“Light is therefore colour.” – J.M.W. Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in England on April 23, 1775. His family lived above his father’s barber shop and young Joseph began to sketch pictures at a young age. By the time he was 13, some of his drawings were sold from his father’s shop.
Turner painted his first oil painting in 1796. It was called Fishermen at Sea. Critics loved the painting and Turner gained a national reputation as a talented artist. He was known for being solitary, silent and totally devoted to drawing with a reputation for eccentricity.
Known as the “Painter of Light,” he was fascinated by the power of nature, especially the ocean and the sun. In the painting Snow Storm which critics called “soap-suds and whitewash,” Turner claimed to a friend that he had actually been tied to the mast of a ship in order to experience the drama of a storm at sea firsthand.
Students used liquid watercolours to create their own sunsets.