This week I visited the Tate Gallery in London to see the Late Turner exhibition. It was, as I expected, absolutely incredible. Turner was a genius. His way of working with colour and light to create stunning masterpieces can literally take your breath away.
I loved walking from painting to painting, taking my time to enjoy every piece on display. When I came to the watercolours my eyes were drawn to the exquisite use of detail layering above superb use of colour that depicted atmosphere so stunningly. I loved listening to the audio guide, which explained about the artists life and technique. The stories behind some of the paintings were fascinating. One piece was titled as though it was an actual port but no, it was given the name after another artist that Turner admired. He used his imagination so much to create scenes that were breathtaking in their accuracy of places that never even existed.
Last night I was taken to see the movie of this masters life. I watched "Mr Turner" but my inspiration truly came from seeing his original art. I came home energised. I couldn't wait to paint today but initially I was distracted by the flowers growing in our cottage garden. But my mind couldn't stray from the imaginative landscapes I had seen at the famous London gallery.
I wasn't in the mood to paint light colours tonight. I wanted drama, impact and most of all, texture. I admired the way Turner created texture in his oil paintings. But as a watercolourist I wondered if I was limited by my favourite medium. I am not. I have worked as dark as I can this evening and used gouache to form light and texture in places on a painting of an imaginary landscape. In a way, you could describe this technique as " Watercolour Sculpting". A way of working that I used to love when painting landscapes previously. Building up the scenes using layers of colour that get stronger until the last touches are almost neat pigment. Which can be moved and placed to form textural effects.
This simple scene has created a sense of excitement within me that I haven't felt for some time. I am yearning to come into my studio tomorrow and continue experimenting but possibly on more flowing backgrounds next. We will see.
For now, I am grateful to a man who passed away long before I was born. Who I hope would be resting in the knowledge that he will inspire generations to come with his art.
What a great legacy.
A true inspiration
And a true master in watercolour and art.