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Renowned artist from Crossroads gives demonstration

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Nov. 13, 2011 at 5:13 a.m.

Dalhart Windberg squints at the details of a painting on Sunday at the Victoria Art League. Windberg painted a representational landscape for a group of spectators to demonstrate his technique and style.

When Michael Windberg was 12, his father, the famed representational artist Dalhart Windberg, put a small brush in his hand and encouraged him to paint.

"By the time I was 18, I couldn't stand it anymore," the younger Windberg, 55, said, laughing. "I needed to try something different, to go out on my own ... But I came back around."

After the teenage rebellions wore off, he said, he revisited his artistic bent and began studying, then teaching his father's unique realism painting style.

"I've taught with him for about the last 25 years at different workshops and such, all over the country, Texas especially," he said. "I teach his system of painting, and I teach the same way that he was taught, also."

For about three decades, Windberg - an accomplished representational artist in his own right - has partnered with his father to showcase and carry on the elder Windberg's master artist painting techniques. Together, they lead the Windberg Art Center in Georgetown and travel the country teaching realism art demonstrations to aspiring painters.

"How many trips? Over the past 30 years, probably 12 or 15 per year. You do the math," the younger Windberg laughed. "It's been a lot."

On Sunday, the father-son painters were at the Victoria Art League leading a demonstration on representational style and technique.

"What do you want me to paint?" the elder Windberg, 78, asked the audience.

"Clouds," "water," "trees," audience members responded.

"OK, now that you've told me what you want me to paint, what do you want me to paint with?" he asked.

With his son at his side, responding to audience questions about painting tools, style, and equipment, Windberg began sketching, then painting, what would eventually become a dramatic nature scene with clouds, trees and a stream running across the bottom, right quadrant.

"For some it's just interesting; they own a 'Windberg' and want to come see him in person," said Bill Bauer, Victoria Art League president. "But for someone sitting here and taking notes, they're seeing the tidbits that will help them move them forward as artists."

The elder Windberg, a native of Goliad and former member of the Victoria Art League in the 1950s, has painted more than 3,000 stills and landscapes since he started painting professionally in 1966.

His nature-inspired paintings are available in international galleries, and sell between $5,000 and $250,000, his son said.

"I consider him a success. When he started out, he was selling his paintings for $10," the younger Windberg said.

The elder Windberg said he still travels the world searching for new landscapes to paint, and as he approaches his 79th birthday, his passion for realism art hasn't faded.

"I still enjoy it. The only thing now is that it's more difficult to find something I've haven't painted before," he said.

Yet, his son said, his father's senior years as a master artist may be the sweetest of all.

"I grew up watching him, and he used to paint every day," he said. "Now he paints when he wants, and he paints what he wants. And he enjoys teaching. He truly loves it."



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