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.


My New Online Gallery

My new Online Gallery is available for viewing

Please text/call to receive up to date pricing: 513-708-7981

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An update to my faithful blog followers

To my faithful followers that have signed up on my website blog “the Adventures of an American Oil Painter”. Thank you, it has been a very busy and challenging time.

I have so many thoughts going on in my head. Not having time to express them in a painting is very frustrating for me. Today I was able to get outside in the warm sun and finally paint a landscape viewed from my studio. Painting and tennis are very important emotional outlets for me.

This may be a little jumbled and informative so just hang in with me for a minute or two.

I’ve been finished constructing my studio. Many you have followed and seen the progress. I recently finished my desk and my “Wall of Paintings”. I have too many paintings to count and not enough frames or wall space to hang them. I designed a compact display system; this seems to be working out well. Still working on the lighting for these beautiful paintings. All of my paintings are part of my Holiday Celebration Exhibition, December 7, 8 and 9, 2015, from 10 am till 4 pm. Stop in and enjoy a glass of wine with me and peruse 100’s of paintings at friendly holiday pricing.

I never understood how having space for a gallery would affect me. It’s fun when all the paintings are displayed together. You can begin to see distinct character that is developing in your painting style. We are always learning and growing, as painters, otherwise it would not be any fun. What kinds of notions, ideas or subject matter you are drawn to. You see them popping up consistently in various paintings. It can be very encouraging and enlightening to the painter.

Over the last two or three months I have been developing two paintings, as I mentioned earlier. An abstract landscape of sky and clouds, much of this was the accomplished primarily in my head. The second is a figurative painting of a female practicing Yoga. Working with sketches, photos and painting color studies while carefully describing shapes to make an interesting representation. I cannot wait to get fully immersed in both of these developing paintings.

I am leaving in a few days for South Carolina and will be there for three weeks.

Forgot, remodeled our kitchen.

Did I mention Dan McCaw? He is a fabulous oil painter. I love his work. We have been working on a video together discussing his painting. This hopefully will be completed shortly and will be available for viewing at Daryl Urig’s Creative Underground; you also may freely view many other painter interviews at

I just love what I am doing and have so much passion for it. I want to share my enthusiasm with you. In January, on the 12, 13 and 14th, 2016, I will be hosting a workshop for beginning to intermediate painters called “Get Back into Art – Finding a Creative Outlet” at my Creative Underground Studio. Please see details on my website.

Hope to see you soon.

Developing a Plein Air Painting – Marine Outlet, Richmond Indiana

In developing a plein air painting you have many varied options. I choose the path of developing the plein air sketch with as much passion as I could master along with being sensitive to observed color and the visual lost and found edges that disappeared into the shadow regions. The study was completed in Richmond Indiana.

Having a second attempt back in my studio, The Creative Underground, I was able to continue my path. Things I found important where to lessen any obvious drawing problems. Provide more space around the image for proper framing. Keep the gusto of the paint application similar to the study. Add a figure to provide a Marine Outlet mechanic while hosting that beautiful orange segment and texture towards the middle of the canvas.

When you enlarge a painting from 9 x 12 to 18 x 24 you can see that the texture is not as obvious in the larger final as it was in the smaller study. I could have kept this more similar by using a larger painting knife but chose instead to focus on texture detailing in the painting.

I loved the curved rusted shapes of the building and its design contrasting the old car that seemed to be parked beside the building and resting for a long time. These lost but not forgotten items once a big part of our lives seem to always catch my interest.

Then how much did I really need to say to depict this situation in the final painting? I chose to leave out absolutely as much detailed information as I could. Including only what was itself necessary in telling the story. You can see by the car and the man that so much was left out upon studying and what where the essentials to tell the story. Even a rough swoosh of paint to represent an arm and hand for the gentleman.

Marine Outlet Study on location (plein air)

Marine Outlet Study, 12 x 9, oil on panel

Updated Web Gallery of Daryl Urig’s Paintings

I have just updated my Gallery with some of my latest Paintings. It is a better view and representation of my paintings. Please visit here:

Save this Date on Your Calendar – September 5, 2015!

Marine Outlet Study, 9 x 12 oil on panel

I was able to see many artists this past weekend in Richmond Indiana for the IPAP, OPAS & RAM paint out. I was surprised how close Richmond is to Springdale Ohio. We had nice weather and a wonderful time painting and talking with other painters.

Many mentioned to me to count them in for the FREE EVENT, IPAP, SkyScapes & Urban Settings Paint Out. Open to all Plein Air Painters on September 5, 2014 at the Creative Underground. There is a pretty view here. I updated the flyer with the latest information including our judge since she had a family event date conflict. Miss you Mary Ann.

If you can, please Text: 513-708-7981 or Email: your full name so I may get a good idea of those participating.

I have secured inexpensive lodging for about $50 an evening. If you want to double or triple up it could be a lesser cost. So please register with the hotel early. I believe a breakfast is included.

Many great quality painting prizes to be won and awarded at the event. A Paint Safe Easel donated by Wayne Campbell we will have a drawing for from the first 25 sign-ups to appear. Including prizes from M. Graham Oil Paints, Rosemary Brushes, Plaza Art and more. Plus Plein Air games for fun and awards.

I planned group lunch for those who want to gather and interact with other painters. It will be a good social plein air experience with awards for all levels of painters to have a chance to win.

Please pass this along to any other groups you may be involved in so it may be a success.

Download Event Flyer Click Here


A follow up workshop is offered to those wanting to attend.

September 7, 8 & 9, 2015
Immersive Plein Air Experience – Workshop
Daryl Urig – At the DU Creative Underground
430 Ray Norrish Drive, Springdale(Cincinnati), OH
Cost $375
We can learn so much from painting on location in the open air. Lots of hands on demonstrations and practical explanations on the benefits of having an a plan for capturing great Plein-Air painting studies. Including creating dynamic compositions, mixing rich colors, and capturing light with lively paint. You will be amazed at the difference it will make to your paintings. Open media, demonstrations with painting knife in oil paint and pencil.

Questions? Call/Text: 513-708-7981
or Email:

I look forward to seeing you.

Daryl Urig

Gallery Grand Opening Reception on Friday, May 1st, 2015, from 6 to 8pm

The Daryl Urig’s Creative Underground has been bringing you live and recorded broadcasts of painters interviewing painters with our Think Tank YouTube Channel. Launched our artist-mentoring program and now the Gallery Grand Opening Reception on Friday, May 1st, 2015, from 6 to 8pm. The Gallery show exhibits Paintings of Nautical Beach and SeaScapes paintings of Daryl Urig.

The Creative Underground is located at 430 Ray Norrish Drive, in The Yorkhaven Professional Plaza, in Springdale Ohio, across from the Springdale Cinemas on Route 4 just off of the 275 outer belt here in Cincinnati. Get Directions

I am hoping to see all of you at the Gallery Grand Opening on May 1st. Please watch a short video below from our Gallery Director Robert Little and hear him describe two paintings from the upcoming exhibition.

“The First Brush of Spring” paint out in New Harmony Indiana

“The First Brush of Spring” paint out in New Harmony Indiana this past week was a great artist retreat. I was able to paint, meet up with old friends and make many new acquaintances. Thank you to all that participated and made this a meaningful time away.

Urig Painting, rough sketch of Soap Lady in New Harmony IN

Grain Bins in Overcast Day #4, 9 x 12, oil on panel
Barn Exploration #1, 9 x 12, oil on panel
Barn Exploration #2, 9 x 12, oil on panel
Barn Exploration #3, 9 x 12, oil on panel
Barn Exploration #4, 9 x 12, oil on panel

I enjoy taking one scene and exploring it from all angles as I have with the Plein Air “Barn Exploration”. All paintings completed with a painting knife which provides a beautiful rich textured paint application. Please look for me my upcoming workshops on my website.

It is a good challenge to plein air paint low-country trees and water

I came to this same spot here in Bluffton SC for three mornings to see what I may learn by painting a similar scene. Each morning my painting improved. I understood more about the ingredients. Cezanne painted with this approach. Returning to his mountain to paint.

My New Studio Space

These two paintings will be on display at my new Gallery/Studio! I am So excited.

My View, 24 x 30 inches, oil on panel

















My Wiggly "Stache", 26 x 22 inches, oil on panel




















My current home studio space is tiny and I have just recently acquired a new studio space. Yahoo! This is a new experience for me.

My new studio space is over 1000 square feet. It needs some renovation that I will begin next week. It is located in Springdale Ohio just off of 275 in Cincinnati. I am looking forward to spreading my wings and painting knife in the new space with all of the possibilities it will provide. Having a space where I can paint, teach classes, have workshops is just too hard for me to imagine.

I would like it to be a place of creative inspiration for other artists and associates where they can get the creative juices flowing. Share new ideas in painting, fresh thinking, eco-friendly materials along with a structure of responsible decision-making.

I would like to name my studio. What do you think of the name, “Creative Underground”?