Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Cezanne’s Forest: Day 1

A black and purple tree on a dark cream background.I am copying another Cezanne. This has become a habit with me. It is far more challenging than the last one I did, the pile of skulls; this has irregular shapes that I cannot relate to anything I know, and I was forced to grid it up. This is a smaller project than the gigantic blue still life, but has a lot of difficulties. It is all about colour mixing and placement. Violet hints in the sky and the background are a fantastic foil to the greenery and what I’ll call yellowery.

The background colour shows through, where the undercolour is not painted over, which is a Cezannese habit. I started with a painted yellow oil over-primer, going over the white acrylic. Then I squared it up, and transferred from a gridded version of the best picture I could find online. The purple touches went on first, but most of this is still to inform me where to put paint colours. If I had a really good version of the picture, then I could be a lot more confident about placement. Cezanne’s paintwork looks loose, but it is very very difficult to fake. What I will be doing is creating my own version, as painting practice. The colour and placement of colour are challenges that I can meet for myself particularly because I lack the fine detail.