Turner's   Colour Beginning

I had no idea what Turner was talking about.
Turner stepped away from the three paintings he was working on
and got some paper out of a desk drawer.
He had a jar of water in his hand.
I thought he was going to clean his brush out…
he put his brush in the jar of water.
The watercolor he had been using swirled into pink…

The bristles were still full of crimson and he let the water flow,
I thought he was cleaning his brush
and then he put his wet brush to a piece of paper.
Turner seemed so focused and unfocused, all at the same time…
There was still a dab of yellow on his pallet.
He reached out for it, changed his mind.
He was looking at the cobalt.
I don’t think he knew what he was doing.
And when Turner was done,
He looked down and then he looked up at me
and shoved that piece of wet paper in my face!

All there was on it was color fading from the very top portion down…
....the color was fading into every horizontal stroke he had made.
I thought he had changed his mind about touching his palette,
but there was soft blue, almost grey,
he must have touched some lampblack with his brush.
It was so soft, fading into grey sky.

The pink was in the middle.
It looked liked a shoreline.
Watercolor was dripping off the edge of the paper.
The yellow was fading into a sandy breach.
I never noticed him putting his brush on his palette.
I had been so busy trying to get a sketch of him…

There was no picture…there were just lines of water and indistinct color...
... but I could see a beach.’

JWM Turner

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Norham Castle
“Just absolutely beautiful….
   the calm…
   of Norham.

   the thin washes…
   and onto the hello yellow haze at the top of Norham
and the very indistinct blur of haze rising up and down
   on to
   into the yellow and there it is!

The washed out blue over Norham!

And the washes of yellow and aquamarines and grey and green
all blending into completeness of Norham

   must stop…
Norham…is complete…
   is set in dripping watercolour.

The moonscape of Buttermere appears before my longing eyes.

The Sublime moonscape of Buttermere…
     the arch of the moon light…
     and going over Buttermere Lake…
     just sketch book…
     for charcoal first sketch of Buttermere.
     but grass and heads of flowers…and the soot from my lamp?

Grass stain of all grass grown on Buttermere’s shoreline.
Violet flower…purple…and blending into Buttermere.
The Moon Scape of ButterMere blends before my eyes!

I have brought nothing with me except for my sketchbook and a box of coloured charcoal.
Must sketch Buttermere…and arc of Moon that casts its Arc down into….
     must paint Buttermere!
     in Sublime!

Conferring with the Moon
                                         By:  Solante Aretino
and the lily pads..
    of Monet…
    float past me in the stream that passes under the bridge of Monet’.

    the water lily that wafts past me is in floating motion from under
Monet’s bridge.
And there are...
    are others
    floating as well...

They pass and are caught back by their stems and open petala...
  ...petals ...almost swanlike in appearence...
  ...lily pads of green are set with the dipping white and pink tinged wings
of swans dip open petals of water lilies in the slow stream water that
passes under Monet's bridge.

The Pale Horse of Turner
“My heart grieves me…
I grieve because…
     I was in a moment …of myself.
     thinking of past times…and…
     looking at a sketch…
     of a man’s mind…
     and captured in his own grief.

The pale horse twists its neck around…
     and bites into me…
     there is to be no struggle against it…
     the pale horse…
     of Turner…

     and I am laying upside down on The Pale Horse of Turner…
     and with Turner who grieves for his father gone.

The Pale Horse…
     bites at my fingers…
     there is to be no resistance….
     against the Pale horse of Death.

I set my mind…
     there is nothing the pale horse can do to me…
I set my mind…and my legs…
     and…my hands…

I grab a piece of hairless mane…
     I drive my legs down over rotting bones…
     And I bend forward in resolution against The Pale Horse.

I am almost wasted…
     the pale horse wheels…
I drive my bare feet into invisibility…

The pale horse disappears....
     there is nothing in my hands.
There is nothing but a cold chill from my own body.

There is nothing…
     the grief of Turner for his father was left behind.
He just had to get this sketch…
     to get past and beyond his Grief.”

*Footnote: point of view from visitor at Tate Gallery and observing Turner’s Pale Horse.

One of the “Four Gentlemen”
  Bamboo complete in Payne’s Grey
                      We Zen style.

Payne’s Grey

Wolf hair or goat hair or rabbit?
Wolf hair brush.

Sung paper or watercolour?
Watercolour stock
130 lb. weight.

Seven values of black ink?
Water dish…
Brush cleaned…
…and change from ink and select Payne’s Grey.

Stem=push stroke
Knots=joint stroke
Next section of stem+push stroke again
Leaves of Bamboo+long water drop stroke+reverse- waterdrop stroke+short water drop stroke.
Payne’s Grey.

The chop
Cinnibar paste
Seal is set on First Gentleman…
… and on a composition of the image of Bamboo executed in Payne’s Grey.
Painting is set in Payne’s Grey
Poem is set in calligraphy
Seal is set in cinnabar.

Hook Stroke
Teardrop Stroke
Bone Stroke
‘Wu fu chin ju’
“May you have the five blessings and embody the nine similiarities.”

have not only painted Bamboo.
...have painted Bamboo
conferring with the indistinct circle of a moon
painted with the watered remains of Payne's Grey.
...have painted Bamboo conferring with the moon.

Second Gentleman
Grass Orchid

No more than seven leaves
First blade arc
Second blade to form ‘phoenix eye’
Third blade breaks the ‘eye’
Blue Azurite and indigo…’tien hua’
Leaves green…’lao li’
Two colour brush loading
Mo Ku…
‘boneless style’.
Set is Grass Orchid…
….leaves of Grass Orchid are set firmly on a ledge of rock that overhangs a cliff.
The Grass Orchid is firmly set on a slate ledge …
…has dug down deep with shallow tap roots….
..and it’s leaves are painted with a mixture of Payne’s Grey and vermillion.

Third Gentleman
The Chrysanthemum
Bada Shanren style.

Gentle outlining required here.
Gentle outline to enclose first petal of spider Chrysanthemum
Must be gentle with outline.

Slight pressure of brush
Must be gentle with Chrysanthemum

There… Payne’s Grey outline…set.
Now to water and to Chinese White for inset into outline of Payne’s Grey.

I touch my brush onto the palette that has a smear of Naples Yellow

Must be no mistake here…
…in The Chrysanthemum.
Three colours set.
Payne’s Grey first…
…for outline of chrysanthemums…
…Chinese White for inflow…
…and Naples Yellow for heart of chrysanthemum…

Payne’s Grey…
…to highlight in heart of chrysanthemum…
…to place the stamens of the chrysanthemum…
…and into imperfection.

Fourth Gentleman
Plum Blossom
Ma Yuan style.

Van Dyke Brown for climbing limb of tree of Plum Blossom tree.
Cadmium Orange and Alizarin Crimson for plum blossoms... that are facing into heavy frost.

Cadmium and Crimson blended together for the petals of a plum blossom and small unopened buds.

…once again…
…once again…
…dip my brush into water…
…wolf’s hair brush…
…once again…

Cadmium and Alizain…
…perfect combination and coordination of colour…
….for shading and shadowing of Plum Blossoms

The Juniper Pine
My brush is set on Rock and Mountain
Hard lines of rock and mountain lines…
…much craft must go into Rock and into Mountain.

Craft…and soft lines…
…hard line of rock ledge…
….and up again to wisp in tree line above waterfall of rock ledge.

Just a bareness of juniper pine...
…just a hint of the sharp pine needles…
Just a shadow of a single Juniper Pine from my wayward brush?

“Stain the pine with stale tea?”
Background effect…
…using tea to create background effect…
…of Rock and Mountain.

Was almost completed painting of Juniper Pine...
…and needed one touch more.
The juniper pine needed background effect in tea wash.

Is very old method...
...to stain with tea.
Is very old method to stain a painting for background effect.
Is very natural method...
...to stain a painting for background effect.

Words of Teachers
“Silence is the Garden of Meditation.”
“I entered into my inwards self and beheld with the eye of my soul…the Light Unchangeable.”
St. Augustine
“The greatest prayer is Patience.”
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”
Jonathan Swift
“Without stirring abroad
One can Know the whole world
Without looking out of the window
One can see the way of heaven
The further one goes
The less one knows.”


Wet brush sideways
Tip of mountain
Black flowing down

Host-guest relationship
Rock…tree grouping
Rock Host
Tree Guest

Top half sky space
Bottom half earth space
In between…landscape

Thread shape line=whirlpool eddies
Band shape line=axe cut
Dot shape= raindrops


High Distance=kao yuan
Deep Distance=shen yuan
Level Distance=p’ing yuan

High mountain
Needles in group pattern
Green-grey wash added to pine needles

Mao Blue Eye

Ivory fur...sable mask
Mao blue eye
watching Butterfly

Waterfall must flow from cleft
“interruptions, but no breaks…”
…words of Wang Wei.
Brush from top of ridge cleft
Quick stroke down…
…tip of brush barely touching paper.
Down again…
…moving horizontally over paper.
Brush strokes in downward vertical descent of Waterfall…
…over ledge…
…past pine tree…
….past grass orchid….
…and past a seal point Siamese watching a butterfly dance.