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The Silver Thread, ©John O’Grady 2015
Oil on deep edged canvas 19.75″ x 19.75″ x 1.75″ / 50 cm x 50 cm x 4.75cm
It does not require framing and is ready to hang.
Have you experienced and felt moved by the magic of moonlight as it infuses billowing clouds with its silver light?
I watch the sky frequently from my studio terrace at night and feel deeply connected to these large masses folding and unfurling before my eyes as they glow in the moonlight.
Subconsciously, my cloud watching is featuring more and more in the paintings I make and is a starting point for this nocturne.
I blocked in large shapes of coolish blue over a warm red under painting. The shape and diagonal movement of the cloud just magically arrived, moving off towards the slightly greenish blue light emanating from outside of the picture top right.
When I had this part roughed in with large brushes, I continued to block in large areas of the lower part of the painting bringing the grey violet from the sky down into what I thought might be land.
Once this stage of the painting was completed, I found both good and bad parts. I loved that a fabulous amount of light was bouncing in all directions but it was too cool. By adding a warmer violet and red/browns into the distance, shapes started to emerge out of the chaos.
There is always, with this way of working, a key moment when I see some shape emerge which gives some sort of coherence to the whole painting. In this case it was the very feint outline of what looked like a distant mountain with blueish light hovering over it and reflections of light on water below.
When I saw this, it allowed me to bring this reflective light forward, working in bands of light and dark as the cumulus cloud cast its immense shadow on water. The painting began to remind me of a wide open vista one might see in the west of Ireland. Now on a roll, the last part of the middle ground and foreground just fell into place. By adding a warm foreground well lit with directional marks it balanced the coolness of the top two thirds and the rounded forms of the cloud.
The part of the painting that I felt particularly pleased with is the hillside on the left (see below) and the arrangement of cool greens and grey violets.
I would love to hear what you think.
Especially love the sky and that little patch with the sunlight,or in this case moonlight!
Thank you very much I had an enjoyable time making the sky, thank you.
Well, John…what can I say? Absolutely gorgeous…we LOVE your treatment of clouds and this is simply stunning. Everything looks so wonderful. Just an incredible work. Well done. Makes me wish I could click on the “Buy Now” button for sure!!! If we win the lottery!!! LOL!! Truly an inspired work!!
I had great enjoyment making this cloud float (hopefully). I think it is watching it sort of emerge from somewhere inside me that I take pleasure from. A bit like clouds appearing and disappearing. Thank you for your encouraging words, all the very best to you both.
I wish I could see this full size. A dreamscape to me. Dark hills and mystical light. I love the way the red under painting informs even the cool colors and brings all the elements into harmony. So beautiful and moving, John. I could happily begin and end each day looking at it.
One of the hardest parts of making a painting is finding a suitable title, that would support the painting. For about an hour yesterday I was toying with calling it ‘Dreamscape no1’ great minds think alike! I am glad it captured your imagination and you were moved by it, I couldn’t ask for anything more, thank you.
One of my absolute favorites. Delightful and captivating. Love the colors, love the cloud. It takes me back to my childhood when I was lying on the lawn watching the sky…..
Thank you for your comment. I used to do the very same thing myself looking up at the clouds, finding faces and animals in the clouds as they change shape.
Hello John, this is (for me) a highly charged, emotional painting and definitely dreamy but I think your title does it proud – many congratulations.
Thank you very much. After much humming and hawing the title I ended up with seemed to work out and suit the painting 🙂
Dear John, I think it is a wonderful painting, your descriptive words made me think I was there, In the midst of it all,
Thank you very much Elles, I am really glad you enjoyed it