Workshop Announcements

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Painting Workshop

Two Painting workshops along the CA Central Coast Workshop No 1   3 Days only, starting September 24th, 25th and  ending September 26th and the second workshop will be in October, starting on the 14th of October, the 15th and the last day of the second workshop will be on October 16th, 2013. This workshop will also be along the central coast of CA The area we will paint is between Moro Bay and San Simeon. E-mail me for questions, dempwolf@pacbell.net

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Painting Workshop

Two Painting workshops along the CA Central Coast Workshop No 1   3 Days only, starting September 24th, 25th and  ending September 26th and the second workshop will be in October, starting on the 14th of October, the 15th and the last day of the second workshop will be on October 16th, 2013. This workshop will also be along the central coast of CA The area we will paint is between Moro Bay and San Simeon. E-mail me for questions, dempwolf@pacbell.net

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The difficult task of judging art

Art Blog July 13 2013

 

I have been asked and I will be asked again to judge the work of others for inclusion into an upcoming show, or to determine what piece of art already in an exhibit gets the grand prize, “The best in Show” . As some of you may already know being judged by others, especially my artwork, has always been a point of contention with me. How dare someone make a decision which of my paintings deserves to get into an exhibit, but I’m also a realist and understand that the system in place to pick winners and losers is pretty hard to change into something more equitable.

 

There are times when judging another’s art work is perfectly ok, in fact it’s required. If you have given or taken a workshop, one of the obligations at the end of this time with an instructor is for you to get some feedback from someone who has more experience than you do, is a better artist than you and may have some good advice to share to make your next effort less painful. One of the points I have made for years is for the artists I’m trying to teach is to be self critical, what is it about this painting that works for you, what seems to be in harmony, or what do you like or don’t like and you feel needs more work and why.

 

Questions I would ask myself when being judged by another is, how many years has this person, giving me a critique, been painting, how many failures has he or she had, where did this person critiquing me learn their stuff or from whom. Even after doing this complicated thing called creating art, for what seems like a lifetime, I am often humbled by thoughts that seem to reflect my distaste for judging others, who the heck am I telling this person who has worked on a painting for the past few hours what is good or bad about it,  You would think that with years of experience painting and being self critical I would be pretty sure of a few things that seem to be right or wrong with work done by you or me, not so, things no longer seem as clear as I thought they were years ago when I thought I had most of the answers. But then I’m reminded of Leonardo da Vinci when he wrote, “That painter who has no doubts will achieve little” I’m full of doubts. Karl Dempwolf.

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Karl Dempwolf Art Blog May 2013 Painting for an Audience

I was pleased to be invited recently, along with many of my artist colleagues, to paint at the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach, California.

I have attended other such events, but upon reflection, painting by myself instead of being on display for the public’s enjoyment and curiosity is often even more enjoyable. Painting en plein air off by myself can be like being in the creator’s presence, like sitting in a place of worship, in a church or temple. I often reflect upon how there is such a profound connection between what has been created and what I’m about to create.

 

The philosopher Swedenborg in the 17th century likened the outdoors to being out in Nature’s Temple, not as religious dogma but rather an experience which provides joy, fulfillment, and the feeling that one is worshiping at the creator’s altar.

 

Painting next to my friends offers wonderful camaraderie and an exchange of ideas, but at the same time I experience some tension:  I need to come up with something unique, I don’t want to embarrass myself with a dismal failure, are some of the thoughts racing through my mind. As I have learned over the years, others are having the same or similar thoughts.

 

One of the valuable opportunities presented by painting in a popular location is to do some branding or promoting the name Dempwolf , by offering flyers, business cards or postcards with my images available for individuals interested in art and hopefully my art in particular.

 

Another option might be to have some smaller paintings of similar vistas framed and available. Some of my fellow artists sold paintings this way. At the same time, the issue of displaying framed work without blocking the walkway, looking too eager to make a sale, or being just too commercial also entered my mind and I decided to just enjoy the day, having a good time painting with my friends. Maybe I’ll be more assertive next time!

 

I did manage to get the names and addresses of potential future clients since I made them an offer they could not refuse. I said to those stopping by, “You may have a few of my postcards if I can get you to sign my guest book”

 

I’ll conclude with a statement by William Wendt, an artist who immigrated to America in the 1880’s and who’s work I have admired since I first became aware of it in the early 1980’s Wendt followed the philosophy of Swedenborg a century ago and expressed what I feel every time I go off by myself and paint, by writing the following:

 

The perfection of this Spring day and the gladness thereof makes one think of Genesis when the earth was young and morning stars sang to each other. The earth is young again, the peace the harmony which pervades all gives a Sabbath-like air to the day, to the environment. One feels that he is on holy ground, in Nature’s temple. Here the heart of man becomes impressionable, here away from the conflicting creeds and sects, away from the soul destroying hurly burly of life; it feels that the world is beautiful, that man is his brother and God is good.   

 

William Wendt

Laguna CA Near Montage

Laguna CA Near Montage

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Camping in the Mountains

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Camping in the Mountains

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June 2012 Blog

Just a few weeks ago I was asked to participate in an art event where one of the featured EVENTS would be a quick draw competition. I capitalized the word events because that is what some art shows are becoming, to attract the crowds to make sales. Don’t get me wrong I love art sales; I’m fine with having a festival atmosphere I personally don’t like to participate in the quick draw event because of the following reason.
I have done them and have pictures to prove it. Years ago Judith Hale’s gallery in Los Olivos, CA north of Santa Barbara put on these events in a small community park just across the street from her gallery, and I was asked to participate to help out the gallery, but disliked what I saw and experienced from the start. I think once you make an art event with serious, established artists, into an event like a foot race, who can get to the finish line the fastest, art becomes an arm wrestling, or a circus event, like the evening news. For serious artists there are problems to solve, composition, color harmony and line that my take some time to think through, a 45 minute event in a local park does nothing to promote good art. I know I take a long time to finish my work, and have nothing against artists who are quicker than I am, but who wants to advertise to their clients and collectors that their favorite artist, someone who’s paintings are hanging on their wall and they paid good money for, are finished in less than an hour. Listening to the clapping and cheers for another artist across the large circle I found myself in so many years ago, the cheers were for a fellow artist who finished in less time than allowed, it became very clear in my mind never to encourage or participate in that kind of art event again. Karl Dempwolf

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Southern CA Art Events

The Frederick Weisman Museum on the campus of Pepperdine University is having an exhibit of paintings by members of the CAC, California Art Club, the largest art organization west of the Mississippi. The subject matter Malibu and the surrounding areas. This exhibit will be on display starting today, May 19th 2012 until August 4th,2012. This exhibit happens once every 3-4 years and is in the capable hands of Dr. Michael Zakian who has curated this event for the past decade. The reception is today, May 19th from 5 to 7pm hope you get a chance to see it. Your friend in art, Karl Dempwolf

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