Cezanne’s work always feels to me like he was having fun as he painted. He is famous for experimenting with perspective. He tilted baskets and let clothes fall off the table edges, and composed things in such a way that they look “lived in.” The apples appear to have just rolled into place before he picked up his brush to paint them. I tried to honor his spirit by really having a lot of fun with color while I painted this piece.
Another fun thing I did, when I couldn’t quite figure out what sort of cookies Cezanne placed in his still life… I used Little Debbie strawberry shortcake snack cakes in my painting. I grew up with Little Debbie products, and of course there was always a reference to my name being Debbie. I used graham crackers in my stack, because those are fun and yummy too. I’m not sure how well the wine and apples and desserts taste together, but there’s always a libation in master paintings, and who am I to argue with the masters!
“The Basket of Apples”
by Paul Cezanne
Oil on Canvas
Art Institute of Chicago