The Chapel in the Woods, ©John O’Grady
8.25″ x 8.25″ x 1.75″ oil on deep edged canvas, ready to hang
$242 (approx. €216, £188) with free shipping.

You can often notice, on top of hills in southern France, half hidden by shrubs and trees, small Romanesque chapels. Some date back to the 11th Century. They were built to honour saints and are visited on pilgrimage days.

The long evenings of summer offer an incomparable quality of light that cast deep, long, blue shadows. In full sun, objects appear to have an internal glow as the warm, raking light illuminates them straight on.

I came upon this chapel last summer whilst out walking, enjoying the cooler time of late afternoon and the tall trees’ shade.

On reaching the top of the hill, amongst the pines, I saw the facade of the chapel glowing a warm pink orange. The side wall offered a counterpoint with a deep shadow of blue / violet.

In this painting, I feel I captured the warmth of summer evening and dappled light.

Once the painting was finished, a short poem, ‘Pied Beauty’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89) came to mind:

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

I look forward to reading your comment.