Tuesday, February 17, 2009

JMW Turner Lecture Part III

If anyone else out there has been knocked off their feet by this sickness going around you have my sympathies! I finally broke down and went to the doctor today. The extreme fatigue and lingering cough are what worried me the most. Of course they have no idea what it is. The flu test came back negative, it could just be a virus, or maybe I have a secondary bacterial infection now, so I'm on antibiotics just in case. It could be mono since my daughter had that just before Christmas, possibly Lyme disease (eventhough it's winter??) or my anemia has gotten worse. How's that for a big, we just don't know.

I'm trying to get some work done on the computer in little bursts, painting is out of the question right now, no way do I have the stamina to be at the easel for even two hours.

I am scheduled to teach an acrylic class on Friday and give a gallery talk about the Impressionists on Sunday. Prayers, good thoughts and positive healing energy sent this way will gladly be accepted!

JMW Turner Norham Castle Sunrise 1845

Now on to JMW Turner and his painting techinques. Once again, I'll just remind you that these posts are based on what I learned at a lecture presented by Galleries in Motion, the speaker was Joy Pepe, professor emeritus at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art and former curatorial assistant at the Yale Center for British Art.

Turner did a great deal of sketching outdoors but never actually worked on oil paintings outdoors. He felt that doing a number of color sketches was a better, more efficient use of his time. He filled many, many sketchbooks over his lifetime. Nineteen of his travels in Venice alone.

Here are some of the materials and techniques Turner employed:

He mixed wax, resin and oil with his paints

He worked with both glazes and impasto paint

The surfaces of his paintings were




masked out

and had paint poured on them

Things like wax, resin, glazes and impasto are fairly classical materials and techniques. It's the second list that really foreshadows modernism and the handling of paint and materials that would come on the scene in the 20th century.

It's those techniques employed in the service of traditional landscape motifs, coupled with the use of light as an expression of spirituality and the sublime that fascinates me and continues to influence my own work.

I wonder if Turner would have embraced acrylic paint with it's impasto gels, modelling pastes and texture laden mediums? I think so. I'm certainly glad I have them at my disposal and intend to explore further with them this year.


njart73 said...

Hi Jan - I hope that you will feel better soon. I have found that drinking green tea with some honey helps.
I look forward to your blog and newsletter They help to keep me going. I enjoyed your demo on You Tube. Although I do not paint with your brand of acrylics after viewing I became interested in trying out different meduims to help in blending colors. Take care and keep warm

Jan Blencowe said...

Thanks! Antibiotics have helped tremendously, now just digging out from everything that piled up!