Till the Last Ray Gleams III #258

Till the Last Ray Gleams III, ©John O’Grady 2015
Oil on deep edged canvas, 31.75″ x 31.75″ x 1.75″
It does not require framing and is ready to hang.

$2190 (approx £1413) with free shipping.

Back at the end of December 2014 when the mornings were dark and grey, I made the first Till the Last Ray Gleams as an antidote to a grey morning I awoke to. I realised that it was also a belief that the wheel will turn and summer will come as it always does.

The affirmation has come to pass with a big YES today. The sun is shining and the sky is blue and I finished this larger version I’ve been working on for quite a while, building texture and then mining into the hillside by scraping back to reveal the paint below and making landmarks into the paint with channels and rivulets.

The wheel turning can just as readily be applied to the affirmation of painting : facing the blank canvas, we need to say yes to ourselves by believing that something will be made.

Yes is a word that can be so powerful.

Today the people of Ireland said YES. Ireland has become the first country in the world to vote for equality for all its citizens to marry.

Isn’t it great what a yes can do.

Molly Bloom’s final words of her soliloquy come to mind “Yes I said yes I will Yes”.

I’d love to hear what you think.

Peak-Time #257


Peak-Time, ©John O’Grady 2015
Oil on deep edged canvas, 16″ x 16″ x 1.75″
It does not require framing and is ready to hang.

$694 approx £441 (Free shipping)

Leonardo da Vinci once described clouds as “bodies without surface”.

Cumulus clouds have a nebulous quality and yet at the same time, they are Sculptural, they move gracefully upward and make their way across the sky slowly.

They are heavy with moisture but their movement and transparent qualities belie their weight.

How can this be captured in paint?

Watercolour lends itself to the ephemeral nature of clouds and many painters such as Turner have used this medium successfully.

In oil paint, it’s a little bit different due to its substantial nature that combine texture and opacity but oils can have a delicacy if used in the form of glazes.

A glaze is created with a small amount of transparent oil paint suspended in a medium of Dammar varnish, thickened linseed oil and gum turpentine. This is then applied thinly to give the delicacy of a fine veil placed over the previous paint.

The colour is built up one layer at a time and once dry, it shifts and deepens slightly. It’s like magic.

In this piece, I wanted the clouds to appear to glow internally as they catch the last light of the day coming from the right.

While painting, I kept thinking how we look at clouds that constantly change shape and lack solidity while at the same time, they are so substantial that when we see these large masses, we can be humbled and, awed, see our relationship with the world in a new light.

I would love to hear what you think.

The Spirit of Water II #256

click image for detail
The Spirit of Water II, ©John O’Grady 2015
Oil on deep edged wooden box frame 6″ x 12″ x 1.50″
It does not require framing and is ready to hang.







Where the Sea Meets the Sky #255

Where the sea Meets the Sky-johnOGrady.www.johnogradypaintings.com

Where the Sea Meets the Sky, ©John O’Grady 2015
Oil on deep edged wooden box frame 8″ x 8″ x 1.50″
It does not require framing and is ready to hang.


“No painting stops with itself, is complete of itself. It is a continuation of previous paintings and is renewed in successive ones…” (Clyfford Still)

I was reminded of Still’s quote when I had finished this latest painting. It reminded me of its larger sibling created a number of years ago and the thread that runs through a lot of the work I make, the changing atmospheric conditions and how light is altered and filtered by them and diffused forms fade and reappear.

Below is the older painting.


Apparition II en Gris, John O’Grady
Acrylic on deep edged canvas, 32.5″x 32.5″ x 1.75″
It does not require framing and is ready to hang.

$1990 (Free worldwide shipping)

The piece above is a much quieter painting with a more minimalist approach where the 2D surface is flattened but folds in on itself on the barely visible horizon line. It retains those concerns of light and atmosphere which clearly links it to the more energetic seascape that also has an abstract quality.

What is interesting is finding the tipping point where the painting is still descriptive of time, place and atmosphere but also an arrangement of painterly marks that stand by themselves.

The two pieces have a narrow range of greys that lend itself to reflection despite the energy and movement of the sea.

I set out when making the smaller piece to create the most beautiful grey I could (some task!) by mixing a number of greys barely tilted towards warm and cool.

I would love to hear what you think of the two pieces.

Here is another view below of Apparition II en Gris.


Always for the First Time #254

Always for the first time-johnOGrady.www.johnogradypaintings.com

Always for the First Time, ©John O’Grady 2015
Oil on deep edged canvas 12″ x 12″ x 1.75″
It does not require framing and is ready to hang


Recently, I came across a poem by André Breton, the founder of Surrealism titled ‘Always for the First Time’. The title struck me instantly even though the poem itself did not resonate so much.

The title made me think about how each day is so often fleeting and seemingly follows the same routine and yet, it is so different. We get up, probably go about our lives in the usual way, even though, we are imperceptibly changed, each moment is nuanced and filtered through our sensibilities, our moods, what we have experienced and learnt.

Each day has its own subtle beginning. The light spreads across the land; the colours that bleed in the sky have their own beautiful arrangement laid out before us.

This is how this understated painting looking across the bog and the distant hills began its life as a new day…

I would love to hear what you think.