Born in Hawaiʻi in 1962, Patrick Ching has spent a lifetime teaching people about nature through his art. He grew up exploring the valleys and shorelines of Hawaiʻi and at age sixteen decided to be a nature artist after seeing Hawaiian hawks in Pololū Valley for the first time. He then became a professional artist painting everything from coconuts to large murals.
Patrick received a scholarship and attended the Otis/Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he studied print making and Leeward College where he majored in ceramics. His most influential artistic mentors were Jim Rayker, Herb Kane, and international surrealist artist John Pitre.
Patrick volunteered for many wildlife organizations and eventually became a ranger for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Kīlauea lighthouse on Kauaʻi. He also lived for extended periods of time among sea turtles and monk seals on the remote North Western Hawaiian Islands.
In 1984, Patrick wrote his first coloring books on Hawaiian animals and the success of those books launched his publishing career and he has since authored many award-winning books including Sea Turtles of Hawaiʻi, The Hawaiian Monk Seal, and The Story of Hina.
His latest book entitled “Honu and Hina” was illustrated with the help of many children, teachers and parents. It received the Hawaii Book Publisher’s association’s “Ka Palapala Po’okela” award for the most excellent children’s book of 2015.
From 1986-1992, Patrick wrote a monthly column in the Hawaiian newspaper “Ka Wai Ola O OHA”. The column entitled “Naturally Hawaiian” featured a different Hawaiian animal each month.
Naturally Hawaiian was also the name of Ching’s business and he opened the first of his art galleries and art schools under that name in 1996 in Waimānalo, Oʻahu. In 2008, he opened his next gallery in Princeville, Kauaʻi.
Patrick’s on camera experience started with teaching Hawaiʻi’s school kids how to draw animals in five minutes. The shows aired for 25 years and many people still remember them today. He is a regular guest on news stories and for many years was a professional bull rider and well-known rodeo clown. Patrick credits those years as enabling him to move crowds and become comfortable and spontaneous on live TV.
A lifelong athlete, Patrick excelled in baseball, high school wrestling, football, and also became a professional boxer. He’s been an avid horseman and equestrian safety marshal and for many years rode bulls before clowning rodeos in Hawaiʻi, California and New Zealand. Now, he surfs as often as possible and catches bullfrogs just to enjoy them for a while and let ‘em go.
Patrick now travels internationally doing art projects, painting workshops, and live painting shows at resorts and events to raise money and awareness for various wildlife organizations.
He is the host of the Painting In Paradise TV show on Spectrum OC16.
“My mission in life is to help people to express their inner artist, and in doing so make the world a more beautiful place.”