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

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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

 

Inspiration from Provence and Cezanne

I love walking round our hillside, well, its not really “our” hillside, just the one behind where we live. I’ve mentioned it before, the cone of a former volcano with a chapel right at the top which can be seen for miles around, including from the A9 autoroute a few kilometres distant. In past years when we used to come on holiday here I would point to the chapel excitedly, marvelling at its situation on the one hand (who would ever climb up there?) and on the other by the sheer beauty of the scene, with the warm peachy yellow building of the church surrounded by a forest of green trees standing out against a perfect blue sky. From the path that winds round the hillside the view is of farmland, of fields of wheat and vines with an isolated farmhouse or two.View across vineyard to Chapelle Sainte BrigitteView from Chapelle Sainte BrigitteHillside path - ProvencePines Provence

Today I was reminded of some of Cézanne’s paintings of the countryside near Aix-en-Provence, 80 kilometres from here. John Rewald writes in “Cézanne a biography” (1986)

“What was most precious was the solitude which was indispensable to him, and which was filled with memories linked to the rhythm of the seasons, the bare branches, forming complicated designs across the sky swept by the wind of winter, the trees cloaked in a tender green veil in the springtime, the stillness of the vibrant heat accentuated by the incessant stridulations of the cicadas in summer, the bunches of violet grapes on a background of rustling dead leaves in autumn.”

At the moment I am short of canvases, but like Cézanne, I feel the countryside here offers everything, is an endless source of inspiration. Paul Cézanne - La montagne Sainte-Victoire, vue de Bellevue