Tuesday, January 13, 2009

West Clare Graveyard



I woke up before dawn in Kilnaboy, County Clare, Ireland to paint this graveyard. The church was in ruin behind me. Three gravestones with Celtic crosses rose up from the overgrown grass to be blessed by the first rosy light of morning.

13 comments:

Alexander said...

Good work..!!!!!! I like it. ^_^

Daroo said...

Beautifully moody. I love the solidity of the monuments contrasted with the ethereal quality of the light.

How early did you have to get up to have the painting far enough along (blocked out) to capture this brief morning light? Did you start the painting anticipating the light that was yet to come? Did you scout the location the day before?

In general, I'm curious about your methods when you are traveling with the intent to paint (i.e. create finished paintings), Do you hang out in an area for a couple of days noting interesting locations and time of day? Do you get permission to paint at a location or just beg forgiveness if somebody has a problem? Might make an interesting future post...

James Gurney said...

Hi, Daroo. Painting sunrises is rare for me because I have a hard time waking up before the light and I do need that cup of coffee.

But I had noticed this graveyard the afternoon before, and guessed by looking to the east that the sun would first hit the stones at such-and-such a time. I wasn't sure what the light effect would do, but before the sun rose I had time to rough in the sky and set up for the effect before it came.

I often do two-session paintings of fleeting effects like this if I can't get it done in one sitting. The painting is only 8x10 inches in a very small OpenBox M easel box that fits into a backpack.

Sometimes I get permission a day ahead, or if I'm in sight of a house I sometimes knock on the door just to settle their curiosity. And as far as begging forgiveness.... I'll that the rest for a future post.

Eerie Eric said...

awsome mood in this painting, the colors and atmosphere, one of my faviorite of the paintings you posted so far.

jeff f said...

Lovely painting. I like the light effect and the Gothic mood this has.

When I studied with Frank Mason he had a landscape class every summer in Vermont.

We had three crits a week, a sunrise, and late afternoon which would sometimes be a sunset.
The third was a indoor crit in a barn.

The sunrises were fun had to be up by 4 to get to the place we would paint. I know what you mean about getting up early.

sylvia said...

Hi James and all family

May 2009 bring you infinities of wonderful events and joys...

Your Art is still genius and marvellous...
thousand thanks
all the best

sylvia ( a great fan of Number 26 dinotopian ! )
from the french riviera.
http://n.c.p.free.fr
arimatheeblogspot.com

sylvia said...

Hi James and all the family Gurney

may 2009 bring you infinities of good events and joys.
Your blog is still always genius and your Art extraordinary....

thanks
all the best

sylvia from the french riviera and a great fan of N° 26 Dinotopian...
arimatheeblogspot.com
http://n.c.p.free.fr

SPJ said...

And you did it very well.

Stephen James. said...

Sorry that last one was me.

Sheila said...

You appeared to have captured an earthbound trinity. Lovely...

Amy "Bambi" Wendt said...

Every day your website is a treat. Thank you for sharing my breaks with me, and broadening my vision every day!

Erik Bongers said...

When looking at this painting, I can just feel the mood of the moment, the solitude, the quietness, the cold, the light.
A deep sensation of earth slowly awakening.
Quite ironic for a graveyard actually.
I value a painting for in how far they go beyond what they portray.
One of my favorites.

Harry said...

Beautiful painting, I have family buried there and your painting captures the mood of the place perfectly.