If you graduated with me from Avon Lake High School, in Avon Lake, Ohio, you may not remember this gentleman. Even if you went to the school you probably would not see him unless you took an art class. Then be lucky enough to draw him as your instructor. If you played basketball you probably did not notice him behind the table keeping score, year after year.
His name was Norman Schnepf, my art teacher. Probably my most influential art instructor. He was quiet. He would offer up suggestions only if you asked him for his guidance. I asked, and he provided my aching art heart creative food for thought. If it was not for his direction back then I would no doubt be as far along as I am today.
In his class he taught me about design. He loved abstraction and was eager to share his insights to an open mind. We could explore many tools, and this is where I first came in contact with the painting knife, my primary painting tool today. I am just beginning to turn the corner and returning to some abstract painting.
After I went to my first year of art school I returned to his class to share what I learned. One student did follow me to my college. Years later I thought of him. When I Googled his name I was sorry to learn that he had past. I had wanted to thank him again for the foundation he had helped me lay in painting.
The Creative Underground brings helpful advice to the painter. This week we interview a plein air painter coming back from a plein air event. We discuss very practicle ways to get ready for a plein air event. What to remember, what to review and what you may experience. I hope this helps further your carrier as a painter.
This was exciting! What a great perspective for new and experienced Plein Air Painters.
The Creative Underground brings you a live discussion with a panel of plein air painters that describe what plein air or outdoor painting is about. The benefits to your art and personal life. What to expect and how to participate in plein air groups along with perspectives on competition plein air painting.
Those wanting instruction on how to get started Plein Air Painting may want to read my book.
“Plein Air Painting for Everyone”, by Daryl Urig is a great book for any outdoor painter looking to get a simpler approach for capturing outdoor light on canvas. It outlines a plan and process for painting and provides tips from how to start a painting to keeping your supplies easily organized. Starting out in the comfort of your own back yard.
We need a better voice or avenue for a clear and less encumbered presentation for plein air painters. I am proposing an online representation of Plein Air Painters with the Heart and Spirit of the painter, Cezanne. Whom I believe, is the father of modern art and innovation along with renewing plein air thinking. Plein air as a means of exploration, uncovering some new truth in painting as should all painting. Cezanne gave us a wealth of inspiration. Who may we inspire?
Steve Doherty of Plein Air Magazine hung up the phone on me last week when I was sharing my ideas. This brought to the forefront my disgruntled feelings about the direction Plein Air Painting is being represented. I could not ignore this; I had to do something about.
Plein air painting is not about proving that you painted it outside by photographing a Plein Air Selfie of your painting on an easel in front of a scene. It is about learning. It is about forever being the student as Nicolai Fechin discusses. I believe this perspective will provide the path we need in painting.
Let us move together as a team, liberated, where artist are not followers, but explorers and leaders in painting. We do have a voice let us use it.
My offer is an objective opportunity to post new thinking in painting. A board of 7 painters will help to choose innovative painters. With monthly postings and highlighting cutting edge painting. An artist spotlight that will focus on their thinking process along with progressing examples of their work. Giving them the opportunity to present their value in painting. With our better approach, maybe the garage won’t fill up with paintings that all look alike, next to old outdated magazines scheduled for recycling.
To start the ball rolling I am presenting plein air pieces I experimented with while painting outdoors in the Hampton this past month. It made my time painting very fun. The outcome was an unique juxtaposition of normal and abnormal sized images painted with a painting knife. Even a play on the Great Pumpkin Story? It works well with the rest of the composition and is a visual play that asks the viewer to think is this real or imaginary.
If you are that someone that fills this direction, please submit your work for consideration or if you would enjoy being on the selection panels, please email request to: contact@DarylUrig.com
It is always a humbling honor when other painters pick your painting to be best of show. I just did not know what to say. Thank you Loveland Arts Council and the Shades of Summer 2014 Plein Air Paint Out for selecting me.
There are a lot of scenes that just will not work in a plein air painting. In my experience we want to find something you can paint very directly and not convoluted with detail. You only have an hour or possibly two to capture the plein air light. If it is too elaborate there is no way you can paint it.
Successful paintings don’t just happen they are staged. We make a plan for life, retirement, why not a plan for painting? In this case the plan worked. Other times they fail. Though each time I learn by setting up parameters for my painting before my first touch of paint contacts my canvas.
Create a Plan with me in Italy, this October. Get in before the rates go up for airfare.
I know that many of the IPAPA Plein Air Painters went to La Romita, Umbria, a few years ago and enjoyed themselves very much. We have another opportunity to go again this October. I would love to have some other plein air painters join me.
I understand it is a very reasonable price and an amazing experience. You can see the video on my website www.DarylUrig.comof past IPAPA member participants video. When you bring a friend they save $200. You don’t even need to be a painter to come. There is a two day Italian cooking class. Included non stop sightseeing, food, wine and of course plenty of painters to watch and inspire.
I was very pleased when Leisure PainterMagazine picked up my article on “Copy habitats not paintings” and a plein air still life demonstration I provided. The magazine was recommended to me by one of my students. It is a very fine publication. I was very impressed with the teaching in this magazine.
My article discusses some very important painters and the need to emulate their good habits that created their masterful paintings. Then a plein air still life to capture radiant light. I painted with painting knives, and it discusses my process.
Above is a photo of a still life scene I plein air painted in my backyard for the article. Please be sure to follow the link and pick up a copy. Leisure Painter, January 2014 Issue.
Christmas has always been a special Holiday at our home. It is a time to enjoy family and friends. Gifts are shared from a willing heart, reminding us of our Savior that received gifts on his birthday.
I have enjoyed meeting many of you in my workshops. Always hating it when we have to part. I hope to see many new and old acquaintances this year.
I am planning just a few select workshops next year. One that I am especially looking forward to is Italy in October of 2014. It is the perfect time of the year to visit Italy. There will be plenty of time to paint with instruction and leisurely. Enjoy fine foods and wines. While visiting and touring the surrounding Umbrian region of Central Italy.
Painting Italian Villages, Shops and Hillsides.
Special incentives and pricing are available for early sign ups, returning painters and even bringing a friend. Many have told me it is a very reasonable trip with guides who have been doing this for over 30 years.
I would like you to consider joining me next year.
I just finished this biography on Cezanne. It was nice to get such a personal view of what was happening with the Impressionist that surrounded Cezanne’s life.
He was the father of Impressionism, Cubism and Modern Art. Quite an accomplishment for a man that was considered an eccentric, son of an honorable banker, wasted his time and money at painting instead of living like other people.
He eventually found himself not liking or even pursuing impressionism that he thought was a waste of time. He seemed more interested in trying to create visual space.
So many of his paintings where plein air studies of his neighborhood quarry that where overgrown with trees and greenery. This inspired me to paint my quarry ( 9 x 12 inches, with a painting knife). I felt I had it easy to drive my automobile to the quarry in Harrison Ohio where I completed this painting. He would either walk or be driven by carriage.
He believed that you must paint from nature to be a painter. I agree that there is a wealth of knowledge to be learned painting landscapes in the open air. I hope to do more studies here.
Marcel sometimes accompanies me when I landscape paint. You may remember him from my book, Plein Air Painting for Everyone.
The Road Less Traveled, takes me to Oldenburg Indiana where I painted with another plein air painter friend. Here it was like a trip back in time. Reminding me of the old barn structures of my grandfathers farm in Avon Ohio. In Oldenburg you will find the street signs to be in English and German their native language.
Taking the road less traveled in art and or life can be problematic. It has not been traveled before, or if so, seldom-ly, so you don’t have history to gauge your progress or lack of it. Major hick-ups can jump out at you without advance notice.
What it does provides is freshness and new avenues to explore.
I try not to paint to another painters vision of what painting is. Or impose unnatural rules created by some other painter. I choose to work from sight and my personal experience or interpretation of what I am looking at. Schooling myself in color, design, a form of structural anatomy and more fluid perspective. My eyes do not see all of the straight lines provided by linear perspective. Keeping as much as possible to my intuitive, non intellectual side of my brain. Assembling rules or a more solid direction to create more predictable results. If it does not work for me, then I can not use it.
Simplify, simplify, simplify, my eyes tell me I can not see everything at once. One area of focus sets everything else to abstraction. It is all abstract, then the mind assembles it for each new viewer making it their very own story. The fluid painting is an ongoing animation constantly changing in the viewers mind.
Everywhere I go I learn as much as much as I give away in my workshops and artistic experiences. Here in Darien Georgia during the week of the Blessing of the Fleet, the blessing of the shrimp boats before they go out for the season had much to share with me.
The fine people of this Georgia town, the friendly visitors from all over the country that would stop by my exhibit. To hear the comments they would make while they enjoyed my art. There is nothing like being in the trenches and learning from real life verses tucked away in a remote excluded studio far from the public. I hope to do more of these shows.
A beautiful line of shrimp boats and assorted boats and views along the waterline inspire me from Darien as does the surrounding area.
“Not all is fun, something’s seem painful as we learn and grow as artists. Like going through a gantlet, feeling like the foolishness is being knocked out from me leaving only what is pure and truth in me and my paintings”.
On returning to Bluffton SC from this trip my paintings where picked up by a very nice gallery on Hilton Head Island SC, The Karis Gallery. Currently on exhibition are two very large paintings, 18 x 55 inches depicting some of my southern experiences.