Approaching Rain, Provence #190 Approaching Rain Provence
Click on image to enlarge.

Approaching Rain, Provence. ©John O’Grady, 2014
Oil on Panel, 16″x 16″


Yes there are moments when the deep blue sky of Provence becomes angry and threatens rain and even hail, particularly in March. This painting includes two loves of mine, grasses and dramatic skies.

At the moment, the grasses growing wild in the abandoned-looking fields have a beautiful diaphanous quality and a gorgeous bronze colour that catches the light. These contrast with the rounded forms of the heavy rain clouds that play centre stage in this piece.

I learnt a good deal about myself with this painting.

Struggling to capture the cloud movements, for days I battled, almost there, almost there, bit by bit, forever fiddling until I eventually caught myself being precious.

That’s when the big brush and rag came out and it came right, all within 10 minutes.

As they say, it’s a funny old game.

I look forward to reading what you think.


  1. Terry Pitts 26/03/2014 at 7:26 pm #

    Wow, John! This is so beautifully done. I love the road and really want to see where it might take me, storm or not!!! Well done!!

    • John O'Grady 26/03/2014 at 7:34 pm #

      Thank you Terry, glad you found it inviting 🙂

  2. JR 26/03/2014 at 8:15 pm #

    I especially love the account of your battle with yourself over this piece. (A case of being willing to “kill your darlings.”) And the big brush and rags gave this the immediacy and movement that really make the painting.
    I love the blurred treeline and distant mountains. And your love of grasses and dramatic skies is so evident here. Another brilliant touch: that bright path disappearing into the distance. And the cloud shadow over the land, coming closer.
    One does get the sense that something is about to happen.
    Just stunning, John. I’d say you won!

    • John O'Grady 26/03/2014 at 9:03 pm #

      The rags and big brush did come in handy Josephine. love the willing to “kill your darlings” quote, I need to keep that in mind. Thank you for your encouraging and insightful comments on the painting.

  3. Eoin Mac Lochlainn 26/03/2014 at 9:51 pm #

    Lovely light in that one John, you’re getting better and better, eoin

    • John O'Grady 26/03/2014 at 9:56 pm #

      Thanks very much Eoin, I just keep turning up

  4. Chris Hay 26/03/2014 at 10:57 pm #

    The love comes through John – wonderful sky and grasses with their little flecks of light. The shadows are so effective but it is the path that gives it the finishing touch.

    • John O'Grady 26/03/2014 at 11:01 pm #

      Thanks a lot Chris, for your comment, the path went through a few versions, but it seemed to work out well in the end