Morning Shadows II #191 Morning Shadows II

Morning Shadows II, ©John O’Grady, 2014
Oil on Panel, 10″x 10″


When out walking at the start of day, the air is crisp, the light hazy. You have to wait for the sun to rise in the sky to make everything sharper and brighter.

In this painting, I sought to capture that diffused sensation before the sun brings focus. It’s also a study in light bouncing around the picture.

I wanted the light of an Irish morning to fill the painting.

The shadows create an abstract pattern that act as a counterpoint to the white light.

I’d love to read your comments.


  1. Terry Pitts 03/04/2014 at 9:02 pm #

    I like the play of light and shadow. But more, I want to know what’s waiting around the bend…perhaps a small pub, tucked away and inviting one to a warm fire?? Good work, John!!! All the best!!

    • John O'Grady 03/04/2014 at 9:09 pm #

      I like your style Terry, a man after my own heart! Thanks all the best to you both

  2. JR 04/04/2014 at 12:06 am #

    I like the quality of the light here, John — you know immediately that it’s cool, blue, morning light and not warm afternoon light — and the almost palpable physicality of it as it penetrates the trees and hits the ground and the woods to the right. Even in the pattern of shadows you can see the energy of the light in those white dancing lines as the branches move. The atmosphere is powerful, and the dark forms of the trees anchor the image in space. The path feels like an invitation into the day as it is beginning. Gorgeous use of greens and violets. Just beautiful.

    • John O'Grady 04/04/2014 at 12:46 pm #

      Hello Josephine, thank you for your thoughtful comment. When I was looking at the finished piece I thought the same, the path leads the eye into the light of a new day.

  3. Steven Bowen 06/04/2014 at 4:48 am #

    Hi John – I’ve been meaning to ask you…do you use your fingers to apply paint?

    • John O'Grady 06/04/2014 at 12:44 pm #

      Hello Steven. Anything goes to stay freed up, yes I do sometimes use my fingers to apply paints but not predominantly. I use many other tools such as print rollers to break up shapes and give vertical or horizontal structure, rags to create movement or lift off paint, knives, not just palette, for different textures. I also have a long nail on my left thumb would you believe to use for sgraffito. I try to keep myself constantly open to new ways of mark making. Artist brushes at present are down the list in terms of use-I just get too fussy! so I use largish decorators brushes.Thank you for the question.

  4. Chris Hay 06/04/2014 at 10:46 pm #

    This has a dreamy, early morning quality and seems to entice the viewer to enjoy the day ahead. The little spots of green add something special – John you know how to use light and shade!

    • John O'Grady 07/04/2014 at 6:05 pm #

      I think it might be the slightly blurred quality that gives it that hazy dreamlike quality Chris. Thank you very much for your comment