Sunday, February 12, 2012
Chinchester Canal - his and mine
Even before I conceived of this tremendous exercise, I had a taste of the project last summer. I can't remember why I set out to complete 3 of these, but complete them I did, within a 2-week period.
I have shown the other 2 repeatedly, in my videos/photos for this projects' promotion, but the third one, the Chinchester Canal (c. 1828) is one I kept under wraps - mainly because I was not entirely happy with how it turned out. We might consider it the red-headed stepchild of the Epic Painting Series.
Above we see his, acquisition # 560 in Turner at the Tate book - a canvas measuring 25.75 x 53, once again, considerably larger than the one I came up with. According to Wikipedia, George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont commissioned this maritime scene which some say depicts the atmospheric ash from the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in its use of brilliant colours.
When I first set to paint it, I did not make a detailed study of the technique employed. I decided that most likely an indirect painting technique - where a glaze dilutes the paint, allowing for multiple layers to provide a realistic, multidimensional look - was responsible for a lot of what appeared. Whether true or not, I was not 100% satisfied with my attempt - possibly I would need more layers. Possibly I blundered with those trees at the left. After looking at it one more time, I come to believe I may just need to add another layer of blue - definitely the far-off hills require it.
Turner used many techniques to finish his works, something which I plan to go into further along. According to this article, one of his trademark flourishes was.... finger painting! Wow... I would love to experiment with that. Something about throwing oneself into his painting style is fundamentally appealing, even if the thought of oil on my hands is not.