How do we express ourselves? By abilities or the lack of them?

I wonder sometimes if artist express themselves by their abilities or the lack of abilities. What I mean is, if I where able to represent it in a different way, would I? Why do I chose one way over another at the time of my painting experience? In painting a stylized representations with perfect monotone colors to vibrant stylized depictions can all be limited in one way or another. Their are always more options.

What is beyond what we know?  What we have not experienced or conceived yet? When we look at great painting are we appreciating the artists’ best representation? Or the artists’ inability to provide us with something more, or even the limit of his painting supplies?

Would have Van Gogh have painted his Irises in different colors if his brother Theo did not give him enough money to buy blue paint that month and he only had orange paint within reach?

So do artists represent in their work their best inabilities or do they display their abilities. Or is it possibly the influences of outside forces like supplies or an occurrence that puts them some place to see something they have not seen before. Or looking at something you have seen a million times and now see it for its simplicity and then convey this in paint?

What I about this is that I should not get down on ourselves If we can not do more at the time of our painting experiences. There is so much going on for anyone wanting to stop in the rush of life and take some small portion of time to paint. Even if those around us think we are selfish or self absorbed for not doing something else. Heck, Van Gogh had no money and he continued to paint. His family wanted him to continue in the church as his father was a pastor. Many of these ideas seem to provide a lot of confusion and stress for Van Gogh. Rembrandt must have heard from his piers, “Oh my Gosh Brandt, not another self-portrait, who is ever going to want to buy a painting of a homely ugly guy?”. You get it.

I should accept my abilities and lack of others abilities or lives unexpected and expected occurrences, even chance. What I have at the time of my painting event is the truest expression of myself at that point in time for who I am that day. Each painting like a diary of who I am at that point in time of my life. With some being greater and other paintings being less.

Why have so many Old Master artists destroyed their earlier works of art that displayed their thinking process because they felt that they where not their best work? We could have learned so much by seeing their development, not just their final body of work.

Also in my opinion a portrait painting is usually ten times better than the sitter. Sorry sitter. Art has a way of transcending life even if just a rough reflection. Even a child’s rendering can sometimes make our hearts warm of the artistic simplicity and capturing some rare characteristic of an individual. It seems to be more about interpretation than accurate representation. Artists filter and assemble ideas into some recognizable image.

Hopefully this will give you the the fuel needed to restore confidence you need to continue in your creative adventures, even if in a long way of getting there, accepting who we are now as we strive in our awkwardness and conflicts for more in our future paintings.

It is just life, and it is awkward, organic and un-orchestrated from our perspective. God sees it clearer. Welcome to the painters life.

Preliminary painting development takes some of the anxiety out of painting. “Woman with Basket”

For as long as I can remember I have heard how beneficial doing pencil sketches, small thumbnails or color studies can benefit my work. But thinking I know better, I skip ahead missing these important steps.

Now I go back to these most important steps in developing a painting and find out how beneficial they are to my final painting.

Woman with Basket, 12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas
Woman with Basket - Study, 6 x 4 inches, oil on canvas
Woman with Basket Study, 6 x 4 inches, oil on panel
Woman with Basket, 12 x 16 inches, oil on panel

It is a delicate balance between understanding aesthetics, composition and details. Every concern pulls you in a different direction. Balance is important in life and painting.

My inefficient process was that when I get involved with the idea of the finished painting I rush toward the details, many times forgetting some of the more important items like composition, design, and color flow.

All of these can easily be worked out in preliminary sketches and very small color studies. It actually takes some of the anxiety out of the painting process by not having to do all of this the first try, or having to balance all of these decisions in my head when I leave down each stroke of the paint.

I find I am more comfortable spending time on my painting knowing the direction provided by preliminary painting development. This work helps me to figure out things that I would have normally missed. Subtle adjustments done instinctively to forms in the rough would never had been seen when I get overwhelmed and caught up with detailing an intended direction of a finished painting.

One big thing I have learned, I am not sure why this has taken me so long, is that every painting I do is not worth keeping. Most are for learning, others mistakes, once in awhile I find one that I really like for some unexplained reason, but all lead up to a better understanding of my trade.

The painting shown here of the woman and basket was developed from a photograph, pencil sketches, color study shown here and final larger painting shown here.

© 2011 Daryl Urig

Caveman could only see in Earth Colors

Early cave men used only earth colors to draw on cave walls. Early Earth must have been subdued in color only having earth tones. Or cavemen’s eyes could not see color. Even the early master oil painters mostly painted in earth colors using sienna’s, ocher’s and umber’s in their paintings. It has not been until the present day that we have men painting in full vibrant colors.

Either man can now perceive color and early man could not. Or the Earth is changing from monochromatic Earth tones colors to a full color spectrum. What is it?

Should we be concerned about this evident change? What does this tell us? What should we think about painters that paint in only earth colors like the caveman of old?

Comments?

© 2011 Daryl Urig

Breathe life into your paintings with new experiences.

I just got back from Tucson Arizona, and had a breathtaking time. I’ve wanted to visit Arizona since college and to finally arrive there was a blessing.

While there, I often stood and took in as much as I could: majestic mountains, saguaro, prickly pear cactus and the changing colors. The dramatic color changes of the mountains and horizons were like veils of diffusing light, diminishing the distant mountains to simple silhouetted shapes. Adding to the beauty of my trip to Arizona, my wife and I didn’t run into any snakes, scorpions, tarantulas or cougars (my wife’s greatest fear!)

Arizona proved an enlightening and inspiring place for me and my art. And as an American oil painter, I now know I can paint a “Western scene” with conviction.

Please look for my images of Arizona in the coming month on this blog, as I retreat to my winter studio to paint from my many accumulated observations, color notations, studies and photos.

© 2010 Daryl Urig, All Rights Reserved

Visit the Paintings of Daryl Urig Online Gallery Store: http://www.darylurig.com/store.html

To view more paintings:
Website: http://DarylUrig.com
Blog:  http://DarylUrig.com/blog

Enlist Urig for your next Historic Event Painting: http://www.darylurig.com/historic-event-oil-painting.aspx

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Price: Contact: Robyn@DarylUrig.com

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Subscribe to Urig’s Blog: “The Adventure of an American Oil Painter” Blog by Email

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Interview & Bio: http://www.darylurig.com/about-daryl-urig.aspx

American Oil Painter Daryl Urig is a member of The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and Cincinnati Art Club. He has teaches at the University of Cincinnati for over 9 years and is president of Total Media Source Inc.

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Gatekeeper – Original Oil Painting Blog by American Oil Painter Daryl Urig


Oil on Canvas – 10 x 20 inches

This depicts a scenic view in Indian Hill, Ohio. For me, the gatekeeper’s home is nostalgic of days of yore. It also compliments the beautiful Marge Schott mansion that lies far beyond the gate.

The long profile of the gatekeeper’s home was perfect for the long canvas I had brought with me. While quickly rendering the painting on the canvas, I tried to capture the stone against the trees and the silhouette of the sky on the structure. After readjusting my drawing, I layered in multi-colored strokes to capture the stones’ ever-changing colors, so I wouldn’t have to paint each stone individually. By accenting points like the tower, the roof cone, the door, the tall and narrow wall and the shale roof edge of the building, I provided form for the piece.

© 2010 Daryl Urig, All Rights Reserved

To view more paintings:
Recent work: http://www.darylurig.com/2010-paintings.aspx
Blog:  http://DarylUrig.com/blog
Website: http://DarylUrig.com

Enlist Urig for your next Historic Event Painting: http://www.darylurig.com/historic-event-oil-painting.aspx

More on Daryl Urig:
Interview & Bio: http://www.darylurig.com/about-daryl-urig.aspx

Purchase:
Price: Contact: Robyn@DarylUrig.com

American Oil Painter Daryl Urig is a member of The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and Cincinnati Art Club. He has taught at the University of Cincinnati for over 8 years and is president of Total Media Source Inc.

View his Exhibit and Awards by clicking here.

Subscribe to Daryl Urig’s “The Adventure of an American Oil Painter” Blog by Email

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The “Starving Artist” is not a stereotype – Original Oil Painting Blog by American Oil Painter Daryl Urig

Artists spend their lives searching for praise and appreciation for their work. Most don’t ever find it. For some, it comes posthumously. For the lucky few, they find it within their lifetime.

The point is: most artists spend their lives struggling. Although people admire their work and devotion to their craft, they seem to have little respect for the artist themselves.

Most people get steady jobs after they finish high school and college. For them, their career is only a means to sustain their family’s lives. But for an artist, their work is their life’s passion. Unfortunately, artists don’t always enjoy the steady stream of income that those who take corporate jobs do.

Whether it’s their lower income or lack of steady work, artists find themselves under-appreciated in the corporate world. Although museums, festivals and galleries showcase their work, the artist rarely profits, both personally and professionally.

When one thinks of art, only some names come to mind: Monet, Picasso, Da Vinci and Michelangelo, to name a few. Although each of these artists achieved notoriety (some posthumously) with their work, they struggled.

Monet’s famous piece, “Women in the Garden” (1866-67), took him about two years to finish. The canvas was 2.5 meters tall, and in order to paint the entire piece outside, he dug a trench in his garden and devised a pulley system to lower and raise the canvas. Although he labored over this piece for years, the Academie de Beaux-Arts denied the painting’s entrance to the Salon (art exhibit) of 1867. The Academie’s denial of his painting devastated Monet, as he had devoted a huge amount of time, money and energy to this piece.

Instead of changing his work to suit the Academie, Monet, along with other artists, seceded from the mainstream artistic community (the Academie) and founded the Impressionists. These men gained the acclaim that all artists desire, but only after a period of struggle.

The subjectivity of art, as evidenced by Monet’s clash with the Academie, is a big part of why artists struggle. By the nature of their work, artists are slaves to the likes of the consumer and viewer. Choosing to conform to the wants of the consumers can benefit the artist, but even if their work is “en vogue,” they still seem to financially struggle.

Although artists are the ones who preserve and enhance the culture of towns, cities and countries, they’re highly under-appreciated. If the everyday businessman or woman can make a steady income, why can’t the everyday artist?

…Maybe their pursuit of a career that they love is comparable to a monetary reward?

But I think that’s just a cop-out!


© 2010 Daryl Urig, All Rights Reserved

To view more paintings:
Recent work: http://www.darylurig.com/2010-paintings.aspx
Blog:  http://DarylUrig.com/blog
Website: http://DarylUrig.com

Enlist Urig for your next Historic Event Painting: http://www.darylurig.com/historic-event-oil-painting.aspx

More on Daryl Urig:
Interview & Bio: http://www.darylurig.com/about-daryl-urig.aspx

Purchase:
Price: Contact: Robyn@DarylUrig.com

American Oil Painter Daryl Urig is a member of The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and Cincinnati Art Club. He has taught at the University of Cincinnati for over 8 years and is president of Total Media Source Inc.

View his Exhibit and Awards by clicking here.

Subscribe to Daryl Urig’s “The Adventure of an American Oil Painter” Blog by Email

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Painters never arrive at the final destination – Original Oil Painting Blog by American Oil Painter Daryl Urig

An associate of mine, Joe Bowler, an accomplished portrait painter, once told me, “you never figure out art because it’s a lifetime study.” Joe owns an immense library of books, detailing various painters’ works. He constantly pores over the artwork and re-reads the accompanying text. It’s a hobby of which he never tires, as each time he reviews these texts, he learns something new about his art form.

I feel the same as Joe did about painting; it’s a lifetime study. Your quest to be a painter is a continual uphill climb of learning and experiences. For some, this journey is frustrating, but for me, it’s a constant source of excitement.

With painting, you never accomplish your task, as there’s always something new to discover. But this does not mean painting is not useful. As the experience of painting brings personal fulfillment, as the painter is able to express them selves, their thoughts and their emotions on the canvas.

As a painter, you never arrive at your destination; instead, you enjoy a journey of experiences, all in paint.

To view more paintings
Recent work: http://www.darylurig.com/2010-paintings.aspx
Blog:  http://DarylUrig.com/blog
Website: http://DarylUrig.com

Purchase:
Price: Contact: Robyn@DarylUrig.com

American Oil Painter Daryl Urig is a member of The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and Cincinnati Art Club. He has taught at the University of Cincinnati for over 8 years and is president of Total Media Source Inc.

View his Exhibit and Awards by clicking here.

Subscribe to Daryl Urig’s “The Adventure of an American Oil Painter” Blog by Email

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Open Paint #2 – Plein Air with Live Model – Original Oil Painting Blog by American Oil Painter Daryl Urig

See open paint #1, the beginning of this experience.

It was too hot for the model on our second evening, and unfortunately, I hadn’t thought of that problem until tonight. But thanks to the ingenuity of a fellow artist, who suggested a fan and shortened pose increments, we were able to accommodate her nicely. Eventually, the night air cooled us, making the heat a non-issue for the artists and model.

This evening I tried something different with my painting. I read in a book recently that when you return to a dried canvas, you can rub it with linseed oil to give it a wet look. I liked this technique, as covering a dried canvas with wet paint often bothers me.

Woman tending her garden

I learned a lot this evening. By allowing the paint to suggest the form of my image, it helped my piece. I experimented with the simplified form of basic foliage. The burnt umber color I pushed with yellows, oranges, blues and Alizarin Crimson provided a nice color to the needed greens of the scene. The colors are more vibrant when painting outside.

By breaking the canvas up into small shapes, I added rhythm to the piece, and the direction of the rake handle placed the focus on the face of the woman tending her garden.

My final image’s likeness to the model surprised me because I was working quickly and loosely. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience of painting a model live outdoors in the garden, so we are lining up another model for next week.

Woman tending her garden - 20 x 30 inch painting on canvas

work in progress - session 1

To view more paintings:
Recent work: http://www.darylurig.com/2010-paintings.aspx
Blog:  http://DarylUrig.com/blog
Website: http://DarylUrig.com

More on Daryl Urig:
Interview & Bio: http://www.darylurig.com/about-daryl-urig.aspx

Purchase:
Price: Contact: Robyn@DarylUrig.com

American Oil Painter Daryl Urig is a member of The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and Cincinnati Art Club. He has taught at the University of Cincinnati for over 8 years and is president of Total Media Source Inc.

View his Exhibit and Awards by clicking here.

Subscribe to Daryl Urig’s “The Adventure of an American Oil Painter” Blog by Email

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Developing a Painting of Grobs Farm #2 – Original Oil Painting Blog by American Oil Painter Daryl Urig

Read more about this story in a previous blog post: Developing a Painting of Grobs Farm #1
Read more about this story in a following blog post: Developing a Painting of Grobs Farm #3

Painting on location, there are many artistic choices to make.

First, there’s the light. I enjoy the effects of light: the colors it changes and the distinct shadows it creates. I prefer painting this scene in morning light, particularly from 9:30 to 10:30 AM, because the light falls on the front of the house, breaking up the building.

The lighting in this piece, combined with the tall trees, provides the scene with a canopy, which coupled with the blue sky, gives the painting a cuddled feeling. Ultimately, I want the centered tree to appear round and to display the pattern of the tree bark, as this pattern of strokes appears elsewhere in the painting and would help to pull together the entire piece.

The bright lighting, on the grass under the house, makes the piece pop. The shadow of the centered tree should end under itself, but I don’t want to interrupt the painting. By bringing the shadow behind the fence, I simplified the painting, tying the piece together and providing a nice contrast and accent to the fence posts.

Second, I try to capture my interpretation of an image on the canvas. For me, my interpretation of a scene is more important than creating a photo realistic image.

In creating my interpretation of Grob Farm, I’m struggling with whether to create the whole piece on location, or to further develop the painting in my studio from photos and smaller paintings I have previously completed of the location.

Third, I try to move the viewers’ eyes through the design of the painting, keeping them on the painting, not off the canvas. The top left tree pops off the canvas nicely, but creates a bad vertical thrust, taking the viewers’ eyes off the canvas. Unfortunately, I have to fix the vertical thrust from the left tree in order to re-focus the viewers’ eyes.

I need to correct some problems within the piece in order to see what to fix next. But I’ve been told that sometimes the area you want to fix is right, and everything else needs to change to balance out the painting. Although this advice further confuses me, I am starting to agree with it.

My next challenge is to pick the right place on the canvas to alter during my next sitting. To make this decision, I need time to think and get in touch with my emotions. Knowing when to start and stop a painting is the most important thing, as you have to be in touch with all of your emotions to paint.

Read more about this story in a previous blog post: Developing a Painting of Grobs Farm #1
Read more about this story in a following blog post: Developing a Painting of Grobs Farm #3

To view more paintings
Recent work: http://www.darylurig.com/2010-paintings.aspx
Blog:  http://DarylUrig.com/blog
Website: http://DarylUrig.com

Purchase:
Price: Contact: Robyn@DarylUrig.com
Store: http://www.darylurig.com/store.html

American Oil Painter Daryl Urig is a member of The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and Cincinnati Art Club. He has taught at the University of Cincinnati for over 8 years and is president of Total Media Source Inc.

View his Exhibit and Awards by clicking here.

Subscribe to Daryl Urig’s “The Adventure of an American Oil Painter” Blog by Email

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Butterflies in my garden – Original Oil Painting Blog by American Oil Painter Daryl Urig

Butterflies in my garden – April 12, 2010
Original Oil Painting Blog by American Oil Painter Daryl Urig.
24 x 36 inches, oil on canvas

To view more paintings
Recent work: http://www.darylurig.com/2010-paintings.aspx
Blog:  http://DarylUrig.com/blog
Website: http://DarylUrig.com

Purchase:
Store: http://www.darylurig.com/store.html
Price: Contact: Robyn@DarylUrig.com

American Oil Painter Daryl Urig is a member of The Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America and Cincinnati Art Club. He has taught at the University of Cincinnati for over 8 years and is president of Total Media Source Inc.

View his Exhibit and Awards by clicking here.

Subscribe to Daryl Urig’s “The Adventure of an American Oil Painter” Blog by Email

Add    to Technorati Favorites