You Are Everything IV #300

You Are Everything IV, ©John O’Grady
8″ x 11.75″ oil on panel, requires framing

$230 (approx €203, £176) with free shipping.

The bog is a wild and wondrous place. Solitary, it helps us connect the body to the elements.

The previous ‘You are Everything’ paintings were exploring our interconnectedness to the world around us. With this painting, it’s also about the turf beneath our feet that connects us to the past.

Seamus Heaney spoke of the bogland in his poems as a cultural repository. The accretions of turf, built layer upon layer over time preserves history in its dark mass.

This analogy could be applied to this blog, built one post at a time, a layer upon another layer of ideas, emotions and thoughts about painting. And how all the comments, thoughts and feelings you, who look at my work, have contributed make up that whole.

On this 300th painting, thank you for being part of this journey.

I will leave you with Seamus reading ‘Digging’. We are all digging in our own way for the ‘good turf’.

The Journey #299

The Journey, ©John O’Grady
8″ x 8″ X 0.75″ oil on canvas, ready to hang.


I watched the last light of day from my studio, the pale orange glow cast the distant hills in a blue/violet shadow.

The stage was set.

To the top left, out of the picture frame, the risen full moon’s silver light glowed. As if on cue, a family of five small clouds moved across the sky from right to left.

These five roundish forms gradually shifted shape and glowed pearl-like against the dark blue sky. They seemed to stay at the same distance from each other, as if it had been choreographed that way.

I was first drawn to making this piece by the light within the clouds and their nebulous quality.

But on reflection, it was also that fleeting moment seeing them trundling over the ruined castle and old town of Vaison when two of the family had already started to loose shape.

A wistful feeling came over me.

It got me to dream of possibilities and their flight, a family of clouds moving south to the Mediterranean and across the sea to distant lands, always journeying on and on, always together.

No lines on a map or fences to stop them getting to where they were safe, for the sky has no borders and the blue of the night is infinite.

Blue Moon over the Orchard #298

Blue Moon over the Orchard, ©John O’Grady
8″ x 8″ X 0.75″ oil on canvas, ready to hang.


When driving out of Vaison-La-Romaine, you soon come to the countryside. It’s perfect to take a small side road and get off the beaten path.

A few years ago, one warm, cloud-less summer night, I drove out, picked a side road and soon stopped. It was pitch black. I sat in the middle of an orchard to watch the rising moon. Little by little, as I got used to darkness, more and more stars twinkled in front of my eyes.

A wondrous night sky was appearing before me.

This painting is a memory of that magical moment.

I was going to call this jewel-like piece ‘Arrangement in Manganese blue’ after the colour that runs throughout.

The night sky combines Manganese blue with violet, the earth has manganese blue mixed with a cool lemon yellow, the trees have manganese blue with burnt umber.

This one colour helps unify the painting to create harmony.

The simplified forms and horizontal bands of colour support the feeling of balance.

Do you feel the harmony of this piece?

La Pinède #297

La Pinède, ©John O’Grady
8.25″ x 8.25″ x 1.75″ oil on deep edged canvas, ready to hang


La Pinède or Pine grove is an accompanying piece to The Chapel in the Woods. It wasn’t planned that way and they happily happened to be the same size.

The intense light of summer brings everything into sharp relief and heightens colour in Provence.

Shadows and silhouetted trees appear blue and violet; they contrast with the warm yellow sandy earth.

What I find moving when walking through a grove of these Mediteranean trees is their tall slender elegance sweeping into the air, swaying back and forth in the breeze.

Their trunks curve in arabesques.

Between each pine, the space shifts subtly and alters the viewpoint of the distant mountains.

I wanted to imbue the painting with that feeling of looking up and through from a low perspective.

I look forward to reading your comment.

Olive Grove in Les Baronnies #296


Olive Grove in Les Baronnies, ©John O’Grady
8″ x 11.75″ oil on panel, requires framing


There is a small scenic winding road that passes between the village of Chateauneuf-de-Bordettte and Mirabel-les- Baronnies.

Close to Mirabel, olive groves are neatly laid out to the left and right of the road. The ground around the trees is manicured, nets are tied between the trees like hammocks, ready to be laid on the ground to harvest the olives in November.

Sometimes though, you can come across a grove or field that has gone ‘native’; the Olive trees and long blonde grasses meld into one in a pleasing way.

This particular grove had the light of summer evening filtering through the trees, silhouetting them against the light.

At the end of the overgrown grove, you can spot an old abandoned cabanon.

In this painting though, the real focus is the sculptural gnarled trunk twisted by age.

Against the light its beautiful form appeared to take on a blue, violet and reddish cast that’s accentuated by the blond colour of grasses that surrounded it.

In shadow, Olive trees appear almost black and in full sun are light grey brown but when I came to paint this piece remembered from last summer and I closed my eyes, I was back in the quiet grove and the tree revealed tints of deep blue and purple.

A quote from Gauguin immediately came to mind:
‘If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue’.

Although my olive tree is not blue, it shows different shades of colour.

Perhaps ‘The Colours of an Olive Tree’ would be a better title, what do you think?