Take Me to the Island IX, ©John O’Grady
10″ x 10″ oil and wax on panel, requires framing.


This painting is the ninth in the ‘Take Me to the Island’ series but could also be seen as a continuation of the previous painting depicting one of the many islets that lie along the coast line all around Ireland.

As an exploration of light at dusk, this piece has the feel of the west coast when the sun is falling and the light and haze bounce off the sea like a mirror.

Such blinding light shifts and morphs as the clouds filter the light from the sun, silhouetting the clouds like floating sculptures drifting across the sky. The glare changes the light falling on the island. The right hand side has almost disappeared and the left is in shadow against the horizon line; in a few seconds the light will shift again, no less wondrous and captivating.

Things appearing and disappearing are a theme I seem to return to. How we perceive through the lens of atmosphere is of constant interest.

The muted violet of the clouds is a counterpoint to the golden-green light in the background.

In the foreground, I have started using a cold wax medium which is like an encaustic type process but without having to use heat to melt the wax.

The cold wax, a blend of melted beeswax, Dammar varnish and refined turpentine, remains in a putty like state. I mix it with oil paint and found it great when used with a hog’s hair brush and a knife: the paint once applied leaves marks and texture perfect for creating the foreground of rocky shoreline.

I look forward to reading your comment.