John O Grady Art-The Spirit-of-Water-IV
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.