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Arthur Turner_page


Arthur Turner



Arthur Turner has often said the source and subject of his work is nature. Certainly one viewing of the work in this exhibition might be as a series of observations and meditations on nature: moths, butterflies, lightning strikes, or simply the quality of light as filtered though a forest canopy or reflected off a lake. These natural sources are in line with what has historically been topical in the medium of watercolor. 

I would argue that Turner’s watercolors have a more fundamental relationship to nature then the traditional subject/ author relationship which make his practice contemporary. In many ways he does not paint from nature but instead cultivates the blush and bloom of nature on paper in the way a gardener tends a garden. Humility (while using a demanding medium), wonder, habit, hard work, and joy are the tools he uses to tend his practice and when the works leave the studio for exhibit they are a sensuous harvest in which the delight of the artist is as great as that of any viewer. He is clearly a master of the watercolor medium and a skillful composer but in his works the doing of nature as subject gives way to simply being natural which is visually both powerfully specific and yet seemingly egoless. This “being” is apparent in all his works but perhaps most explicit in the Roundel Series where the fluidity of water and the liquidity of pigment stain the paper more as an event then image.