Friday, November 1, 2013

Atelier de Cezanne, Aix-en-Provence

Back in Time: My First French Travel Journal (Moleskine Sketch), Paris & Provence, 2003. One amazing experience was a pilgrimage to Cezanne's studio. I did the above sketch while there, ink & colored pencil.
That journal was a mish-mash of clippings, French & English writing & sketches. (I featured several pages in a previous post: "My 1st Trip to France." To see, click HERE.) Anyway, What got me thinking of Cezanne,  2 posts ago, was:  
His minimal use of color & strokes & the sturcture in some of his watercolors. In that post Malyss had commented that she had seen a Cezanne show, not too far from her home. Wow! 
(I'm not a fan of Cezanne's figure paintings, but love many of his still lifes & landscapes.) 
Again, a wonderful benefit of creating journals: So satisfying in the moment, but 10 years later I get to go back to remember the details such as: We had gotten lost trying to get to his studio, around & around the town we drove. Finally, I, the passenger, hopped out to ask directions of a handsome gray haired man in a bar.He drew me the little map above. (A simple thing like asking & understanding directions in French was & is still a major thrill for me!) After parking, we made a hike up a big hill & finally, we arrived! (I had wanted to give up, but my traveling companion hadn't let me!) 
 Visiting the studio, which is left pretty much intact, was bliss. But, to add to being there was that I got to sit in on 2 school group lectures & listen to the beautiful French language of the subject of Art. The French high school kids were funny: with a few exceptions, when the guide asked them questions they stared off into space & appeared clueless, reminding me of their American counterparts. (This was an after school visit, I'll bet they were tired...) It was all I could do to keep from raising MY hand to answer!   Ah, to go back in time!
 In doing a little research on Cezanne, I came across a fascinating video. "The Forger's Masterclass". Famous art forger John Myatt, says that "all painters can learn by copying others." Of course, he got a little carried away... (Me, I'm STILL resistant to copying due to early indoctrinaton...) Anyway, Myatt's TV show is a sort of reality show, where one can learn about artists, & in this one, about Cezanne & his style (& one can learn about Myatt too). Very entertaining in a pop sort of way.
Click HERE to see the video.


  1. I do love travel journals! I made such journals too, but as I'm unable to draw as well as you , I fill them with tickets, postcards, leaves, etc..
    Your post is absolutely gorgeous! Pics , drawings and words let us feel very well this moment of discovering, the pleasure, the memories ..
    It's very interesting to see this through your eyes!
    Have a nice week-end!

  2. I also talk about doing it, and I love seeing what you have done, but I just never seem to follow through. Dang! So enjoy your posts Rita. Keep em' coming, and happy November.

  3. In art I see so much cross-over between techniques. I would have no problem learning from other artists but not actual copying, I think that is where the difference lies as I see adapting someones art into yours. I know in photography, I as an amateur look toward certain. photographers and how they construct their photos. I guess my feelings go back to my belief that everything is connected.

    Your notebook is wonderful. I keep blog notebooks. Not every blog is included in my notebooks -- it sometimes helps to sit and work out what exactly I want to say on paper. I too staple scraps of paper with info plus ideas from any published material that inspires me. I even make my own covers for my notebooks -- fun and one can develop moods through homemade covers. I use the best photography I can find in mags and crop-cut out what I don't want and use about four of these on each cover -- sometimes more sometimes less. Primitive but fun to do.
    -- barbara

  4. YOUR talent astounds me every time. i have no need to see the masters. :)

  5. This is such a thorough entry, Rita. I am going to share is with our art teacher to share with students! I learn so much from you.

  6. I too love travel journals.
    Thank you for everything you share.

  7. What an interesting video. Thanks for shaing. What a guy!


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