Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Megalithic Vista

In the southwest corner of Ireland, long rocky peninsulas reach like bony fingers into the Atlantic. Prehistoric people raised Megalithic tombs and stone circles in the rocky foothills.

The standing stone of Leitrim Beg perches atop a hill overlooking Bantry Bay. Yesterday, Jeanette and I scrambled over a stile and waded through holly, heather, and gorse until we found the monument. We set up our tripod stools and pulled out the watercolor gear.


The Slieve Miskish Mountains brooded with their heads in the clouds. Alternating patches of sun and shadow swept across the small farms, each of which was ringed with trees and hedgerows.

21 comments:

Don Cox said...

That is very nice.

How about publishing a "sketchbook" book next year with a good selection of these travel pictures? I would certainly buy a copy.

Max said...

Ireland looks really beautiful. I'd like to visit that country. Actually, visiting other places (locally and abroad) does look like a good way to practice drawing and painting. I may have to try that myself.

Mathias said...

Magnifiicient sketch!

Anderhowl said...

Man, I have been trying to paint essentially that scene for months. Just seeing this one will I think get me closer. Thanks for the inspiration and example!

The Surfin' Squid said...

It must have been really fascinating to see those megalithic structures--and get to paint near them. Makes me wonder what other sort of human activity they've stood as silent witnesses to over the millennia.

John Hannafin said...

Beautiful James! Awesome, inspiring work as always. Enjoy Southwest Ireland... for me I saw rain 10 of 11 days last August, and more rainbows than ever. If you have a chance, check out the Aran Islands. CHEERS my friend! John Hannafin

Kristel said...

I agree with Don Cox that you should publish a "sketchbook" book. They are all so beautifully done!

And, does Jeanette have her own blog? She should!

Daroo said...

Beautiful edges!

Looks like an exciting place to paint -- Yeah, how did Jeanette do?

Steve-o Stonebraker said...

I visited Ireland with my family when I was a teenager, and my favorite megalith there was the tomb at Newgrange. It's exterior's been restored so you can see what it looked like when it was built.

There's a lovely website about Irish megaliths called knowth.com. The operator even posts pictures and videos of astronomical alignments that illuminate the interiors.

margplum said...

Very nice indeed. How big?

偉曹琬 said...

肯定與支持你!!!加油囉~..................................................

Colin Boyer said...

Beautiful watercolors. Looks like it must have been a fun trip!

Tyler J said...

Well, I'm not sure that I can add much more than what 枝誠侑誠侑竹 and 偉曹琬 have already pointed out, but I really love this painting.

There is such a grand sense of scale and the atmosphere is palpable. I marvel at your ability to impart character onto a landscape.

Thanks for taking the time to share your holiday with us.

claudi said...

wow, I love how you created a sense of depth and scale. Gret colors too- fantastic artwork :)

James Gurney said...

Thanks for all the kind words, gang. The internet connection is really spotty here (you have to sit in front of the tourist office, and even then it hardly works)--so I can't really answer questions very well or delete spam comments. But I'll try to get to all that later, and I'll try to keep posting more or less daily.

Pol said...

wonderful! congratulations!

Timothy Callister said...

Cead Mile Failte,

Don't forget to see the Asteroid shower tonight at about 11pm, theres a new moon so It will be the only chance in years to see it well. If your intrested you should try and check out Armagh Planetarium and the Ulster Museum, all the best.

James Gurney said...

Don and Kristel, Great minds think alike! I'm in discussions with a publisher about such a book idea right now.

=shane white= said...

Any chance you might mention what colors you're working with in your watercolor set?

Curious to compare.

=s=

Patrice Moriarity Crawford said...

It brought tears to my eyes seeing the photos and watercolor of Ireland's southwest, my father's family are from Finian's Glen on Finian's Bay and the last time I was there, there were only a few houses and now there is a chocolate factory!
Anyway, I look forward to all your posts, photos and valuable lessons!

James Gurney said...

Thank you, Patrice and everyone. I'm always amazed with the connections readers have with a place. West Cork is incredibly magical.

Shane: I was using a Schmincke set. I have it packed right now, so I can't remember the colors exactly, but I think there were only 10 of them, and I only used about 5. I did use a little white gouache (which I added to the set) for the far mountains because my first statement of the mountains didn't get the flatness of tone I was after.