The other night Mister and I watched “Mr. Turner.” For those who don’t know, this film gives a glimpse into the final years of the famed British landscape artist, J.M.W. Turner. And it’s fascinating.


The very next day, we went to The Getty Center to see the exhibit J.M.W. Turner: Paintings Set Free. The exhibit would surely have been grand at any time, but it seemed even more exciting, having just seen the film. A couple of times I rounded a corner and gasped, as I remembered a painting from the film. And then it was before me! It was pretty cool, and I’m so grateful I got to see these works in person.


I expected I’d enjoy this outing. And I did. What I didn’t expect, however, was to be so jealous. I see art all the time, some of it well-known. And I often marvel at what I see. I can be impressed by perspective, by technique, by emotion. But friends, when I saw the works by Turner, I was overcome. His masterful use of light… His ability to paint so little, yet suggest so much… His brilliant skill for detail (not often employed)… All of these things left me feeling small. And yes, jealous. I understand Turner trained his whole life. I get that. And please don’t misunderstand, I am not comparing myself to J.M.W. Turner (duh). It was just such an odd feeling to find a painter who stirred me to want to learn more, to be better, to expand my own abilities and horizons. It caught me off-guard. I didn’t see it coming.


Now that I know how inspiring Turner’s works are for me, I can use that knowledge to work on studies of his art. And maybe I’ll learn a few things. Lord knows, there’s always room for improvement.

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