Summary of past blog posts:

A Short Demo for Urig’s Self-Portraiture Workshop – YouTube Video

Open Media Self-Portraiture and Understanding the Human Face – Cincinnati Art Club

Urig Demo with Cincinnati Water Color Society on Self-Portraiture and Understanding the Human Face

2012 National Workshop Tour – Dates & Locations Schedule

Docked Clam and Shrimp Boat

Not far from the path, but on a Journey

DVD – Candid Conversations while Urig Paints a Southern Home

Andrew Wyeth is my inspiration. “Shrimp Boat run aground”.

Beauty Matters? Comments?


Summary of further past blog posts:

A Short Demo for Urig’s Self-Portraiture Workshop – YouTube Video

I enjoy immensely the workshops I teach, the enthusiasm of the artists, the new excitement they gain from the new things they have learned and of course meeting the artists.

It hard to put into words or picture what the Self-Portrait and Understanding the Human face workshop is about in its entirety. And if I was able to do this, there may be no reason for you to take one of my workshops, unless you where just wanting some face time and some hands on coaching from an experienced instructor.

There are many exercises I take you through to gain very important knowledge along with practical instruction in a way designed to help artist remember information.

So below in part, is a YouTube Video I have put together for you called: A Short Demo for Urig’s Self-Portraiture Workshop. Please enjoy. I hope to see you at one of my workshops on my National Tour.

See dates and local workshop offerings in your area here:

< Read more about self-portrait workshop

Information on Workshops & Locations
© 2012 Daryl Urig

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.

Variety of Faces in Self Portraiture

I by no means am trying to elevate my position to these other great painters. But what I would like to show by a few examples of Picasso’s and Rembrandt’s work is that there is much variety in the way each painter represents there face in each new work. In style, medium, lighting, age and more. Obviously there is no one way to do a self portrait and those who have tried to limit art by there own constrained understanding have always irritated myself and other painters.

Faces of Rembrandt

Faces of Picasso

Faces of Urig

Some of what I have gained through this time tested art of the Old Masters is a deeper understanding of myself and the link it plays in understanding others around me. There is nothing easy about painting. I am sorry some try to think that it is. It is in my opinion something very hard, sometimes even difficult. We can be lifetime students if we wish, always feeling like the infant with so much more to learn.

One young artist in the 5th grade told me that artists are smart, he remembers Leonardo as being an inventor, even possibly for the vision for the first helicopter and tank. Nothing easy here.

To me self portraiture is about learning and trying to grasp something more. Each time we come back to it we learn something new and it comes out a little different with each exploration.

We as Artist take the complex and try to simplify it down to its basic visual elements, and add heart and soul and personal expression and out comes ART.

See Self Portrait workshops as Urig makes a US national tour from east to west coast. We can learn so much together.

© 2011 Daryl Urig

Rembrandt may have something to say about solving your artist direction for painting.

I was always frustrated with myself that I had no one way of doing things when it came to painting. It seemed like every time I would start a painting I would set up a new agenda, target, goals and path to accomplish this and of course allow for discovery along the way.

It was not till reading recently that I have come to some resolution about this topic.

I found that Rembrandt was considered eclectic with his artistic approach. Never preceding the same way on purpose, but always proceeding in whatever way would best accomplish his goals. This seemed more like me.

So if you are frustrated with not having one process, one look or solution. Know you are not alone, like Rembrandt you are just trying to solve the artistic equation in the best way you know how.

Does anyone else have this same frustration? Has this helped you?

© 2011 Daryl Urig, All Rights Reserved

Let’s tell the visual truth. Myths and other lies may be blocking you from your full creativity.

As in all parts of life, lies, myths or false truths can hinder us from reaching our goals. But the tricky part is recognizing the lies so you can tell yourself the truth so you are able to move forward, even leap over unseen obstacles.

What may myths look like? Each may have a little truth mixed in with a bigger lie.

If you can draw really well you will be a widely successful artist or painter. But the fact is if you can draw really well you have probably reached the height of Rembrandt, if you are very lucky and have not superseded him. I believe we need to learn from the past then create something even better based on what we have learned. Not just imitating.

If I can paint exactly like my teacher I will be successful. Duplicating someone else’s efforts just belittles the fact that you personally have something to offer. Painting from where you are, with your experiences and feelings and capabilities is always the best place to begin.

If I paint they will find me. Kind of like the movie, “Field of Dreams”, If you build the ball field, they will come. Unfortunately if you exist hidden away, not promoting yourself, not getting involved you may end up more like Van Gogh. A good painter, but you may not sell much or get noticed till after you die. We can learn a lot from the past.

If I paint like the old masters then everyone will like me. Some may like your work, but it is really just duplicating the past, not embracing the future. I believe there is so much to learn from the masters, but don’t stop there, keep moving forward, developing the new.

If I join lots of Juried shows I will get noticed. You have to be selective and enter shows that best fit you to realize benefits. Not all shows are a good fit.

I can rely on only galleries to sell my work. Not so. Things are changing very rapidly. The gallery owners know and feel this. Some have not been able to keep up with the speed of change of the Internet Marketing. You are always the best person to sell yourself and your work. You understand it best. Make sure the galleries are knowledgeable of all your accomplishments and are sharing them with potential purchasers.

If I pay for an expensive art school I will for sure be a great artist?
Belonging to something great is not as good as participating greatly in painting.

If I can put every detail into my painting it will be beautiful. Possibly, but there is a greater chance of success if you allow some sections of a painting to lack detail and other areas to have enhanced detail to show focus. Simplicity with detail seems like a good balance.

If a put every color I see in the painting it will be perfect. I have found simplifying a color pallet and even the colors or values in a painting adds more clarity verses the opposite.

If I tell the truth in what I see and represent it accurately it will be a wonderful painting. This I have struggled with for a while and have come to the conclusion that a painting is a lie. It is representing things abstractly or simply to represent the truth before us. Telling many visual lies to create or represent one visual truth seems more accurate. The paint colors we use can never come close to the real colors we see in life. Everything is in contrast to what is next to it. A color is brighter next to a gray. More mass and volume come from simplifying tones, even to as low as 3 or 4 tones in an entire painting. Soft and hard edges exaggerates the illusion of real form. We are more in the business of illusion or eye trickery of space and form. So create…

There are so many myths. The experience of painting will help us rid ourselves of many myths from our intellect. As a Painter, understanding truth from the beginning makes it a lot easier to develop our work verses dispelling myths handed to us on silver platters from well meaning instructors.

Maybe my readers can share some of the myths they have had to deal with in regards to their painting. Tell us all about your successes and struggles so we can all learn and benefit by telling the visual truth.

© 2011 Daryl Urig, All Rights Reserved