As director Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner” opens today, I again feel compelled to do some new works under the spell of the British master J. M. W. Turner. It is a movie I shall make it a point to watch soon because of Timothy Spall’s portrayal of the painter (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851).
The work above started with some purple strokes on the bottom left corner and ended up looking like this. There is no trace of Turner in this even if I had a trillionth of his talent. When I first saw the movie’s trailer in September, I was particularly struck by Turner’s way of painting water. Some of it has that muddy bottle green hue. In order to pick up some of his techniques I tried the one below of the boatman at sea three months ago.
Turner produced some 19,000 watercolors, oils and drawings in his career.That is astonishingly prolific. I have always wondered how these old masters would have responded to today’s digital paint apps and what they might have done with them. There is a movie to be made about bringing alive Vincent van Gogh or Turner or any such big name from an earlier era, placing them in the current times and giving them these apps rather than real paint.