Turner: A Painter of Light and Color

The last Turner exhibit that I attended was over ten years ago at the local art gallery and featured Turner, Whistler and Monet. It was so long ago that I can’t remember whom I attended the exhibit with. But I do remember Turner’s oil paintings and his distinct use of light and color. Of the three artists, his paintings clearly stood out.

On Saturday, I went to a new Turner exhibit and became re-acquainted with his work after many years. J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851) was a British landscape painter who had an incredible body of work spanning 60 years. Going through the gallery, he seemed to focus much of his attention on natural disasters, such as floods, fires and storms. There’s a great story of him asking to be tied to a ship’s mast during a storm in order to experience it first-hand. He painted his landscapes with broad, sweeping strokes and took a fine brush to draw in little details such as people and animals (which my daughter pointed out in delight).

Here are some of my favorites (2 of 3 were in the exhibit):

The Morning After the Deluge – Moses Writing the Book of Genesis (left)

Snow Storm: Steam-Boat Off a Harbour’s Mouth (top right)

Fishermen at Sea (bottom right)

The exhibit also inspired my little budding artist to share her own work:

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Reflections of the OR: the paintings of Dr. Joseph R. Wilder

Surgeons who take up drawing, sculpture or painting are not uncommon. There is a natural tendency for people who are highly visual or tactile to gravitate to the visual arts. However, I find the depictions of the operating room by surgeons to be fascinating. They provide insight into how surgeons view their own profession and the setting in which they spend many of their waking hours.

Operation
From “The Art of Surgery: Paintings by Joseph R. Wilder, M.D.” Dartmouth Medicine Magazine, Fall 2002.

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