Friday, August 22, 2008

turner watercolors

Yesterday, out of the blue, a small catalog from a Feb. 2008 Tate exhibit arrived in the mail from my friend Sue: Hockney on Turner Watercolors! Hockney was invited to select the watercolors for the Tate's exhibition, and in the catalog, he is interviewed about Turner. On the first page, Hockney says: "[Turner] was an artist who loved the surface of the earth.... Turner understood [the] process of looking. Every day was different for him."
Hockney chose the paintings for their energy and brushwork--"They're fresh because you can see how he made them. ... I've come to see that painting has to be about this sense of gesture and movement."
I've just chosen here the first three that made my heart leap with awe and envy.

Studies of Skies, circa 1820-30, 35.7x34.8cm

Marly-Sur Seine: Colour Beginning, 1829-30, 36.2x51.2cm

Castle on a Rocky Coast, circa 1830, 35.5x49cm

As far as my own painting goes ... When I started painting, I had no subjects, no ideas or ambitions; now I have so many subjects and so many ideas of how to try to approach them, that I'm strangely paralyzed.
Perhaps Sue's gift is a well-timed message: get back to the gesture, to the quick impression.
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2 comments:

A Brush with Color said...

What a lovely post! It's so interesting and endlessly fascinating to me to see how different each artist is with the same subject. Love it! Love the notion of the studies. Seems less intimidating, somehow.

Lindsay said...

I agree with you about these. Really stunning. You mentioned earlier about the beauty of the white paper...Maybe use this as your starting point.

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