The Glowing Bog, ©John O’Grady 2014
Oil on deep edged beech panel, 15 cm x 15 cm x 3.6 cm deep (approx. 6″x6″x1.5″, no need to frame and ready to hang)
If you’ve been following my work for some time, you know I’m fond of grasses and bogland.
In this painting, I sought to show the peace and solitude of the bog but also the changing colours late summer and the beginning of the new season bring.
When you first encounter a vast expanse of bog, you often see a flat blanket of a unified colour that can seem bland and yet like with so many things, when you take some time, your senses attune to the place. It’s as if you are let into a special world where the wind whistles amongst the grasses and what first appeared as a spray of one colour turns out to reveal different shades of golden brown, orange and purple.
I took a picture of ‘The glowing Bog’ with two others paintings of Ireland, with different colours and atmospheres, filtered as I mentioned before through distance, memory and imagination of places I have seen and been moved by.
We often hear about the greens of Ireland and how varied, rich and subtle they are but there are many other colours and landscapes that feed a painter’s imagination.
When placing this set of three paintings next to each other, you can see the colours of an evening sky on fire, the subtle greens and greys of the morning light and the glowing bog grasses catching the evening light all working together.
It might be said that the colours used in these paintings are not representational and I wouldn’t disagree with that, rather, they are my way of expressing the feeling I have about a place, real or imagined.
The success of a piece is not about how much the painting looks like a place but how deep I have dredged up those feelings through the act of painting.