"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mulroy Bay- Back in Time.

"Mulroy Bay, 1983"
By James Swanson/Traveler Larry
20"x 16" Oil on Linen

Watch how this journey was painted.

Oh Brother, What a Trip.

We've all dreamed about leaving everything behind, taking off and seeing the world while you're still young.

Back in 1983, Traveler Larry and his brother Steve did just that, they left their home in Chicago and went on an adventure of a life time to Europe and Asia.

London-All photos are from Larry's photo album

And part of their 8 month adventure was to return to their roots, Mulroy Bay in Northern Ireland. And that is where we catch up with the two.

Traveler Larry and Steve. (Larry is on the right)
Travelers Larry and his brother Steve's Story: After gallivanting around London, walking the heights in Wales, visiting the jazz festival in Edinburgh, Scotland,

The Fairy Flag

and seeing fairy's in Skye, the two brothers traveled on to Mulroy bay in Northern Ireland to see their ancestral home.

Road to Mulroy Bay

One of their many stories of the place, was calling home all excited to tell their Mom that they where there, in Mulroy Bay, her families original home. And also finding out that the river that runs into Mulroy bay had the same name as their fathers last name.

A page out of Larry's travel album on Mulroy Bay.

How weird was that? It must have been destiny or karma that their parents would meet, or it could be Traveler Larry and his brother just visited one too many pubs while they were there. Which I wouldn't put pass them.

The photo I'll be working with is from NW tip of Donegal Ireland
- near Sheeps Head Point and Mulroy Bay.

The Traveler Painting - "Mulroy Bay 1983"
Traveler Larry was one of the very first people that I told about this idea of seeing the world in paint. He was also the first to offer up this trip that he and his brother took. And at the time I thought it was very appropriate that my painting journey would started over a green beer with a friend close to St Patricks day.The Sketch: This is my rough little sketch of how I was going to break down the photo and put together the painting. First, I was going to concentrate on the town and road. To do that I decided to make the painting vertical. I slid the most interesting part of the mountains in the background over, and left the foreground to your imagination.

Dark colors are blocked in first. I pretty much always start this way. Painting the darks in thin, and letting them show through in the painting.

Here I'm putting in some foreground color and background color to start getting the correct depth for the image.

Now comes the sky and the water. Since the water is reflecting the sky here, both were able to be painted in pretty fast.

The Painting is blocked in. One of the things that I try and do is block the painting in as soon as I can. That way, I can see and judge all the color combinations going on in the painting, with out seeing the canvas color.

Color adjustments- I really liked the warmth in Travelers Larry's photo. With the painting now blocked in, I can work on bring some of that warmth back in.

Done- I kept a lot of my first impressions in this painting. I was really close with the mixing of paint colors on my palette, so making that adjustments on this painting went pretty fast.

Details from the Painting:

Framed and ready to go."Mulroy Bay, 1983"
By James Swanson/Traveler Larry
20"x 16" Oil on Linen
This painting was started as a painting demonstration for an Oil Painting class that I teach and finished it up later.

Working from someones old memories is fascinating for me, because of what a Traveler chooses to remember about a trip is a journey in it's self.

Traveler Larry and his brother Steve have some more wonderful stories about their long adventure, and I hope to tell a few more sometime soon. Thanks Larry and Steve for letting me tag along. If you have a trip that was memorable let me know and maybe we can make a painting out of it. Contact me here or at www.theartistandthetraveler.org.

Until next time Slán libh.

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Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.