The Barnes Foundation and Cezanne

I visited the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia on the way back from my New Jersey Workshop on my National Tour. I had seen the documentary movie a few years ago and always wanted to stop in and see what I have heard as the largest collection of Impressionist painters in the world.

Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas, and many more plus a very nice collection of Cezanne’s paintings. He is probably one of the all time great painters influencing plein air painting, impressionism, cubism and modern art. My Book on Plein air and how to go about it was inspired by Cezanne.

Card Players by Paul Cezanne

Cezanne felt frustrated and challenged through most of his life, not unlike how we all feel as painters. Even though it was quite a struggle with his father who wanted him to be a banker as he was.

You will learn so much by seeing his paintings and others at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia Pensylvania. It is one of my favorite or all time museums of paintings. My second being the The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown Ohio.

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© 2013 Daryl Urig

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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is if you can draw really well you have probably reached the height of Rembrandt, if you are very lucky and have not superseded him.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