Hello Karl
We just returned from your workshop in Carmel and although we had to leave a day early I can’t express to you what an impact you had on us.
After Covid keeping us down for over a year it was just the kickstart we needed.
Last May we came to Carmel anyways and purchased “Heavy Surf” from Lorelei and it hangs in a special place in our home.

Karl… you mentioned at your workshop that your goal was “simply to leave your mark” . Let me assure you….your patience and kindness with all your students leaves a mark with everyone of us. It certainly did with me. You have such a gift. Not only of painting but certainly of how you communicate. I can’t even begin to imagine how many people you have touched along the way.

It’s too bad I waited to retire from LAFD to start painting but I’m so glad I did.

Thank you again and of course thank your wife with whom I’m sure all of this would not be possible.
I feel like I need to pick up a paintbrush.
I speak for Sarah as well as myself in saying thanks once again.

Gabe and Sarah Acrich.

3rd Day

Just 10 inspirations ..

My painting of the Day: ‘Coffee Rush’ is a 25.5x25.5cm acrylic and collage on paper. The scene is of a hectic street corner at one of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Slanting light flickers and slices across the morning traffic rush. Except for the traffic, Sydney’s beach suburbs are an enjoyable and lively break from our town on the New South Wales Southern Tablelands.

Inspiration of the Day: Karl Dempwolf, who’s a long-established California-based landscape artist. I recommend following @Karl Dempwolf on Facebook, and please a look at his paintings there.

I recommend a little softcover book by him titled ‘A Painter’s Journey’. Currently the book sits next to my teacup in the prime ‘inspiration spot’ on my studio bookshelf.

Its 78 pages feature, life-size, Karl’s lively and expressive 5x7in plein air oils. The colour photography perfectly shows fine detail of each of his masterful, confident and economical brushstrokes.

Each painting deserves intense study. There’s a thumbnail index at the back of the book with background on every painting. There’s now a 20% discount on the book HERE

You can find a really useful demo video of Karl’s composition and block-in system for a plein air oil painting at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjGA0Qr3pMo

First, he sketches a scene’s forms combined into ‘groupings’.

This speeds the start to a painting because there may only be a couple, or very few, groupings of form-shapes in a whole landscape.

As he does this, he works out which elements within the groupings should stand out by themselves – and he counterbalances similar element-shapes across the composition for balance. This ties the sides of the painting together.

Please hit ‘share’ and send arty friends links about Karl or any other must-see painters I'm featuring, as we all need enjoyable discoveries in these times.

I’ve been asked to show one of my paintings a day + each day I’m sharing a link to an artist or method that inspires me: the people and tips that have boosted my learning and practice.

I was invited to do this by FB friend and North Carolina artist @Carol Cole Czeczot who I worked alongside for several months during our lockdowns last year in online workshops given by New York’s @Patti Mollica, the Color Theory author.

Otherwise, I’m breaking the 10-day challenge rules freely, though its aims remain unchanged: positivity, passion, and attention to art … plus share! :)

Ross Andrews

See all Karls Videos HERE

Hello from Mexico where I'm living for now as Los Angeles doesn't sound too inviting.

I trust you and Diane are weathering these strange times. I'm writing to tell you I have new eyes for your paintings and I think they are brilliant, masterful, and gorgeous.

I'm in the middle of a year's project with Ian Roberts on Mastering Composition and learning about creating visual pathways, simplifying form, controlling values, making gradations, and so forth. And then I happened just now to open your book which sits on my coffee table here and find you've handled all this and more perfectly. And you include a huge range of color plus juicey brushwork. Thank you for giving me so much to study. Really, bravo!

Molly Siple

A Great Artist

Wow! I was overwhelmed by the mastery of color and texture in the plein air miniatures. Many were what I've come to expect and savor when l quickly turn to Dempwolf in American Art Review, works such as DANA ABODE, PAINTING WITH MIRICH, MORRO BAY SHACKS, IN THE DISTANCE HALF DOME, and PALOS VERDES VISTA.

Then the intensity ramps up, exponential Dempwolf with RED TREE, ASPEN COLORADO, EARLY MORNING BIG BEAR, and FALL COLORS. I feel the spirit of Van Gogh, Cezanne, Derain, and Braque in all those lush oranges, greens, and purples.

I've always responded to color. Around five years old, l was given an Indian headdress. I was fascinated by the vivid orange, purple, green, red, yellow, blue feathers. I would marvel at the deep red, blue, grey of my modeling clay, and at the shiny vibrant colors of my tiddlywinks. Your art takes me back to those moments outside of time (as Proust would say), epiphanies (as Joyce would say)

Music also has color and texture, a synaesthesia. I feel it when I'm playing pieces by Ravel, Poulenc, Milhaud, Stravinsky, Rachmaninov and others. I don't give recitals. Like you, my joy comes in communing with the music. The piano pieces, unadorned by orchestration, are analogous to your miniatures.

I'm grateful to you for the clear blue sky of ASPEN; for the blues, greens, aquas, and complementary oranges of EARLY MORNING BIG BEAR. The clouds in ALASKA FISHING BOAT are miraculous. VIEW FROM THE BOATHOUSE reminds me of Kandinsky's paintings, just before he went all in for abstraction.


Robert Mowls

PS:  I'm sending this on my wife's Jitterbug cell phone, which we rarely use. I remain a Luddite, reclusive in the woods of Great Lakes Ohio, 10,000 books, Steinway grand piano, no computer, no cell phone.

Hello Mr. Dempwolf

I have been an oil painter for a few years now but was finding of late I wasn't having any fun painting anymore. I saw the portion of your art video posted on YouTube last week and have watched it four or five times since.

Your paintings are both fun and colourful and of course superbly crafted. I realized i was being too careful and using muted colours which is not the true me as I love colour! So Thank You very much for changing my art around! It hasn't been easy to break my old ways but with every brushstroke I am starting to again enjoy my painting.

Don Waites

Dear Karl

What a pleasure -- truly a thrill -- to attend your demonstration and interview today on Streamline Art Video. To see you create a painting from start to finish -- and also then to listen to the fine interview about your life and your creative journey has been a great gift.

Your talent and dedication and generosity of spirit brings blessings to everyone in your universe. I a privileged to be one of them.

with love and admiration to you and Diane,
Carol Soucek King

Hi Karl,

We are so appreciative of your art... not only the beauty of each one, but also your comments as to their “life stories” and current standing... thank you so much for sharing your artistic talents with us... you have gone far beyond our expectations.... while I’m not an art expert, I know when a painting speaks to me.... your Hearst Property painting hangs in our living/dining room/kitchen and I see it several times each day.... it has a calming effect that I so appreciate... even if I never own another of your paintings, I will always treasure this one... thank you again for taking the time to share your thought and talents...

most sincerely
Joe Thompson

This is Jane, still teaching and painting in Tennessee. I was so happy to watch a short video on your achievement award. That was a great presentation,

Congratulations, Karl!!! I just wanted you to know that my first experience of plein air painting in your workshop on the beautiful October days we painted on the beach, park, and farm, which altered my view of art, nature, and life forever.

I love your color always!


I enjoyed meeting and chatting with you as you worked on your nocturne painting at the Lavender farm last Tuesday. Thought you'd like these attached, silhouette lit photos of you working in the dark.

Just want to let you know, I was inspired by your enthusiasm and hearing of your background painting as a later career, thoughts about painting small studies, importance of impactful shapes and your openness to talk about your struggle to achieve a successful painting. (You elaborate more on this in your interview with Eric Rhoades)

Without you knowing it, you gave me affirmation I needed. I am painting after careers teaching high school and practicing law, painting small (6x8 & 8x10) plein air studies and perseverating beyond what I think I should be doing. Thanks to you, I'll accept that "struggle" as a productive process.

I have a new appreciation of your work after our discussion and seeing your work in person. You achieve delicate/elusive balances between adding texture and facets to bold shapes without losing their impact; employing full range of values & colors while maintaining harmony; adding interesting complexity but not looking cluttered. A rare achievement.

I'm one among many who have been blessed by your open and generous heart. I will surely cherish and learn from your book. Just to add another thought, your art stands out from the crowd, enriching today's plein air art world.

Thanks, Karl for your openness and expressing your creative thinking & feelings.

And, congratulations on your much deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mel Peters

I'm really enjoying your book, including your personal note to me and signature, your comments about your paintings, Jean Stern's colorful description of you and your art, Plein Air Magazine's article, and the State Dept's letter of appreciation for your donation. I know much work went into producing such an outstanding book.

As someone who knows well the joy of painting outdoors and the struggle to fine tune it in the studio, I find most artists statements boring and of little value other than maybe for their branding and marketing. Your realistic honesty is refreshing and affirmative for fellow artists and, no doubt, your collectors and admirers of your work.

You encourage me to experience the joy of plein air painting, without needing to knock it out of the park and accept struggle in the studio as a normal part of the creative process. I like your note about destroying a painting that didn't please you. I'm glad you included this painting & comment in your book. I've also worked and reworked paintings and just couldn't revive them. Now, I will be able to laugh about it and move on.

Jean aptly points out how your art keeps alive and even goes beyond our state's early expressionists. I enjoy your confident, bold brush work, (which belie your struggles). They add excitement and movement. That's something I need to work on. Not easy to do. I will study your book as a source of inspiration and something to strive toward. I will have fun sharing it with family, friends and fellow painters.

I can't adequately express how much I appreciate meeting you and receiving your generous gift.


© Karl Dempwolf. All rights reserved.