Wildflowers by the Window, ©John O’Grady
13″ x 13″ x 0.75″, acrylic on canvas ready to hang.
$467 (approx. €417, £367) includes free shipping.
On a cloudless day, when I lean out of my studio window, the ‘Giant of Provence’, Mont Ventoux, rises above the old terracotta-tiled roofs of Vaison-la-Romaine.
At this time of year, you can often see a powdery blue and purple haze covering the mountain but the striking white limestone that covers its peak stands out and turn pink and orange in the evening light.
With this interior piece, I wanted to associate the motif of the mountain and the landscape with the still life and the interior, so the outside connects with the inside.
The open window offers a bridge between the two worlds, the space outside and the intimacy of the interior.
Wildflowers in bloom beautifully dot the arid garrigue at the moment but I chose not to pick them. Instead, I worked them into a flattened decorative bouquet with the help of photo references.
Like with the two previous interior paintings, I wanted the flatness and decorative qualities to be paramount to bring the emotional richness of the colour arrangement to the fore.
The quote by the Nabis painter Maurice Denis came to mind as I was making this piece:
“Remember that a painting – before it is a battle horse, a nude model, or some anecdote – is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order”.
This quote seems apt: this small painting has changed shape several times. With each iteration, I built up several layers of colours and shifted each one slightly to harmonise the exterior with the interior.
I’d love to hear what you think.
bright, beautiful and a joy to the eyes and heart, well done John
Thank you very much Julie
By using flat patches of rich colour and bold contours this touching painting connects the vastness of the natural world beyond the window to the safety of an intimate, domestic interior. To me, the simplified shapes and intense colour is emotionally charged, introspective in feel and seems to capture a sense of how we value and hold dear the small pleasures in our daily lives. The flowers seem to shine and glow, tinged with delicate pink in the evening light. Beautiful John.
Thank you very much for your thoughtful reading of the painting. I am glad you picked up the ‘shining and glowing’ flowers. I really tried to push out that part of the painting so they have a life force set in this quiet blue sea of colour.
There is a very strong sense of “aloneness” in this piece, a vanity of singe mindedness as the crescent moonlight tiptoes gently through the cave of our minds and uncovers beautifully illuminating creative ideals blossoming and scattering forth like confetti. I like this series John and it would seem to reflect an internal dialogue with oneself about what the outside world expects of us as opposed to where we need to be right now.
I read with interest your thoughts of the painting and was particularly interested in what you said about the ‘internal dialogue with oneself and about what the outside world expects of us. I find that very interesting, that I had never thought of, so thank you for getting me to see the painting in a new light.