The Spirit of Water V, ©John O’Grady
12″ x 12″ x 1.75″, Oil on deep edged canvas, ready to hang.
The ever shifting light and weather fronts on the West of Ireland coast is a rich source to tap into to start a painting.
The sheer energy and force of being on the coast, the weather in a constant state of flux, is the catalyst to try and replicate that might with paint and marks on the chosen support. That elemental force is at the same time filtered through a vivid memory and abiding love of the oil sketches and cloud studies of Constable I once was fortunate enough to see.
In this piece the eye is pulled through the swirling vortex of bruised heavy clouds and veils of rain through to the horizon where the light casts a golden hue upon the land. The painting is mainly arranged around cool colours but the warm cast of rose light on the distant billowing clouds is the main focus.
Have you experienced, like I have, these veils of rain falling across sea and land while through them you see a brighter day approaching?
I’d love to read your comments.
I love the movement in this painting.
Thank you Magali
I love both the painting and your description, John. The image has an almost metaphorical quality — all that swirling energy surrounding a distant center of approaching, calm, or hope. The light on the land and water is gorgeous, sort of magical. I have to say that I find the work in the right foreground very powerful. Is that scraped back to the underpainting? The roughness, that darkness peering through, lends a kind of gravity, an anchor, to the whole piece that just completes it perfectly for me.
Yes the bottom right has I think three layers if not four of different colours. I then cut into the surface vertically with a palette knife to reveal the colours below. I was trying to get the feeling of depth but also like seeing through a filter or gauze of some sort, that part of the painting worked out well I think and as you say it is an ‘anchor’ as most of the painting is shifting and not really solid. Thank you for your thoughts on the painting.
Your thoughts on this painting are beautifully expressed John and enhanced my enjoyment and understanding. I find myself looking from side to side as if tossed on the swirling wind as you have captured the sense of energy and movement. However, it is that veil of rain that draws me and I have been fortunate enough to have experienced this with the light of brightness peeping through.
Hello Christine, I thought that also, that the main focus of the painting was that passage of moving through the veil into the light. As you mentioned in your comment about having ‘experienced’ that is quite special. Thank you for your thoughtful comment