Nocturnes in art means art inspired by night. Originally referring to music, American painter James Whistler is said to have first used the term “nocturne” to describe his night paintings. I had become familiar wit the works of Whistler over the years, but I really discovered Whistler’s nocturnes in an exhibition of the works of Turner, Whistler and Monet. The exhibition traveled from Toronto to Paris to London in 2004-05.
Seeing the art of these three masters in one massive exhibition was fabulous, but Whistler’s nocturnes made a lasting impression.
Over the years I painted a number of night landscapes. This is one of my recent nocturnes.
I struggled with my paintings through most of last year. They seemed quite fine to me at the time. However, earlier this year, I pulled them out and realized that there were a lot of grey in those paintings. I started to re-work a number of them. This is one of the re-worked pieces.
I was making a bit of space in my studio for a picture-taking session when I re-discovered some old paintings that I had stashed away on a shelf. The were both from the same period, 2006 (Turbulent Times) and 2007 (Stormy Weather). I generally tend not to go back to older paintings, except to recycle the canvas. It was interesting to see how my paintings have changed over time, and how in so many ways, they’ve remained consistent. I have a number of new paintings that I will post here in the next few weeks.
I created this painting some time ago. I was struggling with paintings that lacked colour or that had too many colours. I used only yellow and blue. I enjoyed the exercise. Since then, I started working with a much more limited palette, though I still like adding an unexpected splash of colour to my paintings.