HANALEI — It’s been 20 years in the making, and this week, Patrick Ching will finally celebrate the debut episode of “Painting in Paradise,” a TV show aimed at teaching art concepts to people of all ages and skill levels.
Ching, who lives in Hanalei and has galleries both on Oahu and Kauai, filmed the first three episodes of the show on Kauai. The show focuses on families and uses his one-on-one teaching style to present manageable concepts to a bigger audience, Ching said.
“Having a TV show was an open dream I’ve had most of my life,” Ching said. “When I’m teaching workshops, people get amazed at how fast they can learn to paint and I just want to do that for a lot more people; that’s where the television show came from.”
The first episode features the Abubo family, with their friend Jacob, and their journey to Hanalei to look at the sea turtles, he said.
“We went to the beach, we see the turtle and learn about them in history and the facts about sea turtles,” Ching said. “Then we go into an arts house and we do the art lessons.”
In that first episode, the art lessons take place in the Hanalei community center. There, Ching shows the family, and the audience watching, how to draw a sea turtle and then they have a “painting party,” where everyone gets to do a freestyle painting.
“We tell the audience to get a pencil and paper and learn to draw, and I give tips to more professional or adult painters, too,” Ching said. “There’s going to be an animal of the week, and that’s something that I think is going to be very exciting.”
Ching wouldn’t give up the whole series, but he said that upcoming episodes include the Hawaiian monk seal and rainbows.
“We’re filming in the mystical land of rainbows,” Ching said, “so we’re going to do a rainbow episode.”
Not all of the episodes will feature Kauai. Ching will film on a few other islands, as well as in various places on the Mainland, such as San Diego.
Ching was born on Oahu and moved to Kauai in 1984 to work as a wildlife ranger for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Kilauea. He’s worked extensively with seals, turtles, sharks and other ocean creatures, and has always had a connection with nature.
“Even as a ranger, I’ve always been an artist,” Ching said.
Throughout his experiences as a wildlife ranger, Ching started writing books about Hawaii’s wildlife, and now he has about 20 books published of varying lengths on a variety of topics.
“Most of them are geared toward wildlife,” Ching said.
Ching’s most recent book is “Honu and Hina: A Story of Coexistence.” It won the 2015 Ka Palapala Po’okela Award from the Hawaiian Book Publisher’s Association, and is about one of the first monk seals born on the main Hawaiian Islands in recent history.
“I had about 100 people helping with illustrations with the book, so a lot of people took part in making that book,” Ching said.
The new TV show is another way for Ching to explore his talents and do what he loves — teaching art — while reaching a bigger audience. The release has been a long time coming, he said.
“I’m thrilled,” he said.
The first episode premieres on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on OC16. It will be shown at The General Store of Hanalei Gallery, where the 2016 KAI Ocean Art Show is currently open.
“We’ll have some of the people in the show, and it’s going to be the first episode, and refreshments, and watch it on our big screen,” Ching said.