You are Everything, ©John O’Grady
15.75″ x 12″ oil on deep edged Beech Panel, ready to hang and doesn’t require framing
Sometimes when making a painting where the vista stretches off into the distance, I imagine walking through the landscape in my minds eye and feeling the terrain underfoot as my brush or knife makes marks on the panel.
It may sound bizarre but it gives me more of a sense of place and connects the feeling with the marks I make.
This painting is about special moments of quiet and solitariness standing alone in the bog in the Wicklow mountains and feeling and hearing the wind whistling by. I have never been to the bog at night but, as I was walking through and painting the golden bog grasses, I thought about how they stretch away far into the distance in their thousands and thousands and how when we stand in such a landscape, we are connected but oh so small.
This led me to painting the night. where our sense of solitariness can be often more pronounced. When we raise our eyes, though, we feel instantly at one with the heavens and its myriad of stars as much as with the land and its thousands of bog grasses.
William Blake’s lines from ‘Augeries of Innocence’ were in my thoughts while trying to capture this connection between heaven and earth:
‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour’
Have you ever experienced this oneness?
Beautiful description and painting. I love this warmer, autumn palette.
Thank you for your comment, glad to hear you like the palette. I never realised it had an autumnal feel to it but yes it does.
To quote the great Oliver Sacks, who himself was quoting Milton, from a recent article in the New York Times, “I saw the entire sky ‘powdered with stars’.” What a beautiful image, I thought when I read it, and this is what your paintings evokes. The great arc of a mountain in the distance — of which we only see a part — reads like the curve of the earth. Stars being born, grasses dying, beginnings and endings, everything in a single moment. (I guess I’m feeling autumnal today!) Thank you for sharing this lovely painting and for reminding me of those lines from Blake. Just reading “You are Everything” in my inbox caused an unexpected shift of consciousness.
Thank you for your comment and the Oliver Sacks link, which I just had to track down, what a beautifully moving piece, I had some difficulty in finishing it as each sentence struck me viscerally like a beautifully struck chord. I will return to them later. As I would like to read the whole series, I was drawn immediately to ‘Casting light on the interconnectedness of life’.
It pleases me that the painting made the connection with his article for you and that the painting had such a deep impact. All those things that you describe in your comment Jo were exactly what was going through my mind ‘the beginnings and endings’ as I painted the piece’.
The ‘myriad of stars’ in the heavens look wonderful John
Thank you very much.
This is a very lovely painting again…sold already, no wonder! While I watch it, I walk with you…
Thanks for the Blake Poem also! I nearly forgot about it… O yes! I know this feeling to be one with the all of the known universe and the ground under my feet, imagined or not, it is great!
You are a poet yourself, and I would like to read one of your works too! 🙂
Something I wanted to say earlier: Your website is one of the most poetic I have ever read and seen, and I also don’t wonder there are always a lot of friends who admire your wonderful landscapes. The way you always write about your feelings and the creative act itself makes it!
I am proud to know you via this platform!
My best regards Frauke
Oh yes, wouldn’t it be great to go for a stroll in the painting,across the bog, I like your thinking!
Thank you for your kind words about the site, that means a lot to me. No I am not a poet Frauke but I love poetry perhaps like yourself and our love of the land.
I am proud to know you too Frauke, your generosity and kindness are truly appreciated 🙂 as are all the other people who comment here
kind regards John