You are Everything VI, ©John O’Grady
12″ x 8″ x 1.8″, pigment suspended in acrylic medium on deep edge canvas, ready to hang.

Leaving la Ferme St Michel in Solérieux, in Drôme Provençale one night, the moonlight gave me glimpses of tall, slim cypress trees performing a nocturnal ballet. Their slender silhouettes were bending and bowing in the breeze.

I recalled that night while working on this piece which is different to what I normally do. It explores using pigment, pure colour, and it is textured.

With this way of working, the hand is taken away from the work. There is no signature brush mark.

Instead colour comes to the fore.

The process is quite laborious and yet satisfying.

I chip flecks of Unison soft pastels into an acrylic medium while the surface is still wet to hold the pure pigment in suspension.

Once that dries, I add another layer.

Colour deepens and texture develops. Here’s an image showing a detail.


It’s a rewarding way of working. One colour placed next to another in a pointillist way makes the arrangement sing.

While building the layers, I thought about how I was using matter to create the night sky which is of course pure matter as we all are.

Carl Sagan said:

“We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.”

My thoughts turned to that night in Solérieux and the immense wonder of staring into the night, touched by something beyond knowing…

It is almost too beautiful to grasp, this interrelationship of all things living and inanimate, don’t you think?