www.JohnOGradypaintings.com. Big Sky over the Bog
Evening across the Bog II,  ©John O’Grady, 2014
Oil on Panel, 8″ x 10″


I have mentioned before how I find evening to be a special time. The light has a particular quality which imbues the landscape with a glow, perhaps it is the raking light which illuminates the land.

A common sight in Ireland is a day that ends with a fine evening and blue skies accompanied by cumulus clouds bubbling up over the hills.

They can look magnificent, often singular with a sculptural quality that stands in relief against the blue sky.

I wanted to try and capture the power and awe of one of these mighty clouds as it rose over the land.Probably bringing rain but they have such beauty.

Maybe its true that every cloud does have a silver lining. If you are a cloudophiles, here is a link for more. (I’m sure there is a proper word for cloud lovers!)

I am enjoying exploring how best to capture these masses of vapour and learning a lot about how to convey their weight, their texture, their tones.

To give variety, I keep some edges soft while others are more defined. As a result, the focus of the eye moves back and forth.

What I’ve learnt as well is that by darkening the blue of the sky slightly, it brings the shape of the cloud in relief and gives it a sense of movement. The particular shade of blue in the sky was a fourth attempt that balances well with the orange glow of the land below.

I would love to hear what you think.