Painting Set Free

Painting Set Free


my name is: M. Caulder

i'm sharing: “Pier Reflections, Newport Beach” Watercolor on Canvas Painting

This is a painting of a photo I took of the pier and riptides last winter at Newport Beach, California. I love the ocean: It’s so alive and it never looks the same twice. This scanned image doesn’t look exactly like the original painting, much of the vibrancy and many of the finer details that are visible in real life are not visible. The technique and painting process were inspired by Getty's J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free exhibit.

this was inspired by: My family and I love visiting The Getty Museum. It’s like a place set in another world. The transition to this world begins with the tram ride. You leave your cares at the parking garage as the tram glides smoothly up the gorgeous mountain overlooking Los Angeles and the coast. When you reach the top of the mountain, you see enormous white marble-like buildings, architectural landscaping, sculptures, and 360 degrees of breathtaking vistas. The sense of light and air follows you inside as you wander the wings looking for old and new favorite treasures.

In February, we visited Getty to view the J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free exhibit. This exhibit included about 20 of his watercolors. While examining these visually stunning paintings in minute detail, I was completely awed with the way Turner handled watercolor on paper in much the same as oils on canvas.

The results he achieved with his experimental techniques were truly incredible! I had never before seen watercolor art look anything like this. I wanted that same freedom to create works that match the vision of what I want to convey in my own work. With this inspiration—and copious amounts of notes on Turner's techniques—I determined to find a way to experiment with watercolor ground so I could paint on canvas.

It took several months of trial and error before completing my first successful painting. This process has completely changed the way I paint. I am now working on my second watercolor on canvas painting, and have several more canvases and drawings prepared for future works.‬ I’m so excited! I feel like I’m finally on my way to creating the type of works that match my vision.

to me, inspiration is: Inspiration is being filled with a sense of purpose and determination. It is accompanied by a feeling of joy and a sense of “This is what I am supposed to be doing.” It’s a feeling of knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and praying for the skills to be able to do so. I find inspiration for art whenever I see something that I love or that moves me, and I want to translate and convey that feeling to others. It happens a lot, and I get impatient, because there is so much I want to do, but it takes time to complete whatever project is already in the works.

Going to the Getty inspires me and teaches me because at the Getty, you’re surrounded by greatness. When I experience master paintings in real life, I’m filled with awe and with the desire to create something as great as the amazing works I see there. Like Rembrandt’s A Young Scholar and His Tutor. I have to study that painting every time we visit. This, to me, is one of the most incredible, beautiful paintings ever rendered. The detail in the hands and face of the master look just like living skin—and it’s breathtakingly lovely! (Photography cannot match that kind of accuracy, because it doesn’t have the complexity to match human vision, the best photograph rarely captures what we actually “see” when we look at a subject.) When viewing this particular Rembrandt painting, I always wonder, “How did he do that? And who else has ever painted like that?” It is a great honor to stand in front of such a painting, and I fully intend to continue developing my skills to reach the level where my paintings create such an impact on the viewer as these masters do.

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