looking up - John O'Grady Art | A big cloudy sky with billowing cumuli over Irish green fields
Looking Up ©John O’Grady
23.5″ x 15.75″ x 1.3″ acrylic on Arches watercolour paper, mounted on deep edge panel and ready to hang.
$977 with free shipping.

Moonrise over the orchard - John O'Grady Art | Fruit trees' pink blossoms one night in Provence
Moonrise over the Orchard ©John O’Grady
12″ x 12″ x 1.75″ acrylic on deep edge canvas, ready to hang.
$397 with free shipping.

On completion of these two pieces, what piqued my interest in showing them together was how seemingly different the two are but also how they illustrate commonly recurring themes in my work.

‘Looking Up’ has the light and drama of an Irish sky while ‘Moonrise over the Orchard’ is a smaller, more intimate piece that very much echoes Provence.

‘Looking Up’

The big sky of the first piece falls within the romantic tradition where awe and expansiveness are laid out before us. Whenever I make this type of painting, it’s always with a nod to John Constable and Caspar David Friedrich.

I wanted to give the feeling of us being led into the painting via the path on the right and then on across the hedgerows dotted in the fading distance like a score on a stave. It leads us to the muted rose glow of the sea and then, we look up and up through the diagonal curtains of light filling the sky.

The fields’ rich vibrant green and regular formations offer a stark contrast to the cool unfolding drama above that can neither be regimented nor controlled.

‘Moonrise over the Orchard’

From the boisterous sweep of sky and vista of open land, we move to a hushed orchard in Les Baronnies.

Often when I look at paintings, it is a pleasure to notice the long tradition that travels with them.

Here, I recalled the quiet interior pieces of Édouard Vuillard that depict wonderful interweaving patterns.

A delight to the eye.

In my painting, the clouds’ velvety arabesques are touched by the curves of the blossoms saluting the moon.

It’s as if we are invited to a special ceremony in the secluded spot where a secret is slowly revealing itself while, among the overgrown grasses, we look on, mesmerised.

Which one of these two paintings appeals more to you and why? I’d love to hear your thoughts.