JMW Turner–Intro

The first thing I’m going to be looking at in as complex a way as possible is the great English artist JMW Turner. (1775-1851). While in his early life he was an accepted, one might even say revered, member of the Royal Academy in London. In later life he was a complete recluse, self-exiled from almost all human community. A true Outsider artist.

Before getting started, while trying to collect my Turner library I just wanted to post this link from the NY Times of a recent Turner addition to the collection at the Getty.

I’ve pulled what I consider the most relevant quote regarding Turner for those who aren’t interested in reading the full report.

“The panoramic view was done by the English painter from memory, without paying much attention to the many precise sketches that he had done in the course of his various trips to Rome. It is an impressionistic evocation of the city bathed in a golden sunset haze touched with salmon pink, and some liberties are taken with topography.”

For me, this is the single most exciting thing about Turner. That he accomplished his visions from memory, recording his image of the scene so thoroughly from sketching it that he could paint without reference to the sketches.

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26 Responses to JMW Turner–Intro

  1. johnk823 says:

    Here is something to contemplate about Turner.

    First off, as a rule, trying to get into the mind of an artist and the world they are trying to portray, it is possible to learn more about an artist’s conception of the world by taking yourself down the well trodden path and, leaving the realm of art, examining utterances, circumstances and the situation at the time in question.

    But, in the case of Turner, the observer constantly finds themself referring back to the artists work. The reason for this is the very individual observational nature of his work.

    The way most artists portrays people is aways influenced to a considerable extentby his own attitude toward his fellow humans and himself.

    Turners work contains no self portraits. Turner wasmore concerned with the typical, than with the individual. Only seldom did Turner paint anything where people were the main concern of the main motif.

    His Penworth body and watercolor paintings do reflect some human considerations and could make the observer feel as they were on the outside looking in or could it be that he is actually drawing you into the room.

    Even with a lot of his later paintings, they all seem to be an invitation of drawing you into the painting. This may explain why he didn’t concentrate to much on painting alot dealing with people, because he was drawing everyone into the painting, a participant and so you were all ready there! Standing next to him, seeing what he is seeing, people or no people, you the observer are already in the picture and no need to paint you is necessary.

    Think about it!

    Blessings, John

  2. That is a good point by John, Turner wasn’t one for portraits he liked to paint those swirling vortexes which grabbed hold you and pulled you into the picture. He wasn’t a people painter or a people person, he loved nature. My ancestor the pioneering graphic artist Miss Constance Pott also had the gift of drawing you into the scene. Best Wishes.

  3. trueoutsider says:

    Oh,. yes. John is a lovely guy. A great friend although we have wildly different conceptions of many things. But keep in mind, Keith, that Turner also did portraits (ck his self-portrait for example) and lots and lots of figures. I quite love his figures both in the paintings and in the studies that what;s his name… Oh, yeah… Ruskin either tried to destroy or pretended to destroy or whatever that was all about. You Brits and your prudish ways back then. Can see you’ve gotten over that… at least some of the ones teaching at the Slade where Turner used to hang out. Cheerio, mate. And thanks for bringing Miss Pott to my attention. Did a google. Marvelous! I have a good friend who is directly related to Sir David Wilkie. But the sad sack knows little about Wilkie, preferring things like Richard Diebenkorn is no doubt the explanation. I absolutely love David Wilkie. Raeburn… even Gainsborough! What the heck. Not a dud in the entire lineup, by jiminy cricket.

    Anyway, thanks for writing and taking my mind of Brexit and European banking collapse. I should have invested in Emin or Hirst stock where my money would be safe!

  4. My Dear trueoutsider, you should have invested in those brilliant Scottish painters Wilkie or Raeburn or certainly a really rare Turner portrait. Now you know what it is like eating pickled shark like the rest of us. I suppose you could have my Diebenkorn collection for free or I have an unmade bed at home going cheap for you, If you want to invest the money although you are probably best to get some advice from John. Kind regards.

  5. trueoutsider says:

    Keith, I’m afraid you sound as if your pot is cracked. As your remark is that of a crackpot. Wish I could help mend the cracks but I sense it a hopeless case. And not just with you.

    Where in the world do you get the idea I’m investing in art? How would I have invested in Wilkie or Raeburn since I wasn’t their contemporary. I certainly don’t have the money to buy one today. Who does?

    You are talking complete nonsense. So far you seem to have either taken leave of your senses or you have no sense to take leave of. Perhaps you could consider writing a lucid sentence? Although it’s doubtful to me that it’s within your limited capabilities. So I encourage you to just blast away. I kind of enjoy the British “eccentric” particularly seeing it in such resplendent display wit the Brexit.

    I assume you’re trying to insult me but your writing is so devoid of meaning that I can’t even be sure. It reminds me of that of Jonathan Jones of The Guardian. Is writing meaningless gibberish characteristic of all Brits who write about art?

    Are you eating pickled sharks? I say, old chap, perhaps you should give it up as it could be the explanation for your derangement. I never go near the stuff myself. I like to open the skulls of the people who make it, buy it, and eat it…. Always hopeful that I will be able to find something inside them.

    So far, no luck. Perhaps you might tell me why your countrymen and women are so gaga over Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst? Do you dig me, mate? Get my inter-continental drift?

    Like I say, better you go ballistic on my blog than take it out on other poor unsuspecting people who might take you seriously. Or even worse might get upset. Having argued with countless artists on countless subjects I’ve developed a compassion for the mentally confused and have endless patience trying to help them sort it through.

  6. Point taken sir, touché.

  7. trueoutsider says:

    I’m on your side.Wishing you the best of luck in putting up with, and hopefully fighting the zombified Banksy and his clones. I’m fighting against from over here with no success I can tell so far. But I’m prepared to keep it up until I hit my grave. It’s a quxotic enterprise but it’s a situation calling out for a Don Quixote. My motto is borrowed: “He who laughs last, laughs best.” So I always think attacks more effective in the form of ridicule than in the form of angry fist shaking. In other words, better to dump a beer over the head of somebody like Hirst than to be angry at him. He’s a puffed up nobody whose work doesn’t deserve to be anywhere in the vicinity of an art museum. When these financial hucksters are driving from the stage of history they’ll have their Hirst’s and Emin and Banksy’s to look at in their dotage. As nobody else will want any of that crap.

  8. Mate, I trust you are on my side, although you say what I already know, I will not Brexit your marvellous blogs when we can be righting wrongs together with John. I will eat a peck of salt with you my friend, hunger is the best sauce in the world, but we can get out of this pickled shark infested mess and it could be our greatest victory. I say this as I admire my carving of Don Quixote, do not waste your beer on Hirst, give it to me I have a thirst, let’s unite and eliminate this Turner prize winning crap. But first let us talk true art. Why does the Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s
    1566 painting (fire) Oil on wood, which is in a museum in Austria look like the guitarist Keith Richards out of the ‘Rolling Stones’.

  9. trueoutsider says:

    A bit of a puzzler, that. And I will have to go into a bit in another post perhaps. Is this someting like crackpot calling to the Kettlefish to Paint it Black? Are you referring to Kenneth Anger and Keith and Anita Pallenberg and Mick and Marianne and Brian (Epstein or Jones or 21st Century Jeffrey Epstein with his “sex slave island” even… There’s a story needs investigation. Wonder if Natl Enquirer is on it.) And all at their Satanic Majesties Request? Nasty business that, eh wot? Those who play with fire….
    Let me know if I’m on the right track and I’ll put up a little post within a fortnight. With some Archimboldo images. My friend Goetz who asked about the Arcimboldo painting of water the other day will be interested as well. As long as I have two readers, why not do another post? Or is there another reason Arcimboldo’s Fire resemble Sir Keith? Or you can explain it all yourself. Always happy to host other educated souls who want to say their piece. As long as everyone keeps the peace.

    Good to have some help shoveling the shite… my back is wearier than you can imagine. But I still find it useful to spend an hour or two each day trying to unravel just what the fuck happened between the 1940s and now in America that has landed us in this nightmare kingdom of the walking dead. (or is that wanking dead?) I pray that it isn’t this bad in Britain, i.e., that there is a bit more of a rebellious spirit alive in the arts than just yourself. Over here, John having passed on, I find myself totally isolated.

    But what in the hell. Did that every bother Don Quixote? And like Quixote, I’m more of a madman than a traditionalist. Americans don’t have any traditions. We’d destroy it on sight if one ever appeared. Our traditions are currently represented by Sir Donald and Lady Hillary.

  10. I suppose Donald and Boris could mark the end of the world, but you’ve so much going for you Guthrie, Dylan, Cash, my favourite actor/director Clint Eastwood, and then there’s the artist Grandma Moses, no boring perspective with her or portraits. Sorry to hear about John passing on and about your feelings of isolation, but you will get in the right frame of mind again and win the battle with yourself. Just like my cracked Pot, put the pieces back but make sure they fit and then just reason the un-reason. I’m as sure as I am that traditional Jazz is better than Be-Bop and this is coming from a ‘Chicago Blues’ little Walter fan. You just have to except the fact Sir Keef resembles fire and we will recover from our Brexit with the British stiff upper lip and a cup of tea. So peace to you Senor. The sun is God.

  11. trueoutsider says:

    IMHO, the end of the world will have little to do with Donald and/or Boris. Hillary/Obama are close to touching it off in their provoking Russia, just as we only escaped Kennedy brothers and their testosterone showdown with Khrushchev. At this point in history, I personally find the Clint Eastwood approach to diplomacy and a peaceful world beyond the bounds of sanity. But that’s just crazy old me… and getting older by the minute.

    I imagine that if you prefer trad jazz better than Be-Bop that Sun Ra is out of the question?

    By my calculations over at the crystal ball I use in the corner of my imaginary studio, the end of the world will be species extinction caused by global warming brought about by our collective refusal to halt the corporate consumption of every resource necessary for human survival they can get their hands on. This along with a variety of other things we’re all enthusiastically participating in with no thought whatsoever of tomorrow…. certainly no discussion whatsoever of it among artists. Unless you could point me to some corner where artists are talking about anything whatsoever except art. Whatever that is, as it’s hard to find any two artists who can agree on it. Half think Duchamp is great art. Half think it’s Norman Rockwell (rough estimate, of course).

    Anyway, not much reason for artists to preoccupy themselves as no doubt science will fix the mess just as they’ve fixed everything else. I’m assuming that’s the consensus opinion among artists. I wouldn’t know as no artists will tell me what they think about critical matters that face the human species. Too busy listening to Kenny G, the Sex Pistols or Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, I guess. Depending on their demographic group.

    Cash and Guthrie are dead. Dylan has been spending his time of late doing painted copies of Cartier-Bresson photos for Larry Gagosian and hustling Victoria’s Secret undergarments and Chrysler automobiles. I hear his latest tour is him doing covers of Frank Sinatra songs. Sounds about right. He’s reached his natural level as an artist.

    Too bad corporations and TV weren’t around so that the great artists of the past like Courbet and Delacroix could have feathered their nests being paid for this kind informative material:

    I’m hopeful that Dylan and Viagra can reach agreement on the bag of cash he’ll need to do a commercial for them. Seems like a natural for it. Maybe he and Neil Young can play a duet. I suggest something along the lines of happy oldsters pointing to their Viagra capsules intercut with this:

    Isolation is okay with me. Why’s everybody so concerned about that? I’m not. Gives me time and space to think clearly. Not too many comments that I have to field. This is a pretty good pace for an old timer like myself, actually. It also let’s me do my Granda Moses art. Too bad nobody out there wants to talk about reality, which I find pretty interesting. While everyone else prefers fantasy I try to keep it minimized a bit. But fantasy stuff is ok as well. Everyone needs it as an antidote to the grim realities. Who can blame them? I don’t. So whatever you’re into I’m up for hearing about it. We at least agree on Woody Guthrie. I’ve never been a big Johnny Cash fan. Hank Williams or Gram Parsons infinitely better to my ear. Johnny strikes me as tone deaf. Not sure what musical tastes indicate about anything. But I go with Jr. Wells and Sonny Boy Williamson over Little Walter, although he was no slouch.

    So we’re down to Grandma Moses as America’s greatest contribution to Western Painting? That’s pretty uncharitable, Keith. That hurts, man. And a woman on top of it. No decent male painters. Rub it in.

    So this is what you’re saying, if I’m translating you correctly: Britain gave the world Turner! Now just look and see what those dolts who rebelled against King George have given us! Grandma Moses, Dirty Harry movies, a salesman for womens bras, an updated c and w singer doing covers of U2 and Nick Cave numbers. And that’s the best of it!

  12. You crack my Pot up again, Buddy. You have created a masterpiece of journalism here, I nominate it for the Turner prize. Are you saying his Bobness has sold out? You should quickly make Clint the President, he has had some experience as a Mayor. He could get up at world meetings and say,
    “I don’t think it’s nice you laughin’.You see my mule don’t like people laughin’. Gets the crazy idea he don’t like people laughin’. Gets the crazy idea you’re laughin’ at him…” or ” what the hell has my ass got to do with magic”. I don’t know who is going to replace these icons, we need Viagra for the stiff upper lip. The world is being run by buffoons and pests, bring back Sancho Panza. As for Jazz well I know Clint would maybe disagree although we both like Robert Johnson, Barber and Bilk not Parker and Dizzy. Traditional was first with wonderful ‘Satchmo’ and when Rock ‘n’ Roll came in Sinatra did not want to sound like Elvis or Dylan, but traditional Jazzman Louis Prima said bring it on. I listen to him more than I do Steve Harley and Cockney rebel. When it comes to the tin sandwich, yer I like Sonny 1&2 and Sonny Terry and Jr Wells, but Little Walter was a pioneer of amplification although he did nick some riffs from Big Walter. Sorry it was a bit below the belt with Grandma Moses, but you don’t need male artists when you got Mark Twain, anyway I’ve heard that Bart Johnsons pretty good in Bosch sort of way. What ever happened to that cockney graphic artist Alan Aldridge illustrated the Beatles lyrics and stuff. Myself I started of as a house painter and some woman said to me you want to watch it mate, Hitler started off like that, charming. I got links to the genius Turner, the man is misunderstood, he loved animals, never had a bad word to say about anyone even John Con, Sometimes he was a rebel if he had to much port or home made wine and had sniffed a certain substance he could be seen outside his public house in Wapping waving a sword in an umbrella about, with an easel strapped to his back and a Manx cat on his shoulder with his mate, and he only had the one not Ruskin but that demented blues/ jazz musician and Tory M.P. Mad Jack Fuller. You could not blame Turner he was going out with three woman at the same time. As for the brilliant Johnny Cash, forget King George, Johnny was related to James 11 of Scotland and we had our own ‘man in black’ over here who was a great leader check him out, the Black Prince awesome! San Quentin we love your Blog. Ha ha I’m still cracking up, Brilliant!

  13. trueoutsider says:

    Who is Bart Johnson? … funny stuff, you old son of a gun… gotta run… heavy work self-imposed work schedule. Often feel like I’m in San Quentin. Like Camus’s Sisyphus breakin dem rocks and rollin up the hill only to see em roll back down again. yeah… the Rat Pack never did get into that Rock n Roll much did they? But now Dylan is crooning Sinatra tunes as he drifts further into dementia.. what’s up with that? Will ck out James 11 of Scotland. Sounds like my kind of guy. Later, alligator.

    Maybe it was the fact I that I got to see Jr. Wells play when I was at art school in Chicago. Biased my listening habits. Never heard the others live.

    I read in some art history book that Turner didn’t think that much of John C…. damn… where can anyone get reliable information anymore when it comes to the old school? Myths, gossip, rumors on top of rumors, gossip and myths. I’m still working on disentangling truth from reality in 1950s American Art… yeah.. I know.. I know… why bother?

    You mean that the Daily Mail is printing untruths?

    What substance was Turner using? Maybe I’ll give it a try myself. Couldn’t hurt at this point.

    I’m counting on you to set these matters straight for me once and for all. Turner has long been my main man. But I cannot, for the life of me, get a bead on that guy. Know his mum was insane.. Dad seemed a right solid chap, though… the Divine hand at work to produce such a brilliant artist the likes of which I can’t imagine the world ever seeing again… oh yeah… gotta get to work, as i said earlier.

  14. Keith Pott Turner says:

    Yes you must be well behind with your Gainsborough’s, I’m so envious with the fact that you saw Junior Wells that’s cool, also going to art school, makes me sick, I was recommended but I went plumbing instead you probably call them heating engineers, still they probably earn more than artists. Apparently I’ve got a lot of ancestors in Illinois, didn’t that brilliant flutist and blues harp player Paul Butterfield hail from Chicago, there are also rumours JMW had a secret child out there. Well things to do places to go, by the way it was snuff he was sniffing this is a family blog, I got to mend the Chrysler with Bob and then ring up that Mark Carney at the Bank of England find out why Gordon sold of all our gold reserves, we got Kim Kardashian over here doing team G.B. for the Olympics, but we will probably send out the Welsh to represent us. You should take some time out to practise Socratic irony and do that blog on Keef, see you later Don mate.

  15. trueoutsider says:

    I saw Paul Butterfield as the middle act performing at my art school Basketball Court… Bruce Springsteen was the opener and Dan Hicks and his Hotlicks were the Headliners. I only realized it was Springsteen years later as I was high on something or another (maybe… probably snuff if i was) and happened to be recording my conversation with a schizophrenic narcoleptic pal of mine appropriately named “Trip” while Springsteen was playing. When I listened to the playback of the tape some years later I recognized “Welcome to Asbury Park” album. Never got into Springsteen that much. Liked one album… Sorry to the Bruce fans out there. Though I liked Little Steven in the Sopranos. I also think he’s a good guy as I saw him up on 57th Street picking up the dog shit that his dog had just deposited.

    You envy me Jr. Wells, Butterfield and art school? I envy you being a plumber so we’re even.

    The blog on Sir Keith… I don’t know… After watching a segment of that Scorcese film what else can one say about the price of selling your soul to the devil? Doesn’t this pretty much say it all?

    Why don’t you do the blog on Keith. He’s one of your guys? At least give me a couple paragraphs that I can build on.

    I stay away Socratic irony. And stick to pre-Socratic irony. Just kidding. I try to leave irony to the experts: the French.

    What’s this about “Kim Kardashian over here doing team G.B. for the Olympics…”??? What the hell does that mean? Blowing them? Lost in translation but all the more vivid for it.

  16. Keith Pott Turner says:

    Good morning Don or is it afternoon there for you guys, ah least Micks still got it hasn’t he, I can remember learning ‘Spider and the Fly’ on the blues harp, I expect it was originally played by Brian though. Ha ha, Kardashian is doing an advert here I didn’t know she was G.B. U.K. or British, what the hell has her ass got to do with magic? Quite a lot actually! Butters Awesome, I didn’t get to see any of those great harp players, I liked that one in ‘Canned Heat’ was that ‘Blind Owl?’ I’ve seen the brilliant Boss though but alas not J.Cash, what is it with you and Dylan and his mates all those years you were his avid disciple. You don’t run with that crowd anymore, ‘Born in the U.S.A’ where’s your patriotism? I looked up Mail online about my cousin JMW, I said he never had a bad word to say about anyone, that was just friendly rivalry, I liked John the Cons ‘Haywain’ but Turner was the main man, he had mastered oils and watercolours and travelled extensively, plus he was the Godfather of the impressionists. Everyone knows about the red buoy incident and friendly fighting at ‘hanging time’ it was just banter. But you know all this crap, I’m not going to beat you on the History of art stuff, you’re a gentleman and a scholar and also have strange tastes in music apart from Guthrie, but I can offer you some insight into Turners genealogy as I took a couple of years out to research it,. His mother might have come from a noble family, which I will explain another time, his father can be traced back to Devon, England and that is where I have ancestors who were mainly farmers and stonemasons, now that is enough for you at the moment as your attention span I have heard is not to be desired, only Joe King, I’ve got to go and do my blog on Keef now. Just a thought, I like a Turner picture called ‘Dawn after the Wreck’ 1840, brilliantly captured stormy night, but the dog howling at the moon, seems to have been drawn in the style of Bart Johnson? I got to walk my dog now mate. And that is not a ‘Stones’ cover. Have a nice day or night?
    As Mark Twain said, “The more I know about people the more I like my dog”.

  17. trueoutsider says:

    Twain was a dog himself if you read the biography of his Isabel Lyon. A must read for those wanting the inside story. Mark Twain’s Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years. A real page turner. The Kardashian ass is a goldmine. Twain got his start as cub reporter in Virginia City, which is where the Hearst fortune from the Comstock silver mine came from. George passed it on to sonny boy Wm. Randolph and the rest is Hollywood.

    So what if we run out of silver and gold? We got more than enough golden asses of the Kardashian mold. The world yearns and we supply!

    Blind Owl Wilson played harp for Canned Heat (another in the 27 club like Brian Jones, etc)..founder along with the Bear. Henry Vestine came over from the original Mothers. When I saw the original Mothers play in 1967 Ian Underwood came out to sit next to my girlfriend. Asshole musician.. You know the type.

    As that famous gentleman and scholar Ollie North said. “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” But, hey, I can belt “God Save the Queen” with the best of them. Where’s Johnny Rotten these days after his gig as Jesus Christ Superstar fell through? He was also fronting for butter, if I recall? No doubt good enough for Kardashian rump… smooth spreading.

    I never saw Dylan and don’t have the 500 dollars to see him on his new tour. I like Dylan OK.. that Duet with Johhny Cash on North Country I imagine would have sounded pretty good if either of them knew how to sing. Where was Ramblin’ Jack Elliott when they needed him? Have you ever heard Zappa’s version of Cash’s Ring of Fire? Gives the song a whole new meaning:

    I liked all kinds of music back then …Ozzie Ozborne in Black Sabbath, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Vanilla Fudge, Captain Beefheart, Janis Joplin, Ry Cooder, McCoy Tyner, Charlie Mingus. You name it.

    Good to know it’s all friendly rivalry with the two Js. Not the Abstract Expressionists. That stuff got pretty damn hostile from what I’ve read.

    I await the genealogical information. .. Try to see if I’m related to Samuel Johnson while you’re at it.. I’m afraid to look into it as I might find my ties to Ray Johnson, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Nucky Johnson and who the hell knows what other miscreants. I had a friend tell me she was descended from Cleopatra. How far back are these genealogists going nowadays. Didn’t Leary take acid and go back to the dawn of time or something like that? Far out…. Viva la Revolucion! Just sound the bugle and I’ll saddle up Rocinante!

    OK. Señor Keith.. Gotta toddle on as it’s past my bedtime.

  18. Keith Pott Turner says:

    Thanks for that Don ‘crazy’, my mate had Zappa album, Electric bedsprings! Don’t know who played them. Ry Cooder, brilliant until he got in the presence of John Lee Hooker then he couldn’t play a note. Yer Blind owl played a lovely harp I expect he was influenced by Jimmy Reed. Oh well I’m on the road again if Bob has fixed the Chrysler all the parts are Chinese since he brought the sun down on the union, Woody wouldn’t be happy. I better turn off my Mark Twang C.D. and prepare you for your next Turner Trees family history lesson by Keef, In a while Croc, Sleep tight Bud.

  19. trueoutsider says:

    I read Zappa released 62 albums in his lifetime and all kinds of bootlegs, stuff in the vault. Incredibly diverse music … one great album even has Sneeky Pete Kleinow )from Burritos, etc. with great pedal steel solo. But you need to go full orchestral and if you stick to the smaller groups then not your cup of tea I imagine. Cooder also cut so many albums with African musicians, Buena Vista, his depression era stuff. Recorded with Arhoolie some? Ever see that documentary on the Polish count who founded Arhoolie. Signed up Mance Lipscomb, Lightin Hopkins, cajun, country all kinds of roots music. Well worth viewing if you haven’t. The union I worked for in Wisconsin had over 40 percent of the membership vote against recalling the Republican governor who had gotten rid of collective bargaining and union membership. … No Billy Braggs singing Woody Guthrie… I saw Bill play a few years ago at a little theater in albuquerque. I imagine when he broke into There is Power in a Union he didn’t realize there couldn’t have been more than a bare handful of people in the audience in unions. Cops have unions. Not most working people.

    Note declining union membership tracking declining wages… And people think economics is hard to understand?


    Americans sleepwalking through history. Armed to the teeth. Imagine you heard of this civilian uprising in Dallas today (where they shot JFK or he depending on where you are on the conspiracy debate). Things are continuing apace here with gun deaths, the mass shooting at disco (claimed biggest in American History but of course leaving out Wounded Knew and other events long consigned to historical amnesia. It only counts if it happens to us. A lot of these shooters have military training of course.

    Of course all our universities of higher ed and NPR and progressives are guiding the students and middle class public in racial sensitivities and politeness to your neighbor. So the few bad apples who don’t attend university or listen to NPR will no doubt be a little slower to get the flyers and tutorials and Eckart Tolle videos. But once they’ve gotten the message delivered politely but firmly things will get back to normal as we shine on brightly. I just dwell in the past days of Valhallah, when we were young and ruled the world unchallenged. (after taking over from you chaps.)

  20. Keith Pott Turner says:

    Good evening Don, oh yes see what you mean with the unions and police, I never knew that stuff. What’s going on over there I bet you guys are scared to go out. So much for Lennon/Yoko and give peace a chance. I used to be a working class hero, but I give it all that rebel shit up. The last time I saw Billy Bragg he was busking in the street, I have links to the Tolpuddle Martyrs in Dorset where I think Billy comes from and a few Turner ancestors were lost in the Monmouth rebellion in Devon, what a waste, I got relatives who were involved in Turbary encroachment riots in Devon all to do with land rights being taken from us commoners that was John Turner and Phoebe nee Summerhays. The latter being the big family of Mormons who settled in Utah, also got links to twelve Magna Carta signing Barons and Queen Anne Boleyn but I’m not going to lose my head over it. That was a joke by the way, ‘mate’ not irony. I love family trees, well I like trees more than some members of the family, what do you think of the Dutch artist Mondrian he did a lot of trees? I’m well into trees at the moment there is a Tolpuddle Sycamore tree, a Monmouth Chestnut tree and the 2000 year old Ankerwke Yew where the Charta was sealed. Mondrian did that boogie woogie Broadway picture, I like those black lines and bold colours and they are very easy to knock out on the computer like Hockney does, I also love boogie woogie, some people find it very repetitive but when I first heard it, the hairs on my neck stood up. Good old Pinetop Perkins, wish I could play the piano. Going back to family trees I do not know if you are linked to the actor Don Johnson, a lot of vice but no Miami, he lives over your way, but I think there many of your clan over here, who reside in a place called Lincolnshire, or there is a Ben Johnson 1572-1637 who was an English playwright, poet, actor and literary critic. He could be related to you matey, or there is a Sir Nathaniel Johnson 1644-1713. No this is definitely the one Donny boy, Daniel Johnson 1629-1675, English Buccaneer born in Bristol, (near your pal Banksy)
    he was known among the Spanish as “Johnson the Terror”. Procol HAREM, brilliant I’m still waiting for all those Italian vestal Virgins, have they left the coast yet Don, Shine on brightly? Shine on you crazy Diamond.

  21. trueoutsider says:

    Think Mondrian lost his head (not that he had much of one to lose, mind you) to Theosophy and Madame Blavatsky. Blavatsky was a fantastic con artist. One of the greats. Duchamp? Greenberg? Small timers. No vision whatsoever. A urinal. A bottle rack? A bicycle wheel? Poured paint? Sprayed paint? Dripped paint?

    Give me Madame Blavatsky or Mary Baker Eddy any day of the week. Not to mention Billy Graham! Those folks could fire up a crowd. And that’s what art is all about. Sensations! Just ask Charles Saatchi.

    From Peter Gay, Modernism: “Later, explaining what ‘Neo-Plasticism’ meant to him, he [Mondrian] noted that “denaturalization” is “one of the essential points of human progress; it is of the greatest importance in neo-plastic art.” As Zappa sang, ‘Plastic people. Oh, baby, now they’re such a drag'”
    Were Gerome’s harems painted through observation, memory and imagination? LIke Delacroix? Or photo jobs?

    Broadway Boogie Woogie? What does a Dutch Theosophist no doubt washing his hands every two hours and using Mr. Kleen for sparkling floors know about Boogie Woogie? Imagine Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg getting down with the Boogie with Kool and the Gang. Or jumpin’ and jivin’ to Otis Spann or Pinetop Perkins (who replaced Spann when Otis went solo from Muddy Waters.) Check out the Spann, man.
    That Mondrian cat had no swing. And it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. Guy was a living Homage to the Square. From Bauhaus to Our House. Now we’s trapped in the grid with time runnin’ short on the electricity powering it.

    Sure I fell out of my family tree along time ago or was pushed out. Along with Robert Johnson, Jack Johnson, Magic Johnson, Linton Kwesi Johnson and all kinds of other black sheep. Inglan is a Bitch, dontcha know, mon.

    Burroughs had a lot to say about the Johnsons. What was that Pirate novel. Cities of the Red Night? Those pirates were down around where my uncle earl lived, jamming on jazz guitar with Mingus drummer Dannie Richmond in Mt. Pleasant. Blackbeard down there too blockading Charleston. Fascinating stories.. So, yeah. Maybe old Daniel Johnson. Lots of miscegenation down south as well. Senator Strom Thurmond keeping up the Jefferson tradition.

    What’s the latest shoe to fall. Oh, yeah Fox NewsRoger Ailes. And in the National Enquirer we get Muhammad Ali bonking his own daughter and sleeping with John Travolta. Shocking sex tapes supplied by the daughter, no less. Upcoming? The youth of American wants to know. Who needs Wikileaks when we have material like this to sift through?

    Wm. Burrough’s life alone requires major exegesis. Not to mention those who he inspired, such legends as Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Genesis P-Orridge, Throbbing Gristle, and other great artists. Perhaps it’s just a rumor but I heard Burroughs was the one who suggested a girl could make herself famous stuffing yams up her ass. Whatever the case, Karen Finley proved it could be done. American Tax Money hard at work through the NEA. Not only the greatest military the world has ever seen but the greatest art as well courtesy of American taxpayers.:

    One has to admire the great foresight Burroughs shows in this quote:
    “The youth rebellion is a worldwide phenomenon that has not been seen before in history. I do not believe they will calm down and be ad execs at thirty as the Establishment would like us to believe. Millions of young people all over the world are fed up with shallow unworthy authority running on a platform of bullshit.”

    More than the authorities were running on a platform of bullshit. And youth did finally settle down… to get jobs in the Reagan Administration or as assorted entrepreneurs in the “new” go-go economy that is still running wild and free. They even paid Bill Burroughs a nifty sum to flack for Nike. .:

    Meeting of the minds discussing the significant issues of their times:

    Repetition is where it’s at. I’m all for repetition. Check out these philistines. Some people are just too dumb get real art. Sometimes I think that all the incredibly hard effort of art critics to explain what is great about plexiglass cubes and big rocks is wasted on guys like this:

  22. I take that as a no then Don, you don’t like the old boogie, the Chelsea Hotel is that where sad eyed of lady the lowlands lived with Bob. Laying there screaming get your Rocks off me. I reckon when Sir Keith fell out of his palm tree he landed on you mate ‘Ouch’ (it was his greatest hit!) ever since that day you’ve turned into a pessimist (who’s pissed) that means drunk. I’m a skilled and lucky researcher but when it comes to art, I just like what I like, in fact years ago I didn’t like the old masters apart from Van Dyke who painted lovely red velvet. I was into graphic art like M.S. Escher, Aldridge and Gerald Scarfe. anyway I couldn’t master smelly old oil paints, I didn’t have the patience to wait for them to dry and mixed them into a grey mess. My fingerprints on the gold frames were a work of art. I dabbled in acrylic paint for a while and after my water colour washes ran away, I settled for ink and coloured pencils. I even joined the Cartoonist Club Of Great Britain, where they gave me a funny name called ‘Topsy’. I’m sill remembered there but not for my cartoons, but alas just for my blues harp playing. I grew to love the work my ancestors Turner and Pott had achieved, but they were around donkey’s years ago Quixote and I expect if JMW was alive today he would be working on a laptop for a travel agency or Chrysler Motors. If I paid $25 to view a blank canvas it would be like the ‘Emperors Clothes’, I must be old school, I can sign my own urinals thank you very much. I still do some illuminating Celtic type drawings which some people might describe as crap, but to me they are up there with the book of Kells, but I am an optimist and very biased. You got to laugh or you’re going to cry ‘mate’. Here we are two grown men stuck in 2011, it is utterly clear Senor that you do not really know me, or I do not really know you, but that is cool. I’m so far gone in your fantasy, crazy Don. As for Yoko (weird), Lennon liked her art, I quite like John’s cartoon of a preacher with a hooked hand. All I know is I had to skip every one of her tracks on ‘Double Fantasy’ got to go now Don, Pirates at the door.

  23. trueoutsider says:

    No arguments from me, old chap.

    As for laughing just to keep from crying, here’s a great tune from a bluesman from Mississippi named Kenny Brown.

    I’ve posted Ron Searle and should put up Escher and Scarfe as well. I was only vaguely familiar with Aldridge (there’s my ignorance again) but that’s great stuff as well and thanks for your mentioning him again. Anyway, of all of them I find I’m more on the Searly side. I even have that Pirate book he did for kids (and also just recalled the Mervyn Peake pirate book called Capt. Slaughterboard). Then have a couple books of Searle’s brilliant war drawings…. Many thanks, mate, for evoking the memories.

    …and climbing aboard the wayback machine I have the greatest fondness and admiration for Sir James Gillray, who while so many think him a black commentator on his times, I view him as a ray of light.

    I’d love to see some of your illuminating drawings if you’d care to send them to my email address:

    And I never think in terms of rivalry. Only ribaldry. I’m not in competition with anyone although so many artists seem to feel that’s what it’s all about. Like John, these days I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round. A lovely tune, eh wot?

  24. Hi Don, I’ll send the Sir Keef guest blog article thingy to your email, see what you think and I’ll sent you some drawings later if you don’t give me the Mondrian treatment, ha ha. I’m busy at the moment doing a book trailer, I think I’ll need the Chrysler if Bobs fixed it, You stop Watching the Wheels mate and I will start commenting on your more recent articles, got to dash old chap.

  25. trueoutsider says:

    Who loves ya’ Baby? I’m the Kojak of the art world. Not gonna dis my pals. Solidarity! Artist power salute. High five. Get down with the Boogie!

    Check out the latest news… you’ll get it first here. I just broke the story on the criminal underground busted at Tatem Elementary School. It’s called “Book ’em Dano!”

  26. trueoutsider says:

    Yeah… send in that material… so i can get a break.. They drive like a slave here and i don’t get paid peanuts.

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