Thursday, June 12, 2008

Doorway Light

This 8x10-inch oil study of an Irish hearth was painted on two consecutive mornings in a cottage in County Kerry, Ireland. The cool light from the open doorway and an adjacent window casts soft warm shadows to the right of the black stovepipe, the china dogs, and the plastic bucket of turf.

You can tell the light comes from side-by-side light sources because of the twin highlights on the teakettle, water pot, and stovepipe. The light was brightest on the left of the scene, at the place where the owner apparently replaced a broken black tile with a white tile.

9 comments:

ramon said...

Mr. Gurney this is a fantastic painting! I'm trying to teach myself to paint, and generally only work in strong direct light, so it's very inspiring to see you tackle a complex lighting scheme with such success! Thanks for all the wonderful posts, they're really invaluable for students like me!

-Ramon

http://highonturpentine.blogspot.com/

jeff f said...

Great little painting James.
Love the light effect.

The old stove is great, I assume it was also the heat source of this space.

I love the smell of a peat fire, it's surprising how hot the stuff burns.

Justin said...

Subtle but insightful. The good thing about studies is the ability to see through the process. I like how you organized the way that you painted the tiles. It really enforces to think of how you are painting a scene and how to approach it. Thank you!

Mark Heng said...

Ah, the auld hearth! Just out of curiosity, what's your Irish connection? Just cuz I'm living in Limerick...

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everybody. Yes, Jeff, the peat stove heated the place, but it took us a while to figure out how to get the turf to burn.

Mark, I visited Ireland several times because my son Dan was at the all-Ireland music competition on accordion. I've got a smidgen of Irish blood, too, from the Irvine family.

Mark said...

James,
I'm wondering if the white tile on the left was there, or if you put it in as a way to break up the black vertical line of tiles and to help lead your eye in from the left to the center of focus?

Either way, well done!

jeff f said...

I used to live in Scotland and we used peat in the winter along with coal to heat our living room and kitchen. I remember we used to get the coal going and chucked the peat on top.

They sold it in 50lb. bags at the petrol(gas)station.

James Gurney said...

Hey, Mark,

No, I never would have dreamed of substituting that white tile if it wasn't that way already.

Whenever I return to Ireland, it's the smell of the turf and coal smoke that really grabs me and makes me feel nostalgic.

redelf said...

Oh this is lovely.