Saturday, June 13, 2009

Joseph Mallord William Turner RA



Do you remember the first time you saw a Turner? I'll never forget it. On a lunch break I walked into the Tate Gallery for something to do. There was The Fighting Temeraire and I literally saw the light. It was burning in the sky as the hulk of the old fighting ship was dragged into dry dock for her destruction.

More light than I had ever seen in a painting in my life. Viewing them we all feel Turner's revelation when he painted it. I moved on to Sun Setting on a Lake. I wanted to shield my eyes from the glare of the sky. I felt I needed dark glasses inside a gallery. But this is only paint on canvas. It can't happen.

I felt he was saying, 'to get in touch with your creative side, look at my sky. Turn off your thinking head and breathe deeply. Then just wait. It will come...'

How did he do that? Meditation hadn't been discovered in 1838. Had it?

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