Lowell Mapes

"I want to help preserve Maui the way I found it 50 years ago, one painting at a time."

Lowell Mapes

Trained under the prominent New York painter Peter Hayward, and Parisian trained illustrator, Frank Vansteen, Lowell travelled as plein-air painter throughout the U.S. and Europe, eventually arriving in Maui in the early 1970’s.

The soft-spoken artist with an unyielding, powerful palette is the humble master of contrast, who’s creations invite the viewer to come sit in the shade of an antique tropical landscape and enjoy the breeze of the trade winds. His paintings reflect the timeless dignity of traditional island lifestyles as they are expressed in the local architecture.Widely collected by locals and travelers alike, Mapes created a style in the fashion of Gauguin that would become much copied but never duplicated.

Like a modern Van Gough, Mapes became so deeply involved in his work that he lost touch with his personal needs. Literally searching for the perfect answer to his own artistic questions he roamed Maui – looking for the ideal landscape or sugar shack to paint. He sold his paintings, to eat. Some would take advantage of his gentle spirit and humanity to own a small “Mapes” for just $25, as he sold them on the beach where he had slept the night before.

His style was more Gauguin, but his spirit was Van Gough. Eventually this crusade would lead to Lowell’s most successful period and widest recognition when he began painting the distinctly Maui architecture of his youth. It was his memories all along that he had been searching for and unable to find. Recreating the rustic sugar shacks which he had seen so many times but only existed in his memories was the answer to his quest.