Icarus I by John O'Grady | A striking skyscape with large cumulus clouds in a blue sky
16″ x 16″ x 1.75″ acrylic on canvas, ready to hang


‘May you live in interesting times’, so the saying goes.

It can be seen as more of a statement on the difficult times people live through than a time to cherish.

However it’s read, there is no doubt humanity faces one of its toughest challenges.

The existential threat of climate change is before us. It’s our generation that must and can act.

It’s not all doom and gloom though.

Hope is to be seen all around us.

Over the last weeks, thousands of young people have demonstrated in cities and towns all over Europe, and perhaps across the world too, to voice their concerns and encourage us to sit up and notice.

They are leading the way and will be heard where many politicians have constantly ignored the threat.

Have you heard them?

I certainly have. This painting is inspired by their movement.

I wanted to paint something awe inspiring, as achingly beautiful as I could make it, something that showed how wonderful our planet is, despite what we are doing to it.

It might not be a big surprise to see that I chose to look upwards to my old friends the clouds. Except now, we are in the sky. Not anchored by the land but communing with the aerial.

Enormous cumulus clouds rise and fall, turn and twist in a wonderful balletic display, glowing with colour and light.

The solid appearance of a cloud that’s really nebulous and ephemeral can be perceived as a metaphor for humanity that’s teetering on the very edge.

This is the first in the series of Icarus sky paintings. Can you see why I chose that title?

I’d love to hear what you think.