Watercolor Inspiration – JMW Turner

When I was in college, I was fortunate enough to be able to do a semester abroad and I chose to go to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I didn’t do much traveling while there, but I did get to go to London a couple of times – more like three – and in each and every one of those visits, I spent days and days in museums.

Did you know that National Museums in the UK are free to visitors? I think it’s because they are owned by the State and sponsored by the Department of Culture and subsidized so that both nationals and tourists can enjoy the collections. However, some special exhibits are paid.

I’m a sucker for all things modern, so one of the days I walked the Tate Modern in its entirety and got to see some Rothko upfront. And then (but not at the Tate Modern)… I discovered J.M.W. Turner – not to be confused with William Turner – a Romantic painter, water-colorist and print maker.

His paintings are so intricate and detailed, but at the same time they have a weirdly abstract feel. I fell in love instantly. And his paintings have served as an inspiration for my art ever since, although recently they weren’t really consciously present. I was reminded of him by my teacher when I worked on “The Calm Before the Storm” – which I shared with you already.

This is one of my favorites – Storm Clouds: Sunset with a Pink Sky (1833).

I have been doing some more Googling of his images and I am definitely inspired to work similarly – with a similar color palette at least – in the near future.

Stay tuned for more Turner-inspired work. In the meantime, check out my Instagram account to see the two small paintings I worked on today.

If you would like to purchase some of my art, visit my Etsy shop!

Source: Art Observed.


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