Take Me to the Island III, ©John O’Grady, 2014
Oil on Panel, 16″x 12″
Thank you Dominique, I hope you are well
Beautiful John! Your work always impresses me.
Thank you for your comment Marnie
There is a balance and harmony in this lovely painting John. The fact that the horizon is almost half way is really effective but it is also the subtle use of colour and fine, fine brushwork on the waves. The light shining behind and through the clouds lifts the whole painting. Beautiful.
Your thoughtful comment is much appreciated Chris, thank you. Lots of movement above the horizon line is balanced by the calmer lower part. I think!!
It was also trying to find a balance in abstract shapes whilst still capturing an atmosphere
I was captivated by your other “Take Me to the Island” painting, too, John, though this one strikes me as emotionally darker. And the fact that we can’t see the island makes it a bit more mystical, as well. Made me think of Avalon.
I love the way the midnight blue in the foreground of both the sky and sea gradually lightens in the distance to meet in that lovely line of light. The gradations of color in the 16″ x 12″ piece itself must be stunning.
Yes I think it does have a darker feel Josephine. I do like looking out onto islands wondering what life people lead there and what mysteries they hold, but also seeing how islands disappear as weather fronts move in, maybe Avalon like. This island appeared and disappeared several times in the painting. I think the line of light at the horizon holds it all together and everything moves subtly(hopefully) out from there. Thank you
As I look closer I think I see a hint of grey land out there. With an image of this size, at least, it’s a little ambiguous, shrouded by clouds, which adds to the mystery of it.
The line of light gives it all an air of serenity and fixity.
It is there about a quarter of the way in on the right Josephine but it is barely discernible. The cloud formation is so dominant that one really has to hunt to find it, maybe too much! even when enlarged. Yes I think the light does exactly that.
It takes me to the seashore, on a dark night facing dusk. Very dynamic values and colors, reflecting the energy of the atmosphere. I enjoy the wind in the clouds. Very cool.
Thanks very much Michael, I hope your own work is going well
wow,you are truly gifted john,this is breathtaking. Continued success in all your endeavours,its a delight every time you share. Happy St. Patricks day x
Hello Catherine, thanks so much for the lovely comment. A very happy St. Patrick’s day to you too
The whole concept of painting what you feel and bypassing trying to be realistic allows us to connect to the work more directly.
Could you provide more information on the type of panels you use?
Thank you for your insightful comment on feeling and connection. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
I use panels for two reasons. It suits the way I work with oils, as it is a smooth surface and it is firm, which allows me to add, remove and move paint around as I wish, much easier than on canvas. Secondly from the perspective of conservation, the rigidity of panel means no movement as is the case with canvas. Dried oil paint does not like movement!
The panels I prepare myself are 3 mm hardboard, which I think are commonly called Masonite in the states. They are first cut to size and then I smooth the edges. I then seal with an acrylic sealant, to stop any potential leaching and add two coats of acrylic gesso on both sides and edges.
Coating both sides makes the panel even more rigid and protects the edges.
The painting surface is then sanded down and I apply a non-absorbent and solvent-resistant white primer. This is done in two coats, sanding in between each one to arrive at a smooth surface. Sometimes I leave a rougher surface, depending on the work I am doing and to keep things fresh creatively.
The white primer allows the paint to sit on top of the surface and retain luminosity of colour, as this is very important to me. Here is a link on the use of masonite/hardboard in art if you wish to read further.
For larger pieces, from 19 3/4″ x 19 3/4″, I use the highest quality 5 mm plywood panels, purchased from an art supplier specifically for painting. The preparation process is the same.
As you may have noticed the acrylic abstract pieces are on canvas, simply because the process dictates that, as I use a bleed technique with an absorbent ground, it sits in the weave of the canvas.
Any further questions or queries, please let me know.
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