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

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

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.

The Spirit of Water #253

The Spirit of Water ©John O’Grady 2015

Oil on canvas 10″ x 10″ x 0.75″
It does not require framing and is ready to hang.


Like many of my paintings, this piece started life by responding to initial marks made on canvas and seeing where it took me and whether a dialogue could be had.

Often, the painting seems to hang on a turning point at the despair stage!

I was flinging a fair bit of paint around to find a way back in when suddenly, rain and water emerged and merged on the canvas. I instantly felt the connection I was seeking almost like how a metaphor in poetry turns a key in the brain to see anew.

The sheets of rain and the wave were reaching out to each other in some kind of sublime, energetic interconnectedness of nature that shows the elemental force you can experience on the coast of Ireland.

I’d love to read your comments.

In Between (The Blue Hour) #252

In Between (The Blue Hour) ©John O’Grady 2015
Oil on deep edged canvas 19.75″ x 19.75″ x 1.75″ / 50 cm x 50 cm x 4.75cm
It does not require framing and is ready to hang.

$1057 (approx. 1008 Euros, £717 including shipping)

The time and place when we are just on the edge of something is only a slither of space, a moment.

It is a special time when the realisation of the seconds passing can be fully brought into clear focus.

The passage from light to dark, while on the cusp between the solidity of land and the liquidity of water is one of these special moments in the day.

These in-between moments, so brief they are easy to miss, straddle the material and the immaterial.

I wanted to convey the feeling of standing at the edge when the last light has just touched the tops of the mountains and in a few moments all will be shrouded in darkness while the roar of the ocean fills our perception.

One sense replaces another.

I’d love to read your comment.