On the Trail at Dawn IV, ©John O’Grady 2014
Oil on deep edged panel 15 cm x 15 cm x 3.2 cm deep, approx 6″x 6″ x 1.1/4
(no need to frame and ready to hang)
How to capture the atmosphere of an early Irish morning.
The dampness you feel on your skin, the rich smell of the earth sodden by overnight rain, the soft sound of dew drip-dripping off trees and bushes, the first sight of the sun rising through a fine mist on the horizon, the taste of moisture as you breathe in…
Now clearly painting is a visual thing and my eyes help me make decisions about colour choice and composition while you, the viewer, also use your eyes first to respond to the image of the painting.
But I think there is something else going on with landscape painting that can resonate even deeper than the visual and that is trying to bring to the fore the senses.
This is a painting from a memory of walking in just such an early morning atmosphere.
Increasingly, I realise that to evoke a memory on a paint surface I have to dig deep to capture what I physically felt on such a morning.
Memory can be pretty fugitive and experiences are mixed with lots of other things, but I have to say when I finished this piece it felt like I was there not because it looked like a place but rather, it felt like one to me and this helps bring a deeper experience that you might feel too.
Have you ever had that when you dream and you waken suddenly; you are physically awake but you are still in the dream? It’s powerful isn’t it?
When in the process of painting, It’s a bit like that I think.
Have you have experienced something like that, i’d love to hear about it.