You Are Everything IV, ©John O’Grady
8″ x 11.75″ oil on panel, requires framing
Not for Sale (NFS)
The bog is a wild and wondrous place. Solitary, it helps us connect the body to the elements.
The previous ‘You are Everything’ paintings were exploring our interconnectedness to the world around us. With this painting, it’s also about the turf beneath our feet that connects us to the past.
Seamus Heaney spoke of the bogland in his poems as a cultural repository. The accretions of turf, built layer upon layer over time preserves history in its dark mass.
This analogy could be applied to this blog, built one post at a time, a layer upon another layer of ideas, emotions and thoughts about painting. And how all the comments, thoughts and feelings you, who look at my work, have contributed make up that whole.
On this 300th painting, thank you for being part of this journey.
I will leave you with Seamus reading ‘Digging’. We are all digging in our own way for the ‘good turf’.
Whereas the earlier paintings in the series explore our interconnectedness with the world, this one seems to show the relationship between the elements themselves. My first take was that the sky and earth are yearning toward one another — and reflecting each other. It is a gorgeous, ecstatic dialogue expressed in color and brush marks. The grasses and clouds themselves are emanating light; the blues, greens and violets draw the eye back and forth. It is lovely how you so gracefully express the metaphysical in the physical landscape — more and more so, as time goes on, I think. Beautiful work, John. And the thanks are mine.
Thank you for your comment. I can’t add further to your thoughtful insights but to say that move towards the metaphysical aspect of landscape does seem to be more of a draw for me. Oh and also your response to the cloud emanating different colour light was my feeling too.
Hello John and thank you…it has been a real pleasure sharing your journey so far. Your blog has introduced me to creative ideas, poems and other forms of expression and of course your wonderful paintings. I love the way you have described the comments made about your work as layers built on over time. I believe your work is an example of ‘good turf’ as epitomised by this, your 300th painting; many congratulations on this milestone. The connectedness to the past is present in the wistful atmosphere conjured up by colour and the billowy weightiness of the clouds suspended above the solid, earthy bog. I feel the sense of isolation and absolute focus on wildness of nature all around.
Thank you for your kind insights. Yes I thought of the bog and blog metaphor as the piece came into being and thought it appropriate and also a good opportunity to hear Seamus’s lovely voice again. I agree that relationship between the ‘solid earthy bog’ and sky is the balancing point of the painting.