I Took the One Less Travelled by IV ©John O’Grady
6″ x 12″ x 1.5″, Oil on deep edge panel, ready to hang.
This painting is a companion piece to last week’s. It’s a different time of day and a different atmosphere.
It has been very warm in Provence over the last few weeks. The temperature rose to 40 degrees centigrade and triggered an official heat wave. Mornings were already above 30 degrees centigrade.
This morning heat set the tone for this week’s painting.
Here, the golden light floods across the road from left to right.
The dappled light of last week’s painting is replaced with alternating bands of light and shadow as the road disappears into the distance.
The shadows started off a cool grey blue to reflect the atmosphere of a normal morning but when I had finished them, they didn’t feel right, they didn’t sit well with the light flooding across the road.
I painted over the shadows and allowed the blue to show through a warm reddish purple to achieve that feeling of heat.
I’d love to read your comment.
What can I say only that this is so beautiful John like all your works and brings out such emotion in me. Great painting, and I love the colour pallette –
Another exquisite beauty! ☺
Thank you very much Eileen, that’s very kind of you to say.
I love the contrast in tone and feeling from the previous, moodier piece, John. This epitomizes a summer morning in the countryside to me — or at least in the sort of countryside you are lucky enough to inhabit! There is a sense of warmth, openness, and expansiveness compared with the quieter, more secretive feeling in your last painting. The slanting shadows and flares of light between the trees promise rising heat as the day advances. As with most of your paintings, I can feel myself in the scene — feel the alternating sun and shade on my skin and smell the grasses and trees. I always enjoy reading about your experiences with color, and how you assess and adjust as the work progresses. Like the slightly rosy tones in the earlier painting, the reddish purple here adds warmth and dimension. The heat give the image a languid feel, and the spaciousness hints at possibility and even optimism for the coming day. What a pleasure!
It is interesting the points you raise, how colour can evoke a different atmosphere, this painting as you mentioned is more ‘open and expansive’ where the previous one has a ‘secretive’ quality. Your comment on those differences gave me pause for thought and brought to mind Monet’s haystack paintings and the facade of Rouen cathedral painted at various times of the day and seasons. Each one the same motif but very different in feel.
It’s great that it has such a strong sense of place as well. Thank you
I too feel a strong emotion in this painting John. Even though I have never experienced the heat of Provence I can feel it through the intensity of the gold (a favourite colour of mine)and it’s dreamy atmosphere. Beautifully painted and I sense that you have been on that very road.
Thank you Christine. The gold does add I feel to the ambiance of the morning and the onset of the heat and the ‘dreamy atmosphere’ you mention. I am glad to hear that it had a strong emotional impact with you