John O'GradyArt - As Far as the Eye Can See IV  a bird's eye view of an Irish landscape at dusk
As Far as the Eye Can See IV ©John O’Grady
20″ x 27″ x 0.75″ oil on canvas, ready to hang


Have you ever had one of those dreams where you are flying above the land?

It feels exhilarating doesn’t it?

I’m drawn to painting aerial views and panoramic vistas.

Observing the world from above, feeling connecting to space and the aerial is a joy.

In this piece, we are standing on top of a hill and we discover the world before us. Like when we are in a dark room, our eye needs to get accustomed to what’s before us.

Here, it’s to take in the vastness, the openness. And it’s to get attuned to the dynamic spectacle.

The filtered light is falling upon the green fields and bare uplands.

Our eye is attracted to lighter colours in the distance and we realise we are looking at the sea, sparkling in the evening light.

Then we start noticing darker shapes, are these islands or shadows? Is our mind playing tricks and deceiving us or are we seeing something real and diffuse?

In the sky, darkening clouds congregate while some silver lines let us know it’s not night-time yet.

Where the horizon touches the sky is an area tantalizing and elusive. The brushstrokes suggest a hide and seek game that pushes the horizon further and further back as if reaching out to infinity and disappearing into the ether.

The horizon is slightly bowed to emphasise that open space and panorama.

Have you ever, like in the old Irish song ‘Spancill Hill’, ‘stepped on board a vision and followed with a will’, then at the end of the flying dream ‘awoke in California’?

I’d love to read your comment.