Outdoor sketch – Influence of Cezanne

I have started planning my next painting which will be on a larger canvas and is going to be of a view near here looking down on a farm surrounded by fields and vineyards with distant hills. Here is my initial charcoal outline on the canvas.Plein air sketch in ProvenceCharcoal outline of farm in Provence

I find I am considerably influenced by Cezanne at the moment, probably because he painted many scenes of the countryside around his home at Aix en Provence, not too far away from my local village. I particularly like his studies of trees, such as Le Grand Pin and Sous Bois and I also admire his paintings of the Mediterranean at L’ Estaque, near Marseille. In these paintings of the sea he places the line of the horizon high on the canvas, thus making it recede into the distance, whilst adopting a warm palette of colours for the buildings in the foreground.

Sous BoisPaul Cézanne Golf de Marseille vue de l'Estaque

Painting of Vidauban, Provence

I’m happy to share with WordPress my painting of Vidauban which I finished today, having been unable to work on it yesterday due to poor light caused by a day of heavy rain.            I really enjoyed creating this and when the paint is dry I will add it to my online gallery.Landscape Painting of Vidauban village, ProvenceLandscape Painting of Vidauban village, ProvenceLandscape Painting of Vidauban village, ProvenceLandscape Painting of Vidauban village, ProvenceLandscape Painting of Vidauban village, Provence

 

Painting in Progress

For the past couple of days I have been working on the view of Vidauban from our terrace. It is a wonderful view, with the church cradled in the middle of the village which is surrounded by hills. In the background are distant mountains, their colours ranging from green blue to blue to violet depending on the light. I am looking forward to painting this scene many times at different times of day and in different seasons. Initial drawing of Vidauban, ProvencePainting in Progress of Vidauban, Provence

This particular painting is of Vidauban mid-morning. The sun has warmed up the buildings and is catching the tree tops on the hillsides. The predominant colours are cream, terracotta, blue and greens. Unusually for me I painted the canvas with an undercoat of terracotta to cover up an earlier composition. (I had run out of canvases – this was the only one available.) However, I think the undercoat works well in contrasting with the greens. I struggled a bit to begin with in the placing of the colours and I felt rather down but I think they are beginning to come together now. If a painting doesn’t seem to be working I do get very depressed about it and doubt my ability even more than usual. However, I am reminded of Van Gogh’s words:

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘I cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

View of Vidauban, ProvenceView from Terrace to Vidauban, Provence