JMW Turner – surf artist extraordinaire?

Image of Turner: Fishermen upon a Lee-Shore, in Squally Weather from The Guardian website

The great English landscape artist JMW Turner who died in 1851 isn’t normally known as a great surf artist. Understandably, he isn’t thought to have ever ventured onto anything like a surfboard or bellyboard or have featured in Britain’s surfing history.

But he undoubtedly had a good eye for the shape of a wave and the ocean in general. The featured picture captures that scary moment just before a close-out and a close encounter with the shingle.

This detailed article in the Guardian is a succulent taster for an exhibition of Turner’s seascapes and sketches at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich which runs until 21st April 2014. It contains a mesmerising account of how Turner could capture the essence of a seascape with a wash of colour and a few deft brushstrokes.

His vision is a remarkably accurate portrayal of what we as surfers are privileged to  witness every time we venture into the briny.


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image journal

  • not yesterday
  • Inverted perceptions
  • Exotic location
  • Standing stones
  • Surrealism
  • Vapourous ships of the dawn
  • Metal detectors behind me
  • Hands up this is a stick up
  • It's behind you
  • Stiff offshore
  • First drop in temperature for weeks
  • Towers of rain
  • Great anvils of moisture
  • The architect of the tide
  • Bird botherer
  • Serene scene

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