Presence in the arising staircase, 2 ft x 4 ft.

2 ft. x 4 ft.
2 ft. x 4 ft.

One thing I enjoyed about this image or photo I shot while staying at T.C. Steele Boyhood home in Waveland Indiana with my wife Robyn, was the novel angles on this old staircase that rose to the upstairs. Then I began to think about how to enhance this view by darkening everything and have this light source coming from the bottom of the stairs by the open door as well as subtle lighting at the top of the staircase. I wanted some very dark shadows, that had this murky charcoal look, wood very beat up by its’ occupants and aged by use. A very rustic drawing seemed right to me to enhance this. I am using M. Graham Oil Paints, made with Walnut Oil, that I allowed to be very juicy, so the painting would have these spider vein drips I enjoy. It was like the painting was painting itself as the veins appeared. Some may be painted out and some left in as the painting dictated.

The idea of stairs, going someplace, either up or down fascinates me. I remember the song, “Stairway to Heaven”, always loved that song. Then having a figure seems to add something real to any painting, otherwise, it can be just things. The figure gives a painting an immediate focus. There is life in a figure or figure representation that the viewer needs to make some kind of restitution with. It helps the viewer to look at himself or herself possibly a little more objectively.

One thing I fight within a painting is that it is dark enough to show the brightness of the lights. I get my values off, I think I am dark enough and I am not, so I need to make definite decisions from the get-go of the painting. To grow and improve, and avoid pitfalls as a painter, I must be honest with myself. Know what areas of my knowledge is lacking and what I should put mental energy towards developing. The value study as a base is a very good move for me personally with this painting. Helping to define lights, darks, mid-tones etcetera. Figuring out where my hard and soft edges, lost edges in the painting will be. Going back and forth through the painting till it has the overall correct balance within the painting.

Each painting has a different plan of attack. I do think there is just one way to go about a painting, nor would I want or enjoy a painting that I had to do the same thing repeatedly hoping for different results. Is that not Edison’s definition of insanity? Maddening, that would be horrible. There are different criteria in every painting. I need to have fun and explore with each new painting I begin.

My idea going forward is that this foreground wood post and railing will be a very strongest focus, be the most dramatic, depicting the hand-worn aging over time. The strength of this post that has lasted years of young boys racing down a staircase, holding tightly as they swung around the corner. Secondly will be where the figure is coming through this door. Though the figure will need to be softer to contrast the sharpness of the post, creating great visual space between them both.

When you do a rough drawing like I did with this painting, it allows you to be freer with where you lay your paint or color. It is not like cutting a piece of wood where you decide to follow the line or cut to leave the line or cut the line away. You instead make your mark where you determine at that point in time is the best point to make it as the painting evolves. One thing I try to avoid is doing things I hate, and coloring inside of the line is one of those limiting things. Coloring books frustrated and annoyed me as a first grader at Catholic School. Maybe that is why my mother moved me out in second grade. Not sure. She told me it was because they complained about how bad my letters were, though the next school praised my neat letters. Today rougher seems to suit me better than smooth and tight. I guess I want the observer to see that a human being that breathed air, felt pain, had a real life was there before the painting at one point in time painting, moving his hand over the painting making marks. If they can feel that, I won.

In this painting, I wanted to make the mark making very evident. At every point I wanted each mark to be different as possible, but together like a great orchestra all pull together to make its’ statement. Some paint was laid in with a knife, a brush, scraped, sanded and many other tools. Some scumbled, dry brushed, glazed, drawn whatever suite the painting that craved it. Color was used sometimes minimally and other times like the orange right side, very boldly. Warm and cool colors were considered to help define a push and pull of space, while the sanding scratches unified the painting while building a thick veil of air inside the arising staircase.

I am thinking about calling this painting the presence. I have stayed at a few painters homes or studios were they once lived, now gone from this visual dimension hopefuly to the next. It is like some part of them has been left behind. Or maybe the things in the home or studio are the things that most impressed them and showed up in their painting. Maybe T. C. Steele’s mother, that you do not hear much about. Even the Israelites brought back Joseph’s bones from Egypt to the promised land because there was a significance to them, or it was part of him, maybe residue power? There is much we do not understand. It is okay to say, we do not understand, or not as of yet, I do not. Then seek to figure it out.

I enjoy learning and want to continue in a state of learning as long as the God’s breath resides in my spirit.



Changes – 48 in. x 48 in., oil on panel

Everything is in a constant state of change. What you thought was this, has changed to that. Nothing stays the same anymore. Changes. This last painting in a series of what I called Monster paintings or better described as Pareidolia paintings, may be my best Stop by the gallery and see for yourself. Please call first. As you stand in front of this large 48 in. x 48 in. panel the objects will morph from one image into another right before your eyes. Monsters will jump out at you. Scary faces, human bodies, it is up to you to decide. But be aware, your mind will play tricks on you and you may end up some place you never dreamed of being.

Don’t be afraid to break things up in your fine arts oil painting

See Step one and two here High Energy Painting.

Standing Tall 3
Standing Tall 3
Standing Tall 4
Standing Tall 4

Don’t be afraid to break things up. Trust yourself. You know where things belong. Since you have drawn the beginning phases of the painting they are held in the back of your mind.

How much do you need to represent the objects in the painting? How much can you break up and still have an object immediately recognizable?

What color and detail is a flag? I purchased one so I was able to take it all in.

I love the feeling of paint. The idea that the artist is present, not always hidden behind an overly polished painting of a representational painting. Let your personality shine. Have a play value in the paint. Anything can happen as you dive into the oil paint and you emerge.

Still more to do!

Other related fine arts oil paintings that had some break up in them, and more in other blog posts.


Comparing Two Paintings “Get Away” to “Back Staircase”



High-energy painting – Starting

Standing Tall 1
Standing Tall 1







Standing Tall 2
Standing Tall 2

Starting a high-energy studio fine arts oil painting you want to stay loose. Loose, but targeted on your final objective. So every mark has a purpose and is directed towards the final goal of the painting. High energy can convey emotion, life, spirit, exuberance, and motion. I want to convey a very airy feel, like a spinning tornado, where every object is like the scientists say, tiny atoms all separated but some how held together. If you could, you may choose to pass a single piece of paper through any object moving between the physical atoms.

The first thing to do in a painting is start with an idea then a thumbnail sketch. You design the space of your canvas, here a 4 x 4 foot panel. The design is basically a fancy way of saying, “how do you plan to direct the viewer’s eye when he sees the final painting”. “How will his eye move throughout the painting”, created with a multiple of vehicles: color, tone, lighting, lines, etc. You will need to juggle a lot of things all at the same time.

Many of the light blue and red colors will flicker through other colors I intend to paint over the initial layers of paint.

I hope you watch as I progress on this painting with future posts.

Title: Monsters: President Obama gave 400 million dollars, in cash, to Iran. It is believed that ISIS will use a portion.

Title: Monsters: Obama gave 400 million dollars, in cash, to Iran. It is believed that ISIS will use a portion. 24 in. w x 30 in. h, oil on panel

Please listen to my new Music Video: Monsters

Iran $400,000,000

Monsters in our land
Clinton play to pay is illegal. See her emails.




Monsters in Our Land

My current right as an American is to be able to voice my opinion. Have free speech. So I am doing so about Monsters in our land.

I understand that my song “Monsters” is novel, or even Organic in nature. I lack any musical training. Though I have a strong message to deliver and wanted to gain more attention to it. Many have recognized it to be a slave song which I will grant you. There are many slaves not only what we consider slaves to be in America. We also have the Jewish’s who have suffered as slaves and so many other countries and nationalities that suffer slavery or bondage to some form of leadership all across our world. My fear is we may suffer the same kind of slavery as a nation if we do not wake up and change the downhill path we are on.

Monsters, monsters in our land, soundtrack, daryl urig

Doubling our debt in Obama’s reign has only made us more vulnerable to financial collapse. We definitely need better accounting here.

So the song “Monsters” sings out from the soul, off key and off tempo, though somehow resonating in our soul as a real person. A tune we want to fix and at the same time find ourselves humming.

What caught my attention in the media was Hillary stating to a group, “That is not who we are”. Then a few weeks later President Obama says the same thing, “That is not who we are”. Is who we are some how changed? The song begs the question, Who are we. Or who are we now? I am not sure if we are quickly changing as a country or what we are changing into not having been given notice. Though it is apparent we are changing into something else. Possibly loosing granted rights as citizens of the United States.

I question in the song who is our boss, the corporations? The food we eat altered to what some may consider a poisonous state, causing many health issues and concerns. Why is this happening? Who is in control of our food? What we eat each day to survive.

I can have my emails searched by foreign countries. Can they not also buy food companies here in America and slowly poison us? Not to seem paranoid but walking carefully forward. I know it is far fetched, but we have gotten on the money train as a country and need to be more careful with our choices before we take money from anyone. Politicians have always wanted to take our money away, so that is nothing new.

What are we loosing? The song begs that we wake up. Take ownership of our country again. There are Monsters and hidden faces in our land. I have no idea who they are and how they are effecting me. We know they are here. We even have attacks happening within our country everyday. Random shootings and groups killing civilians in a McDonald’s and many other locations. We can’t just think it is happening to others and won’t affect us any longer. Our Police are shot at and killed. Where is respect? Where is order? Where is safety? We are a people, a group of wonderful individuals.

The fictitious characters Billy and Hilly in the song are in a tree, safe, but they sold out America. These characters somehow had considerable financial gain.

We have seen countless times where are leaders have made alliances with foreign countries to back their campaigns, for instance the Clintons. What is their agenda? What do they gain and what do we loose?

I cannot imagine how bad off we will be then. Loosing so much so we fit into the new us. The new this is who we are now. If we do not wake up we will all be slaves in our own country, shackled and bound to the new homogenized global community that awaits us. I cannot imagine that everyone’s perspective and beliefs are going to mesh. It would be foolish to think so.

“Monsters” Sound Track

monsters, monsters in our land, pareidolia
Food Eat, 48 in. x 48 in., oil on panel



Once only in a horror movie have become a natural occurrence in our land. Monsters and hidden faces, all behind what I thought was meant to do me good. No longer. The criteria and objectives of those with power are quickly taking so much from us. Politicians, GMO’s in our food, Corporations and groups becoming our voice verses us having our own individual voice. This video though organic in execution has a powerful message for all. Calling for us to wake and see what is going on around us in our country, then ask for quality change.

Purchase Monsters sound track here

Please listen, watch and share with those you feel are longing for good change, before it is too late.

Monsters: Food-Eat, 4 feet x 4 feet, oil on panel

I colored outside the lines on this Music Video my friends. Maybe one of you can help me crystalize the message even further.

Purchase Monsters sound track here