Saturday, May 28, 2005

Atmospheric show

Last evening gave us a brilliant sunset.

J and I had gone to TKD, Home Depot, dinner and were heading home. The drive back was very entertaining.

To my right, the sky caressed a soft and buttery orange sunset. At the fringes hung small puffs of soft, pink wisps. I was captivated.

Then J pointed out the clouds to the east: billowing, long, reflective clouds of pink dusted with lavender with the largest glowing a radiant yellowish orange in the center. These few showy clouds covered miles of thankful territory.

I had to have a picture, particularly of the pink clouds. We raced home; I ran inside and got my camera. Too many trees at home, we went back out, seeking higher ground in a different neighborhood.

We rounded the corner, raced up the hill.

And promptly realized the lights had been turned off. Nothing ablaze. Intensity asleep.

Instead of our treat, we saw blue on blue puffy clouds, much likes these as painted by John Constable. Constable is a noted clouds/landscape artist, but we were on a mission to see something more in the noted atmospheric painter, J.M.W. Turner, spectrum.

Kind of reminds me of a Jimmy Buffett line. Of course.

I'm turning off the waterfall; the tourists can go home

Clouds go night night and I go home with no pictures.


nita said...

can you imagine being famous for painting clouds?!

Cricket said...

Constable was the first to really paint clouds. He lived at a time when landscapes were frowned upon, so nobody had the incentive - no bucks in it, not painted.

Turner was a real risk taker, both in the paintings he did and in his means to get them.
This link goes to a very famous one of his.

Here is a description of how he got his data for that painting: "Certainly J.M.W. Turner the great British painter is another who loved the immediacy of working and sketching outdoors to capture the emotion he was trying to convey and in fact had himself very famously strapped to the mast of a ship in a howling storm at sea for hours, to experience the feeling and power he was trying to convey in what became one of his greatest works."

Anonymous said...

I have to confess - I like neither Tunrer nor Constable. My mom say an exhibition of...Constable, I think, and said they were fabulous painting. Me, I'm sort of 'eh, whatever'.

I do like landscapes, but not that particular irritates my eyes. Maybe he's more of an artist for artists? My mom did pastels for years, and always wanted to do watercolors but never got the time. Now she does the occasional piece of stained glass work, and currently, The Garden.

I'll stick to writing and singing, for although I'd love to learn 'art', I know I don't have the patience to learn technique.

Which reminds me, you would have loved a game show they had on Channel 4 here a few years ago called 'Watercolor Challenge'. Basically, 3 people (who'd sent in work before the show began, 12 were chosen per region) were driven to an unknown location in their region, and given four hours to paint whatever they wanted. The host and an outside judge, usually another artist, but sometimes celebrities, authors, and musicians, would then decide who the winner was. At the end of the week there was a regional final, and so on and so forth. The grand prize was a 2 week painting holiday in a foreign country, plus various and sundry. It was a freakin' awesome show, and I wish they'd bring it back.

Anonymous said...

Please forgive the spelling's been a long day.

Cricket said...

What you see in the paintings of Constable or Turner or even an Impressionist like Monet is the definition of en plein air.

If a painting is to be done outside (and without photography), it has to be done quickly. Usually catching light and movement are more important than the forms themselves.

For example, you have to work pretty quickly to capture a cloud mass and the shadows it casts.

You can see the fuzziness in these pictures at this random plein air society's webpage...

A fuzzy painting is a cherished characteristic of a plein air work.

There is, however, a differentiation in types of plein air artists. Some require that all is done on site - probably completed within 3-4 hours.

Others will start plein air and complete it in the studio working with photographs. This type of painting is delenated specifically as such, a combination. You can spot them, too, b/c they are more detailed and lose the fuzziness.

Cricket said...

Oh, yeah.

If there were a watercolor competition like that, it might be ehough to make me pick up watercolors again.


I have fallen for pastels - they're as fussy as you want vs. watercolors which just are so picky.