The Road to the Moon
12″ x 12″ x 1.5″, oil on canvas, ready to hang.
NFS (Not for Sale)
Between the villages of Séguret and Sablet, tiny roads and ancient gravelled paths crisscross a landscape of vineyards and wooded areas.
When out walking one evening towards the crest of the hill and with the light fading, the full moon started its ascent perfectly in line with the rising road.
The solitary figure in the landscape could have been you or me witnessing and communing with a wondrous sight.
You may be aware a ‘super blue blood moon‘ will be appearing in the skies on the 31st of January. It was this approaching event that was the starting point for this painting.
Yes we celebrate the sun rising everyday, beckoning the new day. But, equally special is the arrival of the moon heralding the magic of the night and time passing.
I’d love to read your comment on this painting. And, will you be out looking at the ‘super blood blue Moon’?
Your phrase “magic of the night” describes this perfectly. Have we ever seen a figure in one of your paintings on this site? (I think this is the first.) Interesting that the living figure (aside from the immediate foreground) is the only warmly hued element of the image; and even its stylized shadow is edged in warmth. The shadings in the moon echo those in the sky that holds it. The way the paint is applied has a flattening effect, though the movement toward the horizon remains clear. The path leads who knows where, though the story of where it ends, for the human at least, is always the same.
This gorgeous fantasy/dreamscape could be from an illustrated fable or folk tale. The perception of the moon as magical is as old as humankind, though of course its very real influence on the natural world precedes us by millennia. Thank you for sharing this fantastic piece with us, John.
Before I posted this painting, which incidentally was a painful and prolonged birth, I thought this would be a piece that might connect with you. Your thoughtful comment confirmed my feelings. Yes the ‘Magic of the night’ was a phrase that I too thought encapsulated the paintings feel. I have been wanting to include figures into the space of a painting for quite a while now, although I did include a barely discernible figure here https://johnogradypaintings.com/le-chemin-de-la-roque-alric/ over 5 years ago.
I agree very much with what you have said about the moon and our very deep connection with it, is beyond time. I am glad you like it Jo as the figure went in and out several times and was morphed in colour and form more times than I can remember, such is the struggle. It is a piece I feel is honest, direct and holds a chink of light before me.
This is really lovely John – those blues and pinks…Yes, I will be looking out for the super moon and setting positive intentions…
I thought those pinks might connect with you. I knew you would be a super moon person Jan, your spirit shines through.
This piece is so interesting John – there is something profound about it which I think is connected with the presence of the solitary human figure facing the wonder and majesty of the rising moon in all its glory. It is head on, clear, balanced and direct and embodies the honesty to which you refer; it radiates through in the colour and composition. The ‘chinks of light’ which occur in life, through all its ups and downs can allow us to feel energised and this painting seems to encapsulate the desire to remain open to their possibilities.
It’s good to hear that you felt the colour and composition reflects that directness and honesty. Yes the ‘chink of light’ we all need a bit of that from time time don’t we. Thank you for your insightful comments on the painting. I think you are right Chris about the ‘presence of the solitary figure’it adds a dynamic beyond landscape. Van Gogh said that he didn’t see himself as a Landscape painter per se as he nearly always had figure/s in his paintings , I thought that interesting.