Thursday, March 22, 2012

Challenge 67 - Turner's Light

Fast Friday Fabric Challenge #67                           Due:  3/31/2012
Turner’s Light                                                           Host: Susan Sleisinger

J.M.W.Turner's use of light and subtle color have fascinated me ever since I was a child and went on school holiday programmes at London's National and Tate galleries, so I chose him as the topic for this month's challenge.

John Mallford William Turner (1775-1851) was a romantic-era British painter known for his seascapes, and use of light as a dramatic element in his art.

Turner tended to use the sun or moon, his light source, as the centerpiece of his paintings and artistic language, and the paintings were developed around the light source. In his later works he often minimized the appearance of solid objects, using transparency, shimmering light and subtle colors to evoke a mood.  By the end of his life, his main artistic focus was the effect of light. He was a precursor to the Impressionists.  Monet is known to have studied his works.

The timing of this challenge is very auspicious for our British members as the National Gallery in London is holding an exhibition called Turner Inspired in the Light of Claude.  
In his twenties, Turner is reported to have seen Claude's "Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba" and burst into tears because he feared he could never paint anything like that picture.  Turner bequeathed much of his work and his sketchbook to Britain and insisted that two of his works be displayed alongside Claude's painting

Other examples of his works can be found by following the links at the end of and at

Contemporary artists influenced by Turner include Henrietta Stuart and Anne Stahl

In the quilt world, Katie Pasquini sometimes uses his concept of transparency and light in works such as “Cheers" and "Friends"

British Quilter Pauline Barnes occasionally shows his influence in works such as "Rainbow" "Chichen Itza", and "Silence is Golden”

Eileen Doughty has made use of different types of light to draw in the viewer in "You can see the Tree for the Forest" and "Welcome Communication

Australian quilter Gloria Loughman also makes light integral in her quilt "Canopy".

This month's challenge is to create a somewhat abstract seascape or landscape featuring a prominent, visible light source, subtle coloring and "misty realism" such as those displayed in Turner's "Margate from the Sea,"  "The Evening Star", and "Snowstorm"  

Have fun playing with light now we are past the spring equinox.       Susan

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