The Spirit of Water IV, ©John O’Grady 2015
Oil on deep edged canvas, 12″ x 12″ x 1.75″
It does not require framing and is ready to hang.
This is the fourth in this series of paintings that explores the merging and blending of atmospheres, matter and void and light and dark.
Making these energetic pieces offers me the opportunity to try out different mark making trying to capture and convey what is solid and immaterial and the friction and pull-push between the two when the weather is tempestuous.
For the denseness of rocks, I first built up texture and then, with different tools such as sandpaper, a decorator’s paint scraper and the sharp edge of a palette knife, I scrapped, scratched and gouged back through dried paint to reveal the coloured layers below.
To create lots of energy from bottom right to top left, from water to clouds, I chose a rubber print roller to apply thin blended paint in a diagonal movement.
I painted the delicate spume effect with a palette knife and then, with a small stencil brush loaded with paint, flicked across the surface. The palette knife built a flat layer of colour while the physicality of flicking on top of it helps transmit the elemental energy of nature.
When I am painting these pieces, it is as if I am right there in the painting reliving the experience of being next to the water’s edge on a wild day. Can you relive that experience too?
I’d love to hear what you think.
John, I always love your explanation and learning of your technique. This is simply exquisite and yes, I feel the action and the turbulence. It’s really quite wonderful. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself! Carry on!!!
Thank you for your comment and encouraging words. I am sure both you and Sandy have experienced some of that wonderful elemental turbulence in your time on the west coast:)
Hello John, thanks for sharing the practicalities of how you manage to achieve the effects with your tools and talent . It doesn’t in any way detract from the mystery for me and the final result is of a painting which evokes a sense of being part of the landscape depicted. The movement and energy could almost make the viewer feel seasick as the thrilling power of the sea is powerfully conveyed with great confidence. A stunner!
Sometimes I think it is more tools and perspiration than talent :). All joking aside I do find using these different ways to make marks, frees me and the painting up, so new opportunities arise. Yes it is a bit of a topsy turvy painting, that gives it a bit of a ‘seasick’ feel to it. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.
It looks really fresh John. great elemental energy! well done, eoin
Thanks a lot Eoin