The Silver Thread III, ©John O’Grady
12″ x 12″ x 1.75″ Oil on deep edged canvas, does not require framing

The quality of light where water meets sky in the west of Ireland can be stunningly brilliant or subdued and filtered through clouds and atmospheric conditions. This piece is really about the latter. The colour arrangement is all about showing the emotional force of that special light, often fleeting and gone in a few moments even though it can remain in our memories as a sublime experience.

There is always some struggle with a painting.

When a turning point comes, it arrives with a particular emotional rush: something new is seen and opportunities arise for a new colour or light to emerge.

I stay aware of these possibilities as they can take the work in a new direction.

In this piece, the turning point was the distant headland at the right of the painting. It was formally a solid mass with an outline too pronounced in the vaporous atmosphere. By lowering the brush at an oblique angle, I dragged and scumbled a teal colour followed by rose paint over the land mass now partially obscuring it.

It felt perfect for the painting.

Following this came the back lit clouds just to the left of the headland. Working as a counterpoint, they appeared as solid and sentinel-like hovering on the horizon.

I relish it when these opposites occur and what should be insubstantial becomes solid and vice versa for what we often see is not what really is nor should it be.

I’d love to hear what you think.