Stories & Updates from around the Studio

News and Reviews for March 2020

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With all of the latest news from WHO, the Federal Government, and all the way down to state and local jurisdictions, we are scrambling to forecast some future dates for some of our scheduled workshops and events at Carmel Visual Arts. We are working on that this week. For now, know that our April 2020 workshops are being moved to later dates and we will likely be doing the same for some of the May dates as well. In the meantime, you can keep in touch with us on Facebook and visit our YouTube page for some painting demos that we have posted there too.

Keep being creative!
Rich Brimer, Director

P.S. Here is a nice Facebook review from Kate Spencer, a recent student.


Carmel Visual Arts — COVID-19 Update

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UPDATE Aug 18, 2020

Carmel Visual Arts Director, Rich Brimer talks about recent changes that have been made due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our 2020 workshop schedule has been a moving target so we have decided to postpone the rest of our scheduled workshops to 2021. Please view our updated workshop list here. We were only able to host 4 out of the scheduled 18 workshops for 2020. I never imagined that we would have to cancel or postpone any workshops, let alone 14 of them, but this is what we had to do. I am really heartbroken about this. If you were registered in a workshop that was canceled or postponed, and have asked for a refund, please be patient as we rebuild our business. We will honor your request as we are able.

Since opening Carmel Visual Arts — seven years ago this month — Carol Henry and I have been building “community” through our studio and gallery.  Since then we have hosted over art 30 exhibitions in Carmel, with well-over 100 workshops and dozens of public art demonstrations. We are extremely happy to share that more than one thousand artists have taken these workshops with top professional instructors in both painting and photography.

The Barnyard Shopping Village has been a perfect location for us during our first seven years. As we approached our eighth year in Carmel, it became obvious that because of the deep shift that has occurred in our business model, due to the COVID-19 economic disaster, we would be closing the studio space. With no fanfare or a locals-only closing party, we finally closed the studio at the end of July 2020.

We launched into 2020 with many sold-out workshops—only to be stunned with the quickly changing developments amid the coronavirus pandemic. We have received so much goodwill and sentiment from the art community and we appreciate that. Now with the global pandemic, we all face difficult shared struggles that although is individual in nature, we identify together as having this common experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a very real economic disaster for Carmel Visual Arts. Yes, we will rebuild our business but it will look different. However, with the continued support of the community and students, we will do this together and go forward.

Rich Brimer, Director
Carmel Visual Arts


A Space to Create — In Kentucky!

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Announcing the opening of an art destination with

Space to Create

If you have always wanted to paint in a place that has the green hills of Ireland, horses and whiskey then join Carmel Visual Arts in launching their second location in America’s heartland to paint and photograph in Kentucky.

Rich Brimer and Carol Henry have acquired a beautiful 1871 manor in the rolling hills of Springfield, Kentucky less than 15 minutes from the bourbon capitol of the world—Bardstown, KY. It was also chosen as one of America’s most beautiful cities in 2019. We are just over 10 miles from the Maker’s Mark distillery, offering tasting tours that show off their fabulous Dale Chihuly glass ceiling.

With over 6 years of continued successes in Carmel, we are launching a Bed & Breakfast in our new historic home called Wildflower Ranch Inn which opens this month to visitors. Workshop students can stay at the Wildflower Ranch Inn while they enjoy workshops at the Art Distillery! Don’t worry—Carmel Visual Arts will continue to be a strong asset to the Monterey peninsula as Rich will be splitting his time in both Carmel and Springfield, Kentucky. More on that later…

The West coast meets the East Coast — Workshops!
Just a short 4-hour flight from the West Coast or a flight of just over two hours from NYC, our centrally located art destination called The Art Distillery will provide you with simplicity and convenience. With a short drive into the historic landscapes, you will find many great sites to paint and photograph. World-renowned Bourbon County is home of some of our favorite bourbon distilleries. We’re not too far away is the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest—a private, non-profit educational and recreational nature preserve located only 40 minutes away.

We begin our workshops at the Art Distillery with a Carmel Visual Arts favorite, Kerik Kouklis for his studio photography workshop — Platinum/Palladium Printing. He will teach you how to make exquisite wet darkroom prints from your own digital photos.

Spring 2020 is when we have chosen to host our Kathleen Hudson workshop. Her equine expertise in combination with the lush Kentucky landscape of green will be a very special treat.

Other creative painting workshop instructors will include William Wray, David Lobenberg & Elizabeth Murray.

There are lots of new workshops and experiences still in the works that we will be letting you know about soon. If you have ideas or suggestions, please reach out to us at and tell us what you think.

Carol Henry & Rich Brimer

Keep up to date…

As we launch into 2020, Social Media is a great way to keep in touch with the goings-on of both new ventures. Below are links to our new websites, Instagram and Facebook. You can even book your trip now.

The Art Distillery

Wildflower Ranch Inn

Florence Academy is coming to Carmel Visual Arts with Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund

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Carmel Visual Arts is proud to announce a special one-day class coming up in January 2020. Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund will be coming for a one day Figure class in Jan 2020. At the age of twenty one, Per Elof became the Director of Anatomy at the Florence Academy of Art, where he has since taught drawing, painting and sculpture. We are very happy to have him with us. This mixed-media figure class is only one day; Sunday, January 12, 2020. Class limited to 12 students.

Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund | Figure (Studio) | Jan 2020

Artist Spotlight: Derek Penix

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Derek Penix Workshop

Have you been wanting to get outside of your comfort zone? Do you want to learn to take risks and explore new ideas but just couldn’t get away from that comfort zone? It is with excitement that we announce a new Derek Penix Workshop to help you LOOSEN UP! Please join us when we bring this award-winning artist and painting instructor to Carmel, CA in August 2020. Register at

Derek Penix was born on December 29, 1980, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Although Penix was surrounded by artists in his family—his mother and grandfather painted—Penix did not pursue painting until after graduating high school. His mother encouraged him to pursue his talent and she took his paintings down to a local gallery where he sold his first piece.

Through the years, Penix has been inspired by old masters such as Nicolai Fechin, Sargent and the French Impressionists.  “I never want to be stuck painting only one way or only one subject matter. Variety is the spice of life and is especially that way for me with painting.”

Penix has had the opportunity to work under Quang Ho and later with C.W. Mundy. “They have helped me as an artist immensely. I am so thankful that they have been willing to feed into my life as they have.”

As an artist, Penix gains inspiration from his environment, whether that be at the park, in his home, or traveling abroad. He enjoys the freedom to paint different subject matter and has learned to push himself to try new things, even if they are out of his comfort zone.

Penix has been recognized in many national competitions and publications. Even at a young age, Penix was recognized in Southwest Art Magazine’s “21 Under 31” artist competition in 2010.

Derek’s Notable Recent Awards

Artist Choice Award (2019) & Third Place (2019)
American Impressionist Society 20th Annual National Juried Exhibition
Best Outdoor Still-Life (2019)
9th Annual Plein Air Salon Bi-Monthly June/July
Best of Show (2018)
Salmagundi Club SCNY Nautical Exhibition
Gold Medal Award (2016)
Oil Painters of America 25th National Juried Exhibition

Register at

2020 Art and Photography Workshops

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Painting by Matt Smith

Workshop Roster for in 2020

Sean Cheetham | Figure (Studio) | April 2020

Angus Wilson | Still life (Studio) | April 2020

Huihan Liu | Figure (Plein Air) | April  2019

Calvin Liang | Landscape (Plein Air/Studio) | May 2020

Matt Smith | Landscape (Plein Air/Studio) | May 2020

Derek Penix | Still-life (Studio) | August 2020

Tiffanie Mang | Gouache Landscape (Plein Air) | August 2020

Terri Ford | Pastel Landscape (Plein Air) | September 2020

Jim McVicker| Landscape at Point Lobos (Plein Air) | September 2020

Alan Ross & Ted Orland | Photography | September 2020

Alex Kanevsky | Figure Master Class (Studio) | October 2020

Karen Blackwood | Seascapes (Plein Air) | October 2020

Karl Dempwolf | Landscape (Plein Air) | October 2020

Jim McVicker Portrait Painting Demo

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Our DEMO NIGHT Series continues this week with Jim McVicker. Jim is coming from his home in coastal Humbolt County, so he is no newbie to seascapes. This is what his upcoming workshop will feature. However, on Sunday night, August 4th, 2019, Jim will be in the studio for all to see. Please join us while Jim paints a portrait of his sitter — Carmel Visual Arts’ Director — Rich Brimer. Jim said to CVA Director, Rich Brimer “If you’re going to sit, let’s do it!”

REGISTER HERE to come to the Carmel Visual Arts studio and watch live with refreshments!

The doors will open at 6pm for the reception. Then be ready at 6:30pm for the demo to begin.

If you subscribe to our YouTube Channel at — you will be notified when we go live and you can be anywhere to watch live on your own TV or digital device.

Carmel Visual Arts
3694 The Barnyard, F22
Carmel, CA 93923

Demo Nights at Carmel Visual Arts

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Carmel Visual Arts offer monthly painting demonstrations from today’s leading artists. Each event is open to the public however registration is recommended as space is limited. Your registration includes a reception at 6:30pm with light refreshments. Below is a list of upcoming events for you to choose from.

Peter Adams — Still Life Demo — Sunday, July 21, 2019 6:30pm

Jim McVicker — Portrait Demo — Sunday, Aug 4, 6:30pm

Aaron Schuerr — Pastel Demo — Sunday, Aug 25, 6:30pm

Randy Sexton — Figure Demo — Sunday, Oct 27 6:30pm


Recently we had Robert Lemler with us showing us all one of his styles by first drawing the layout on paper, then placing a translucent vellum sheet over then continuing through with a finished oil painting. Click below to watch the 90-minute session.

The Vintage Life of Bill Owens

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The Vintage Life of Bill Owens

by Carol Henry

 After a visit by Rich Brimer and myself to the home of photographer Bill Owens in preparation for his March 2019 exhibit The American Dream, at Carmel Visual Arts.

Bill’s collection of old-time pedal-cars. Photo by Carol Henry

Somewhere between downpours and rainbows, we turned on to Bill Owens’ street. His directions over the phone were implicit.­ “You will see a table on the side of the street next to a telephone pole. Turn in right there and go down the long driveway to my house.” Since his iconic photographs of the 1950s and 60s tract homes and their residents are iconic, I guess I was expecting Bill Owens to inhabit one of his photographs. But as we turned down his East Bay Area ocean view street, it looked newish, without the character that occupies an Owens image. Then, there by the right side of the road—in shin deep uncut grass—harboring a living room end table, next to a telephone pole was the drive. Just a signpost—you were about to enter Bill Owens country, and venture on at your own risk. (more…)

Art Exhibit — Point Lobos & Beyond 2018

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The California Art Club and the Carmel Visual Arts will present the exhibition Point Lobos and Beyond at the Carmel gallery from October 19 to November 30, 2018. The exhibition opens with a reception with the participating artists on Saturday, October 19, from 2 to 4 p.m.