Finding Cezanne

posted in: Painting | 2

While giving a demonstration which merged lyrical gestures  with closely observed  meadow foliage  I discovered I was channeling Paul Cezanne, Gerhard Richter and my own childhood memories beneath the Christmas tree  looking up at  glass balls suspended over me like luminous planets (example 1).  These metaphors appeared to me as I moved the paint about. I had begun with a series of close-ups of autumn porcelain berries.  I ended up as a time traveler through personal memory, astronomy and art history.

Example 1. Class Demonstration piece, oil,

In the two examples by Cezanne you will notice the free, translucent, and layered gestures of his brushwork in both his watercolor (example 2) and his oil (example 3).  His painting suggests forms reflecting and penetrated by light. As his brushwork aggregates he builds more volume without losing translucence. These late works by Cezanne demonstrate his interest in reflected planes of light, an interest later pursued by Braque and Picasso in Cubism .

Example 2.  Cezanne Watercolor, chateau Noir, circa 1900.

Example 3.  Cezanne oil, 1897.

I noticed how the sphere shapes not only connoted holiday glass ornaments, marbles, porcelain berries, and planets but also served as markers defining volumetric space.  They made the picture-space deeper. The gestures with brushes and squeegees gave the space motion. I decided to try some larger pieces.

Example 4 began on sheet of clean, white, enameled, laminated aluminum, 24×24. It represents the first step.  Example 5 presents the second step. In step two the image has been layered with tinted glazes to vary and deepen the colors. I wanted more warmth to suggest the sensation of the changing patterns of sunlight as it fell upon foliage in a breeze. I also wanted to sustain the alternate sensations of the spheres appearing as marbles, berries, space makers, cosmic orbs and glass balls.

Example 4.  Pre-glazed step one.

Example 5. Post-glazed step two.

Next, I moved to a larger format,  29×29. I  began with a substrate from an older painting which offered an array of blended blues, yellows and greens (example 6).  In the second step I covered the substrate and then selectively removed the covering paint to exploit the substrate’s textures and colors (example 7).

Example 6. Substrate for Example 7.

Example 7. Step two, present state.

Example 7 demonstrates not only the wild porcelain berry metaphor but the motion of the planets as well. The orbs are arranged as if they formed astronomical shapes like the big or little dipper. They recede into the shadowy space, a space with the deep blue color associated with the cosmos.

My exhibit at the White Gallery in Lakeville, Ct continues. Please drop by check for information or call 860 435 1029.

A reminder: In November I have a series of workshops at Jerry’s Art of the Carolinas in Raleigh Durham, N.C.  From Friday November 11 through Sunday November 13th.   The Friday workshop, 9 am to 4 pm, “Painting Reflections in Glass, Water and Other Surfaces”. The Saturday workshop is also 9am to 4 pm “New Trends: Merging Paint the Digital Photography”. The Sunday workshop, 9 am to 4 pm “Abstracting Nature, from Meadows to Flora”.  To register call: 800 827 8478 ext 156.

You are invited Saturday, November 5th from 4 to 6PM  to a reception and artist’s talk (by me) at the Drawing Room, 220 East Putnam Avenue in Cos Cob, and Ct. with selected works on view. 203 661 3737 or, .

This April 20-23, 2017 the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach sponsors of workshop with me; two days on location and two days in the studio. Call Sara Bass at 904-280-0614 x 204 or register at .








2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *