Making a Study

March 20, 2015

web-turner

Yesterday was my rest day. I typically spend Thursdays doing something related to art, because I cannot easily fit visiting galleries or museums into my schedule on the days when I train. A large show—more than 60 paintings—by the masterful British artist J.M.H. Turner (1775-1851) just opened at the Getty Museum, in Los Angeles. I visited it with my friend C.F., who is a painter and a sculptor, and my favorite person to go with on these weekly art outings because his eye is keen and our taste in art is similar. We are both devotees of abstraction: he paints it, and we both collect it. And we are also lifelong students of art history.

SurgeofSea

Turner is best known for his large, densely painted oils, often depicting dramatic allegorical scenes, and the show was rich with some of his finest. But my favorite pieces were the light and airy watercolor studies, created with speed and efficiency, on site and only for himself, where the master experimented technically before committing to the more permanent medium. There is an unselfconscious, spontaneous quality about these small personal works that I found more intriguing than many of the larger, heavily worked masterpieces for which he would be judged.

 

Asterisk

 

It is in the spirit of making a study of my own that I will make a first go at 15.4 this afternoon. I have no idea how many rounds and reps I can get in eight minutes. Because Masters 55+ are asked to perform multiple rounds of Push Presses  instead of Handstand Pushups (like younger athletes must do) interspersed with rounds of Cleans, I can’t reckon my own numbers based on their times like I did last week when our movements were exactly the same. So like Turner working fast and light to capture a few fleeting moments of sunlight, I will just start working against the clock and see what turns up.

Open_Workout_15.4 Details

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Rev. Cathleen Cox March 22, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I like this line: “There is an unselfconscious, spontaneous quality about these small personal works that I found more intriguing than many of the larger, heavily worked masterpieces for which he would be judged.” I too am fond of the work of Turner. I did not know that Turner painted this kind of light, abstract watercolor – always my favorite medium. I love the spontaneity in watercolor – and living in a way that reflects that quality of experience where ever I can find it. Interesting that he could do both – the huge, detailed allegorical landscapes and these loose, airy studies. Another reminder of the capacity for breadth as well as depth.

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