Autumn Mist on the Sugar Loaf #226
Autumn Mist on the Sugar Loaf, ©John O’Grady 2014
Oil on deep edged stretched canvas 30.3 cm x 30.3 cm x 4.7 cm deep
(12″ x 12″, no need to frame and ready to hang)

$397 (approx. 313 Euros, £247 with free shipping worldwide)

The days are shortening as we slowly move into a time when the land will lie dormant.

Autumn brings its own beauty such as the soft, veiled light of misty mornings.

The Sugar Loaf Mountain emerges on such an autumnal morning.

The colours are still muted as the sun steadily rises. Its rays are weaker but still manage to catch the bright green blades of grass still growing as if making the most of any splash of colour.

The Sugar Loaf stands, a reassuring immutable sentinel still looking glorious day after day, season after season in the Wicklow countryside.
Please let me know how this painting make you feel.
I look forward to reading your comments.

Flames in a Setting Sun #225

Flames in a Setting Sun, ©John O’Grady 2014
Oil on deep edged stretched Canvas 20.4 cm x 20.4 cm x 4.7 cm deep (8″ x 8″, no need to frame and ready to hang)


The sun is setting and the sky is aglow.

Orange, yellow and pale violets fill the sky with colour.

The day is coming to an end.

The blue grey hillside silhouetted against the sky offers a backdrop to the gorse fires that are sending blue green smoke skyward.

The gorse burns cleanly like tinder.

All that will remain is ash.

The ash will return to the earth to feed next year’s growth and aid renewal.

The wheel turns.

The sun too has burnt cleanly in the sky and night will usher in the new day.

I would like to hear what you feel about it.

Take Me to the Island VI #224


Take Me to the Island VI, ©John O’Grady 2014
Oil on deep edged stretched Canvas 20.4 cm x 20.4 cm x 4.7 cm deep (8″ x 8″, no need to frame and ready to hang)

$227 (approx. 180 Euros, £142 with Free shipping worldwide)

Whenever I return to the theme of the Island, the result is a painting where colour has an important role in conveying that feeling of refuge, solitude, melancholy even.

After finishing the previous painting “After the Rain, Croghan Hill” based on a specific place and topography, I felt the need to loosen up.

I took out three small stretched canvases, a large palette knife and a range of vibrant colours.

I applied them straight from the tube directly onto the canvas and spread, blended and lifted off a lot of paint.

What enjoyment!

Here, I’m trying to let the colours speak without working them too much.

To arrive at something simple is very hard. It may sound like a contradiction in terms but it is actually true.

In this first completed painting, I’m happy with the arrangement of blue greens balanced with the deep browns and light violets in the land and mist.

How do you like this painting?
I’d love to hear what you think.


After the Rain, Croghan Hill #223

After the Rain, Croghan Hill, ©John O’Grady 2014
Oil on deep edged Beech Panel, 18 cm x 24.2 cm x 3.7cm deep
(approx. 7″ x 9.5″, no need to frame and ready to hang)

$227 (approx. 180 euros, £142 with Free Shipping worldwide)

The main artery that connects the cities of Dublin and Galway is the M6. It cuts the country in half and travels coast to coast.

The counties and towns that lie in between are often seen as places to pass through and are sometimes neglected by visitors and natives alike.

I was on this motorway a good few times and never noticed a hill on the left which rises out of the Midlands’ flatlands after you pass Kinnegad. This is Croghan Hill which is set in the middle of the Bog of Allen.

My interest was renewed about Crohan Hill after hearing recently of a newly discovered bog body.

My mind traveled back to when I first saw the remains of Old Croghan Man’s mummified body at the National Museum of Ireland’s display, “Kingship and Sacrifice”.

I felt stunned.

He looked so vulnerable and real, I felt as if I could touch his hand. It had the substance of a hand with flesh and bones.

Ireland has a strong, deep connection with the past and past human life that can resurface when you don’t always expect it as it’s always latent.

A few bog bodies have been discovered in the Midlands and I wonder how many more are lying there since possibly 4th century BC, in a fantastic state of preservation thanks to the cold, acidic, oxygen-free conditions that persist beneath peat bogs and prevent decay while mummifying human flesh.

Old Croghan Man was found at the foot of the hill. The hill itself was a landmark and local tribal kings were crowned there like on the Hill of Tara. And both afford a fantastic and strategic view of the surrounding countryside.

When looking up Croghan Hill on google maps, (isn’t google maps incredible?), I discovered that I had visited a friend nearby many years ago and seen this hill but didn’t realise it.

This painting is about my response to first seeing “Old Croghan Man” and the recollection of that visit to the hill.

I would love to hear what you think of my painting and if you have seen the bog bodies?

View Across Dublin Bay #222
View Across Dublin Bay, ©John O’Grady 2014
Oil on deep edged beech Panel, 15 cm x 30 cm x 3.7 cm deep
(approx. 6″ x 12″, no need to frame and ready to hang)

$247 Approx 195Euros, £153 (Free Shipping worldwide)

Looking across the bay of Dublin, the hill of Howth stands like an immovable sentinel watching the ferries move in and out of the port while the tides ebb and flow echoed by the clouds drifting by in an endless procession.

This painting came into being because of its long horizontal format, an unusual size for me as I tend to work on a square.

It’s panoramic and lends itself to capturing a wide vista and clouds’ movement.

When I started working, I lay in an oil wash of bands of colour that I let bleed into each other by moving the paint around and working intuitively with it. I then left it for the night to dry.

When I returned to my studio the following day, the colour arrangement reminded me of standing on the beach at Sandymount looking across the bay to Howth Head and seeing a white ferry leaving the port.

The end result is a piece with muted colours that suggest a solitary atmosphere. The horizontal bands at the bottom have a static quality that balance with the charged clouds that add drama.

I would love to hear what your feelings are about this format and the resulting painting.