John O'Grady Art-The Moon and the Poplars | orange poplars cast reflections in the river
The Moon and the Poplars, ©John O’Grady
10.2″ x 14″ x 0.75″, oil on canvas, ready to hang.
Not for Sale (NFS)

Provence has a long association with painters and in particular celebrated ones from the late 19th and early 20th century that started with impressionism and went on to include fauvism.

You don’t have to travel far to see the motifs that caught their eye: poppy fields, spring blossoms, early summer lavender fields.

These landscapes are a joy to behold. Varied and colourful, they punctuate the seasons and I look forward to their return.

But because of the way I work I don’t take a box of paints and try to capture the moment en plein air. Instead I always end up working from what springs from the past and the emotions that a memory evokes.

Last November, when I came across the often painted motif of the poplars by a river, I was struck by how the raking light of the setting sun had set them on fire. At the same time, the rising moon was casting a silver green light in the sky, nature’s perfect counterpoint to the blazing orange poplars.

While painting, I muted the silver green sky to accentuate the orangeness of the poplar trees.

This bright colour adds a touch of mystery to the painting, don’t you think?

Different parts of a painting are like players on a stage. Overall, they conjure up an atmosphere that often results in a dream like quality.

So it is with this piece.

I’d love to hear what you think.