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Monthly Masters DiscussionMonthly Masters' Discussion - JMW Turner's "Snowstorm" - Let's Talk About Water and Light

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minniev
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Monthly Masters' Discussion - JMW Turner's "Snowstorm" - Let's Talk About Water and Light

Post by minniev » Tue May 01, 2018 12:17 pm

Introduction
Born in humble circumstances in 1775 in London, JMW Turner became one of Britain’s most treasured painters. His life and his body of work were anything but simple. He painted in styles that ranged from classically realistic to almost impressionistic. His life was as enigmatic as his work. It was said that he “lived to paint”, eschewing family in favor of the paintings he considered his children.

There seemed to be two constants in his varied body of work: his fascination with the sea, and his masterful use of light. This painting, “Snow Storm - Steamboat off a Harbour’s Mouth”, was mentioned in many articles about his work as one of his best. The sea is a common subject that most of us attempt to photograph, so we can learn from famous artworks that depict it.

Please review any of the materials linked below that interest you (there’s even a video for those who prefer that format), and share your thoughts about this painting. Here’s some questions to consider as you develop your own thoughts.

Questions to Consider
1. What do you think of the composition? The detail or lack of detail? The use of light and color? The subject matter?
2. What story does this painting convey to you? What is your emotional reaction to it? Would you want it on your wall? Why or why not?
3. Review some of Turner's other paintings of the sea on the links below. Do you see any echo of his work on photography?
4. Share, if you will, a photo you have taken of water that illustrates the interplay of light and water. Or, alternately, provide a link to a photograph you admire that illustrates this interaction.

Links for Your Review
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._M._W._Turner
https://journals.openedition.org/caliban/676
https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-edi ... uous-seas
https://www.william-turner.org/biography.html
https://www.artble.com/artists/joseph_m ... %27s_mouth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMDIpReuMPo
Attachments
img-10.jpg
fair use -https://journals.openedition.org/caliban/676
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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PietFrancke
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Post by PietFrancke » Tue May 01, 2018 2:27 pm

I love these surreal type images. Turner is without question my favorite artist - bar none. I am surprised that he is English, not Dutch. LOL. In this image you get sucked into the center. I think he had himself tied to the mast of a ship during a storm once. The fragmentation and tilting on the sail gives a sense of motion (and E-motion). You feel the swirling wind, you feel the fury of the waves. THIS is inspiration, raw power, nature, force, danger, the list goes on and on.

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Post by minniev » Tue May 01, 2018 6:23 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 2:27 pm
I love these surreal type images. Turner is without question my favorite artist - bar none. I am surprised that he is English, not Dutch. LOL. In this image you get sucked into the center. I think he had himself tied to the mast of a ship during a storm once. The fragmentation and tilting on the sail gives a sense of motion (and E-motion). You feel the swirling wind, you feel the fury of the waves. THIS is inspiration, raw power, nature, force, danger, the list goes on and on.
I'm glad I presented an artist you know and like! You probably ought be leading the thread! Please pitch in and help me with it if we can lure folks in. I thought he conveyed such a huge amount of experiential emotion in his work - we FEEL the storm, not just see it. I hope you've got a sea photo to share. I have only had one experience of violent seas - and I was too scared to think of pictures. We were rolling up a mountain of water, then down the other side, more or less perpendicular, so that half the time I was looking at the sky and the other half into the abyss. I now wish so desperately that I'd remembered to use my camera.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by PietFrancke » Tue May 01, 2018 9:31 pm

minniev wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 6:23 pm
PietFrancke wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 2:27 pm
I love these surreal type images. Turner is without question my favorite artist - bar none. I am surprised that he is English, not Dutch. LOL. In this image you get sucked into the center. I think he had himself tied to the mast of a ship during a storm once. The fragmentation and tilting on the sail gives a sense of motion (and E-motion). You feel the swirling wind, you feel the fury of the waves. THIS is inspiration, raw power, nature, force, danger, the list goes on and on.
I'm glad I presented an artist you know and like! You probably ought be leading the thread! Please pitch in and help me with it if we can lure folks in. I thought he conveyed such a huge amount of experiential emotion in his work - we FEEL the storm, not just see it. I hope you've got a sea photo to share. I have only had one experience of violent seas - and I was too scared to think of pictures. We were rolling up a mountain of water, then down the other side, more or less perpendicular, so that half the time I was looking at the sky and the other half into the abyss. I now wish so desperately that I'd remembered to use my camera.
well, I tried, but Turner I am not.. LOL
ship2.jpg

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Post by minniev » Tue May 01, 2018 11:31 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 9:31 pm


well, I tried, but Turner I am not.. LOL ship2.jpg
Are you sure?

Thank you! I just knew you had something like this hiding on your hard drive! I'm astounded by this, it's wonderful.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by Matt Quinn » Sat May 05, 2018 4:57 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 9:31 pm
minniev wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 6:23 pm
PietFrancke wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 2:27 pm
I love these surreal type images. Turner is without question my favorite artist - bar none. I am surprised that he is English, not Dutch. LOL. In this image you get sucked into the center. I think he had himself tied to the mast of a ship during a storm once. The fragmentation and tilting on the sail gives a sense of motion (and E-motion). You feel the swirling wind, you feel the fury of the waves. THIS is inspiration, raw power, nature, force, danger, the list goes on and on.
I'm glad I presented an artist you know and like! You probably ought be leading the thread! Please pitch in and help me with it if we can lure folks in. I thought he conveyed such a huge amount of experiential emotion in his work - we FEEL the storm, not just see it. I hope you've got a sea photo to share. I have only had one experience of violent seas - and I was too scared to think of pictures. We were rolling up a mountain of water, then down the other side, more or less perpendicular, so that half the time I was looking at the sky and the other half into the abyss. I now wish so desperately that I'd remembered to use my camera.
well, I tried, but Turner I am not.. LOL ship2.jpg
Here's for trying:

Turner light starboard
drapes of doom swift dropping down
dread we enter gloom

Matt
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"...approach the light as opposed to the subject." Stan Godwin

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minniev
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Post by minniev » Sat May 05, 2018 5:02 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 4:57 pm
g


Here's for trying:

Turner light starboard
drapes of doom swift dropping down
dread we enter gloom

Matt
And it would work for Turner's version, or Piet's!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Matt Quinn
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sat May 05, 2018 5:44 pm

minniev wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 5:02 pm
Matt Quinn wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 4:57 pm
g


Here's for trying:

Turner light starboard
drapes of doom swift dropping down
dread we enter gloom

Matt
And it would work for Turner's version, or Piet's!
BTW, am I the only one to see the phoenix attacking the vessel?

For Turner's:

raging waters surge
sea joins sky in fierce embrace
thick fear fills full air

Need more help with heart stone. Matt
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"...approach the light as opposed to the subject." Stan Godwin

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minniev
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Post by minniev » Sat May 05, 2018 10:47 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 5:44 pm
Here's for trying:

BTW, am I the only one to see the phoenix attacking the vessel?

For Turner's:

raging waters surge
sea joins sky in fierce embrace
thick fear fills full air

Need more help with heart stone. Matt
I didn't see it till you mentioned it but now cannot unseen it!
Nice poem.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by Charles Haacker » Sun May 06, 2018 2:15 am

Oh wow. What a picture. At a glance I could just identify the paddlebox of a sidewheeler. I can barely see her tall stack with flame at the bell. The skipper is pushing her hard. The title helps enormously to grasp what is going on: Snow Storm - Steamboat off a Harbour’s Mouth. I tend to imagine she is fighting her way inbound, trying desperately not to be piled on the breakwater and hammered to death, as I can't imagine any skipper in his right mind trying to bull his way out of a harbor in a blow like this. A brief hole has opened in the swirl of snow allowing the observer a glimpse of her struggle, waves higher than the pilothouse, one wave seems to be breaking higher than the mast, silhouetting the oily plume of coal smoke belching from the stack. She's not safe yet. This is a fight to the death between ship and sea.

I think this is very much impressionism and I love this painting. Yes I would have it on my wall! Obviously I am a frustrated sailor (well, not in a blow like this...puts me in mind of the recent loss of the El Faro).

I discovered that this painting hangs in the DeYoung Museum. I regret to say I never saw it, and Daphne and I spent countless hours in that museum over 30 years, especially after Matt was born. It's in Golden Gate Park in a section they used to close to auto traffic every Sunday for bikers and walkers. We'd pile our bikes on the back of the car and drive over. We had family memberships at the DeYoung and the Cal. Academy of Sciences. But I somehow managed never to see this glorious picture. :(
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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