Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Artists of Influence - J.M.W. Turner

Rain, Steam and Speed 
- The Great Western Railway
J.M.W. Turner 
painted 1838

I was invited to write about the 
influences which helped me as an artist
 by the company 

I have been enjoying reading some of
the artists who have been sharing
their own stories so I was delighted
to participate.

Standing in front of this amazing
Turner painting (above) was 
definitely the start of realizing 
could give me goose bumps!

My huge emotional response 
shook me up because before that I 
was enamored by technical skill...
not realizing the 
pure genius
of technical skill it took Turner
to do this.

This painting was done 
2 years before Monet was born.
Turner painted outdoors a lot
and colors above are true to the 
part of England I knew so well
because he actually painted
the atmosphere...
 the rain, 
steam trains,
and a very industrial area.

Turners watercolors are a 
delight, but not easily available
to view in the area I now 
live in here in the US
so when the museum in Houston
had a exhibition of his watercolors
 years ago, I flew out to see it
and was delighted to find the 
goose bumps were still there.

Other Influences.
Picasso had a strong impact 
with his many different periods
of style and media. Such
comfort knowing it was 
okay to change focus,
and Cezanne has long been an artist
I turn to when I need inspiration. 

And my love of 
was continued by being 
drawn to some of Monet's more
atmospheric paintings. 
Yes - the waterlilies for sure. 

Seeing we are talking about 
influences in art
there are interesting stories
about Turner's influence on Monet
after Monet visited the 
National gallery in 1870 

The story goes... 
Monet stood in awe in front of
Turner's work and then after
some private visits ...and do you think 
he could have seen this 
during one of them?
(Sunrise is a clue)

Norham Castle -Sunrise
JMW Turner

And when, after
returning to Paris, Monet started to 
try and capture the emotion
he experienced about the atmosphere
as well 
as the brighter colors of 
painting outside.
There is no doubt of the change  
when you see the before and after.

Here is a popular Monet piece
painted in 1867
Garden at Sainte-Adresse
C. Monet 1867

Forgive a little rant here...
Although this is a very popular
piece I dislike this painting for 
several reasons, the
"dibby dabby do" brushwork
in lower half and smooth work
on top with every dang mast
 on the way off horizon
painted in perfect detail!

BUT all is not lost - 
Monet visits Turner 
and look what happens

Impression - Sunrise
C Monet 1872

This is the painting which coined the 
word Impressionism.
How marvelous for Monet
to find an influence
which had such a profound effect.

Sorry this led into such a long post.

I am beholden to all artists 
who get inspired to try and
capture emotion, no matter their
style - but it was Turner who 
gave me my first goose bumps.

It was fun finding out who in turn
influenced the great Turner.
But that's another story.

Thank you, Marietta for the invitation
to participate. 
You must be very proud of 
your mother, Patience...
her work is beautiful.

Please check out the blog


  1. i can understand getting goose bumps standing in front of artwork. It happens to me too, especially looking at some of Monet's pieces and when I saw the Degas ballerina when I was in Paris. Art can really affect us!

  2. True... Art can. And we are so lucky because of it.
    I liked your sketches accomplished while in motion.

  3. Love reading your thoughts and your influences, Julie.

    1. Thanks Sherry. Some have come and gone thru the years but others have stood the test of time.
      Hope all is well in your world.

  4. It is profound when someone's work has such a huge impact on how you see or do things. Good thing Monet ran into Turner and that Turner was there to be run into!

    I enjoyed reading about your influences so thank you. I always appreciate any insights.

    1. I look at the world of art and can often see the influences behind the artiist's work. It is very encouraging. You have been sharing your journey into the fabulous direction your art has taken and I love the way you impart your observations and conclusions..

  5. What a great post! Don't you want to run home and paint after visiting an art museum or gallery? It would be hard to say who influences me most. Do you find the more you look at paintings that your tastes change? I love stuff now that once-upon-a-time I didn't think was so hot.

    1. Pleased you enjoyed it!
      You raise a good point, Stephanie. When I was asked to do this I couldn't move into the contemporary list of artists because they have changed - according what stage of growth I was at. My love of Turner's later period has never changed and when I realize what he accomplished by
      "inspiration alone" boggles my mind. I do love so many artists though but not all have influenced me.
      I like your neat garlic painting with all the different angles. Its a good one.

  6. Thanks Julie! Now I am even more inspired to get over to the DeYoung and see the Turner exhibit!

    1. Oh WOW! Where have I been...I did not know about the show at the DeYoung. I could have flown down from Seattle when I was there. Bummer.
      I checked the paintings in the exhibit and am happy to see they are all ones I have already seen. I would have been so disappointed otherwise that I could not see it. I also heard there is a movie about him. My mind has been where??????I feel I am totally out of what is going on.
      Thanks for the visit and info. Let me know if you go.

  7. Beautiful work on putting all of this together. I love seeing the difference between Monet's work after seeing Turners painting. I love how you flew out to see the exhibit! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about what drives your art, thank you!

    I also missed the waterlilies below, beautiful!! I love the delicate palette.

    1. I remember in England how we would hear how Turner was the start of Impressionism, but the French claimed the spot. There always has been an underlying competitive spirit between the two countries.
      As an artist... and I am sure you are the same... I like an artist's work and not where he is from.
      I truly love your watercolor with the bowl with the patterned rim and the pears. beautiful colors!

  8. wow that is a huge change in style for the better :D Sad to say, I had never heard of Turner before moving here, lots of Canadian artists tho were big influences on me but I should hang my head in shame for not knowing of Turner before 10 years ago (my excuse is I'm not a landscape artist :p)

    1. Don't hang your head...when I came to America I had to learn all about a lot of the art history because it was such a young country and there was a lot of native art but then...drum roll... a lot of brilliant painters in the 19th century.
      I was fascinated by your beautiful pencil work and using something called
      graphitants. Looking forward to following your drawing steps to completion.

    2. thanks Julie :) Actual Native art I find fascinating. So much history behind it. But the art that just rips the native imagery off, bugs me for some reason :/

  9. Thank you for this great post Julie, only recently I have been reading and trying to understand art history, there is no end to learning about it, each time I read, there is a new perspective.

    1. Hi Padmaja - thanks for the nice complement. I agree Art History is fascinating and never ending. We can never be bored!

  10. Hi Julie. We obviously have similar taste in art. All my favourites too and seeing their work in real life is definitely a joy to behold. I was blown away by Cezanne's minimalist watercolours recently. Turner's watercolour beginnings always take my breath away. Thanks for sharing your inspirations. There maybe a big pond between us but the love of art can still mutually be shared thanks to blogging. Take care.

  11. A few months ago I saw the film about Turner here in Milan , and I can understand how he could be of such a great inspiration to other painters ! You leave the cinema really inspired . It is not a masterpiece of a film , but very interesting to get an insight to his life and to the period.

  12. And this is why I never miss a blog post of yours. I always learn something. You are one of the artists that have influenced me. Love this post.


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