Icarus II by John O'Grady | An atmospheric skyscape on canvas with large clouds edged with pink light
16″ x 16″ x 1.75″ acrylic on canvas, ready to hang


Once again a dot in the sky, the small craft dwarfed by the clouds, heads skywards… This is the second Icarus painting and very much a sister piece with shapes and colours that echo the first .

If you haven’t read the previous post, you can here .

This time however, the painting’s movement works in the opposite direction and diagonally.

The clouds are moving from left to top right.

The craft is heading upwards towards the sun.

This second piece gave me a chance to explore enriching the colour in the cloud forms. When the light passes through the cloud, rainbow like colours are fleetingly seen.

It’s a privilege having a studio high up above the roof tops to witness cloud formations at this time of year.

What I’ve learnt by cloud watching is how they change form or rather they lose shape and some edges stay sharp while others soften and dissolve.

This combination of soft and hard edges when applied in a painting also gives the piece movement and allows the eye to skip over the picture surface without settling or fixing on any one area.

This was part of the exploration here.

What I also realised after finishing this piece is aside from the subject matter, sub themes involuntarily re-emerge in making paintings.

Those hard and soft edges I mentioned earlier really align with many pieces I have made in the past where things are often indistinct and not fixed, such as an horizon line that drifts in and out of our perception.

I’d love to hear what you think of Icarus II.