First Snow On Mont Ventoux #286

JohnOGradyArt-First Snow on Mont Ventoux
First Snow on Mont Ventoux, ©John O’Grady
14.25″ x 16″ oil and wax on panel, requires framing.

$524 (approx £368, €484) Free shipping.

When I look out of my studio window and stretch a bit, I can see, over the roof tops of Vaison La Romaine to the summit of Mont Ventoux.

Each time I have painted this mountain, clouds feature prominently.

As you know, I am a cloud watcher and looking up to the giant of Provence offers a marvelous spectacle. At times, the mighty Ventoux seems dwarfed by a large cumulus two or three times the mountain’s height.

This painting is a view from the Toulourenc Valley.

The vineyards are a russet colour that catches the evening light as it rakes across the land from right to left.

It’s early winter, the blue mists forming in the valley contrast with the permanence of the mountain. The relationship between this landmark’s solidity and the nebulous, slowly shifting forms puts the magical world around us and our presence in it in some perspective.

I’d love to hear what you think.

Take Me to the Island IX #285


Take Me to the Island IX, ©John O’Grady
10″ x 10″ oil and wax on panel, requires framing.

$239 (approx. £167, €221) with free shipping.

This painting is the ninth in the ‘Take Me to the Island’ series but could also be seen as a continuation of the previous painting depicting one of the many islets that lie along the coast line all around Ireland.

As an exploration of light at dusk, this piece has the feel of the west coast when the sun is falling and the light and haze bounce off the sea like a mirror.

Such blinding light shifts and morphs as the clouds filter the light from the sun, silhouetting the clouds like floating sculptures drifting across the sky. The glare changes the light falling on the island. The right hand side has almost disappeared and the left is in shadow against the horizon line; in a few seconds the light will shift again, no less wondrous and captivating.

Things appearing and disappearing are a theme I seem to return to. How we perceive through the lens of atmosphere is of constant interest.

The muted violet of the clouds is a counterpoint to the golden-green light in the background.

In the foreground, I have started using a cold wax medium which is like an encaustic type process but without having to use heat to melt the wax.

The cold wax, a blend of melted beeswax, Dammar varnish and refined turpentine, remains in a putty like state. I mix it with oil paint and found it great when used with a hog’s hair brush and a knife: the paint once applied leaves marks and texture perfect for creating the foreground of rocky shoreline.

I look forward to reading your comment.

The Silver Thread IV #284


The Silver Thread IV, ©John O’Grady
12″ x 12″ oil on panel, requires framing.

$331 (approx £232, €303) with free shipping.

I wanted to flood this painting with filtered rays as they pass through clouds and capture the quality of light bouncing off water you might see on the west coast of Ireland.

What initially started as a vague idea ended up with a painting about shapes and how they fit onto a square flat surface.

The clouds, when I started the painting, were much bigger. Billowing up into the sky, they filled most of the upper two thirds of the painting.

As the work progressed, I gradually reduced their shapes to allow more space and light to flow through the piece and give it space to breathe.

The smallest change to a shape can throw a painting’s balance out. Here, each small change affected the whole and had to be compensated for.

This exercise was absolutely fascinating. It ended, I hope, with a balanced piece that still has movement and retained a life force within it that evokes the magical atmosphere you might see of an evening when looking onto one of the many islets dotted along the western shoreline…

What do you think?

The Spirit of Water V #283


The Spirit of Water V, ©John O’Grady
12″ x 12″ x 1.75″, Oil on deep edged canvas, ready to hang.

$397 (approx £273, €363) free shipping worldwide.

The ever shifting light and weather fronts of the West of Ireland is a rich source to tap into to start a painting.

The sheer energy and force of being on the coast, the weather in a constant state of flux, is the catalyst to try and replicate that might with paint and marks on the chosen support. That elemental force is at the same time filtered through a vivid memory and abiding love of the oil sketches and cloud studies of Constable I once was fortunate enough to see.

In this piece the eye is pulled through the swirling vortex of bruised heavy clouds and veils of rain through to the horizon where the light casts a golden hue upon the land. The painting is mainly arranged around cool colours but the warm cast of rose light on the distant billowing clouds is the main focus.

Have you experienced, like I have, these veils of rain falling across sea and land while through them you see a brighter day approaching?

I’d love to read your comments.

The Turning of the Year II #282


The Turning of the Year II, ©John O’Grady
16″ x 20″ x 1.75″ oil on deep edged canvas, ready to hang.

$845 (approx £572, €778) with free shipping worldwide.

This painting is an expression of a significant moment, the turning of the year.

I wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

Thank you for your support, your comments and for following my work.

It means a lot to me.