Conversation with Carl Dalio

Posted August 04 2015

We filmed two video workshops with Carl Dalio:

CD1d (Color Power: The Path to Visualizing Energetic Color with Carl Dalio)
CD2d (Sketching in Perspective by Carl Dalio)


We were pleased to contact him again this month learn about what he has been doing since and to gather some new examples of his wonderful artwork.


The filming session for my painting video at Creative Catalyst Productions in Oregon was an exciting and memorable event. Jim and Lynn Powers greeted me with warm enthusiasm and extended their kind hospitality and encouragement throughout my visit. Their easy going approach, professional style and state-of-the-art recording studio was, at once, impressive. We discussed filming procedures, worked steadily through segments and laughed about how hard it was for me to just demo to several cameras without the presence of a real audience... good times!

'ABOVE SEDONA - SNOOPY ROCK' - by Carl Dalio  


I’m so pleased with Creative Catalyst’s editing and production on the project. The resulting two videos, (1) color and (2) perspective drawing have given me an opportunity to share my experience with a large and ever expanding number of artists. To this day, I still get positive comments from artists regarding some helpful tip or inspiration they received from the videos.

CORONADO BOATHOUSE 1887- by Carl Dalio   CORONADO BOATHOUSE 1887- by Carl Dalio

I believe that if students want to learn about the art of painting, painting workshops and live demos by professional artists-instructors is prime. Seeing a live person attempt a painting in front of a live audience can fire up the creative juices. Moreover, asking questions and getting answers in real time is extremely helpful. On the other hand, there is the ever present concern for expense, travel and scheduling in busy lives. This is where videos can play a vital role. An artist can view a painting video when it’s personally convenient and repeat segments to focus on particular concepts.

'GREAT HORNED OWL' - by Carl Dalio   'GREAT HORNED OWL' - by Carl Dalio

Throughout my workshop teaching experience, I’ve seen many students struggle with a number of issues that impede their level of satisfaction in painting. I always make an effort to tackle these problems head on, to bring some contentment and joy back into the lives of practicing artists. Focusing on the following basic concepts will bring some calm and logic into what can be a confusing process:

          (1) Choose a subject that really moves you. Really.

          (2) Have a clear, personal feeling about that subject. Express it.

          (3) Develop a strong composition with a center of interest. Plan it.

          (4) Simplify shapes. Details, if any, come, sparingly, later.

          (5) Develop a simple value pattern. Stick to it.

          (6) Use expressive color that supports and celebrates all the above.


This is certainly not all the concerns that confront artists in their individual journeys. But these are important points to keep in mind on the road to solid painting and achieving a sense of accomplishment.

 IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS - Charcoal - by Carl Dalio  IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS - Charcoal - by Carl Dalio

I continue to teach painting workshops and work in watercolor, oils and pastels. I’m always open for an opportunity to share my painting and creative experience with those who want to learn. Ready to hop a plane for new destinations, I always enjoy engaging with artists willing to think outside the box and to fearlessly express the world of color around them.


Final note:

We live in a world of increasing, often shocking changes. So many changes are the result of the advance of technology. I’m the first to say I enjoy my tech tools: computers, mobile devices, programs, apps and digital drawing pads (yes, I draw and design projects like a sleep-starved inventor). I appreciate these tools, but I do not worship them. There’s a time and place for all good tools and one must know when to use them and when to turn them off. They are tools, after all, amazing machine innovations. They imitate human thinking and actions, but they are not human. They compute with perfection, but have no human finger print. They mimic.

'LIQUID BLUE'  - by Carl Dalio  'LIQUID BLUE'  - by Carl Dalio 

It is important, I feel, to honor and hold precious what it is to be truly human always. We are capable of original thinking, genuine feelings, great achievements, grand failures and incredible recoveries. The act of painting, ideally with physical tools and materials, celebrates the value of the human condition. It is the perfect endeavor to exercise these complex and beautiful human traits.     

'MONUMENT VALLEY' - by Carl Dalio  'MONUMENT VALLEY' - by Carl Dalio 


'MOUNTAIN PASS' - by Carl Dalio  'MOUNTAIN PASS' - by Carl Dalio