The Valley of Lights - John O'Grady
The Valley of Lights IV ©John O’Grady
10″ x 8″, oil on panel; requires framing


Colour can have a powerful effect on you.

A particular shade can bring a memory searing through your mind.

One recent late afternoon in Provence, I drove past burning gold poplars. I noticed their striking colour standing out against the darkening land but it’s only when I started this painting that they emerged unforced onto the paint surface and took me back to the Wicklow mountains.

The distant Sugar Loaf mountain was dusted with snow.

The light came from behind my shoulder and to the right, as I stood in the cold blue shadows looking down into the valley, the trees were lit by the setting sun.

In that final moment before darkness, the trees seemed ablaze with burnt gold and orange. They looked like, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas, they were raging against the dying of the light.

I’d love to hear what you think.