange them in her paintings. Her artworks include sculpture, mobiles, fashions, soft pastels, and clay objects in abstract and expressionist styles.


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