Saturday, 9 February 2013

Turner from the Tate

last Thursday evening i [along with a cast of thousands] was a guest at the opening of
Turner from the Tate

there are an overwhelming number of pictures in the exhibition
if you go
allow a whole day
take a picnic lunch and perhaps a yoga mat for a nanna-nap in the afternoon.

i was enchanted by
J.M.W. Turner's travelling paintbox
it's metal 
[a rather slimmer and more elegant version of my own portable studio : simply an old Brockhoff's biscuit tin]
and contains delightful glass-stoppered bottles of pigments
small bundled pig's bladders
and more

Turner was an enthusiastic wanderer
in pursuit of wild landscapes

in some of his marine paintings the vessels seem to be tacking against opposing winds
perhaps there were curious meteorological phenomena
and i do wonder how some of those bits of cloth casually draped across the bodies of women in his paintings stayed put in the days before double-sided tape

but his rendering of the impression of light is wonderful.

and his orderly paintbox
has inspired me to try and tidy mine
shown here emptied of its contents
so as to facilitate a bit of panel-beating
after its most recent experience with the flying kangaroo

BTW that black blob is not usually packed in the box
it is Felix
graciously assisting me with my labours


  1. Hello Felix!!! I've seen a lot of Turner's here in London and love 'em all..... so glad you're getting to see them too!

    1. Felix wasn't actually allowed to attend the exhibition opening [they don't approve of cats] but i've told him all about them


  2. Is that a mouse trap I see in your kit? Surely Felix has that angle covered already?

    1. is actually a rat trap..very useful for clamping papers [something neither Felix nor Martha are showing much interest in]

  3. never thought of that use for a rattrap! i do like both boxes. looks to have been a grand day.

  4. Hi India,
    years ago I've tried to get my greedy hands on a Victorian watercolour box. Beautiful! I saw one in an antique shop in London. But the few still existing boxes cost a fortune!
    Would be nice to own such an amazing box as the one once belonging to Turner.
    I prefer biscuit boxes and wooden cigar boxes (hard to come by these days though!)
    India, I'm so glad I managed to sign in to one of the workshops in Scotland!!!

    1. splendid, i shall look forward to meeting you there!

  5. Love the paintbox... and your organizing assistant. My studio assistant thought about jumping into a wet watercolor yesterday, luckily, he was caught in the nick of time ^;^

  6. wow, how exciting to be able to see those paintings in the flesh...
    clever and interesting use for a rat trap..

  7. I was able to admire one such styled paintbox not long ago.
    Hey Felix.

    1. Felix (who has never had to shovel snow) is envious of all the white stuff your way

  8. It must have been a wonderful exhibition. Smiling at the thought of the nana-nap.

  9. Hope that exhibition travels to Sydney. I love when exhibitions include the personal belongings of the artist- you tend to get a more rounded picture of them.
    Sure looks like Felix is 'helping'.

    1. Think it goes to Canberra next...not quite Sydney but a mere train ride away :0)

    2. Me too.... there was a wonderful watercolour exhibition at the Tate Britain last year that had Turner's watercolour box in it, and Queen Victoria's too!!! Hope you get to see this one.

  10. I once saw a Turner show in person.. he was quite an artist for his time.. ahead of his time I think... trying to capture the feeling and emotion of his landscape and sky and wind and rain and... he succeeded wonderfully.