Murmur, 2016 ©John O’Grady
8″ x 10″ oil on panel, requires framing.


I came upon this fallow field a few weeks ago when I stopped to look at the clouds gradually changing from orange and reds to a deep blue violet colour in the setting sun.

The clouds were silhouetted against the evening sky in the foot hills of mountains close to Sault where fine lavender thrives. Come summer, the air is filled with its perfume and the beautiful blue purple fields are everywhere, but on this cold damp February evening, this field was muddy with glistening pools of water.

This quiet view I just happened to come upon, spoke to me, asking me to listen hard.

There wasn’t a sound.

I stayed watching the fading light turn the field from brown to black and the mountains meld into the night. It was powerful and charged.

When I came to start this piece, what was I painting?

I wasn’t trying to replicate the shape and colour of clouds, mountains, treeline and field. What I wanted was to live again that charged feeling, the solitude and connection that was so strong when the land spoke to me.

This painting is full of whispers, small imperceptible shifts of tone and colour.

The shift from field to treeline and then to the mountain is quietly modulated along horizontal bands to give balance and stability.

That evening, I learnt that what is apparently the most mundane subject has potential to enrich us if we listen.

Have you come across such a situation where what’s ordinary can become so much more?

I would love to hear what you think.