Friday, March 17, 2017

The Burren, County Clare

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody! Here's a view across the Burren near Kilfenora, County Clare, Ireland.
The Burren, Oil, 8x10 inches. 
To give you a sense of scale, those two dark lines at right are stone walls. Note that the clouds get a bit warmer as they go back to the horizon because the blue wavelengths are filtered scattered out of the white light as it travels through all that atmosphere, leaving more warm colors remaining.

9 comments:

Steve said...

Evocative painting, Jim. You've captured the brooding quality of that striking land. We made a trip to St. Colman's Cave in the Burren a few years ago and the skies that day were much like yours; gray lines of cloud echoing the gray lines of exposed rock below.

Rubysboy said...

Confused by the comment about clouds getting warmer with distance because blue wavelengths are selectively filtered out. It's longer wavelengths (red, orange, yellow) that get filtered out first as is evident in the blue color of the distant mountains. Perhaps the warmer color of the distant clouds is due to the angle the clouds make with the sun. The vertical sides of the distant clouds reflect sunlight from above the cloud layer. The nearby clouds show only their bottoms whereas the distant clouds also show their sides, which reflect sunlight.

James Gurney said...

Rubysboy, you're right that dark colors turn bluer in the distance, but it's the reverse with white objects (and the sun itself) as the white light filters through the atmosphere. Blue light (shorter wavelengths) are filtered out first leaving the longer (more orange or red) wavelengths remaining.

Tyler J said...

Thanks so much for the note about the warm color, and especially the follow up in the comment above.

I too always thought that things go bluer the further away they were from you but that always conflicted from what I thought I was seeing with clouds off in the distance getting pinker/rustier. I never understood why but your follow up explains a lot.

Also, great painting as always =)

Warren JB said...

That looks a bit like the view from my window, only less rain!

I was all set to go out and try to capture scenes like that yesterday (only less skilfully) but for the weather. March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb, and splashes about like a walrus in between.

Mary Rochelle said...

Not only do I enjoy your work, James, you are usually teaching me something new and fascinating!

James Sweitzer said...

I love this picture and enjoy the comments. Since much of the discussions about color and light are spot on with your writings, James, I would like to suggest not using "filter" to describe what is happening to the blue wavelengths of light. They're actually "scattered" out of the line of site. I'm an astrophysicist by profession who loves to paint as a hobby. The word filter implies that the light is somehow removed or absorbed. It is not. It is just scattered off the atmospheric molecules and re-directed randomly. The red light less so in this case and therefore surviving the trip to the viewer. This is called Rayleigh Scattering. For those of your readers who are interested of the best descriptions of the physics of light in the atmosphere, they might look at Minnaert's, "The Nature of Light & Color in the Open Air."

James Gurney said...

James, thanks! I agree that Minnaert's book is the best on the subject, full of great info for artists. And you're right about Rayleigh Scattering. I only used "filtered" because I thought it would be easier for most people to grasp the idea of the blue light being subtracted from any parcel of white light from the perspective of a viewer looking at that source of white light. Anyway, I made the suggested change to correct the post.

Fergus Ryan said...

Next time in Ireland come for dinner!

Fergus Ryan
Dublin