I have added some ploughmen to the landscape form the park pales which is a great help, but I must try and warm the picture a little more if I can... but I look to do a great deal better in future. I am determined to finish a small picture in the spot for every one I intend to make in future. But this I have always talked about but never yet done - I think however my mind is more settled and determined than ever on this point.
My canvas soothes me into forgetfulness of the scene of turmoil and folly - and worse - of the scene around me. Every gleam of sunshine is blighted to me in the art at least. Can it therefore be wondered at that I paint continual storms? "Tempest o'er tempest roll'd" - still the "darkness" is majestic.
The output is far from smooth, and the impact on dispatchable plant required to deal with residual demand is highly significant. Our view is that plant operating under these conditions in the support role for wind will suffer: 1) reduced availability, 2) significantly reduced efficiency, and thus 3) higher emissions per MWh generated..
I have likewise made many 'skies' and effects - for I wish it could be said of me as Fuselli says of Rembrandt, 'he followed nature in her calmest abodes and could pluck a flower on every hedge - yet he was born to cast a steadfast eye on the bolder phenomena of nature'... We have had noble clouds & effects of light & dark & color.
My picture [A Boat Passing a Lock, 1823-6] is liked at the [Royal] Academy, indeed it forms a decided feature and its light can not be put out. Because it is the light of nature - the Mother of all that is valuable in poetry - painting or anything else... my execution annoys most of them and all the scholastic ones - perhaps the scarifies I make for 'lightness' and 'brightness' is too much but these things are the essence of Landscape.
I am glad you encouraged me with the 'Stoke' [his painting 'Stoke-by-Nayland', circa 1835] What say you to a summer morning? July or August, at eight or nine o'clock, after a slight shower during the night, to enhance the dews in the shadowed part of the picture, under 'Hedge row elms and hillocks green.' Then the plough, cart, horse, gate, cows, donkey, &c. are all good paintable material for the foreground, and the size of the canvas sufficient to try one's strength, and keep one at full collar.
It is much to my advantage that several of my pictures should be seen together, as it displays to advantage their varieties of conception and also of execution, and what they gain by the mellowing hand of time which should never be forced or anticipated. Thus my pictures when first coming forth have a comparative harshness which at the time acts to my disadvantage.
The first impression and a natural one is, that the fine arts have risen or declined in proportion as patronage has been given to them or withdrawn, but it will be found that there has often been more money lavished on them in their worst periods than in their best, and that the highest honours have frequently been bestowed on artists whose names are scarcely now known.
I ought to respect myself for my friends' sake, and my children's. It is time, at fifty-six, to begin, at least, to know oneself, - and I do know what I am not, and your regard for me has at least awakened me to believe in the possibility that I may yet make some impression with my "light" - my "dews" - my "breezes" - my bloom and freshness, - no one of which qualities has yet been perfected on the canvas of any painter in the world.
But the sound of water escaping from mill-dams, &c., willows, old rotten planks, slimy posts, and brickwork, I love such things. Shakespeare could make everything poetical; he tells us of poor Tom's haunts among "sheep cotes and mills." As long as I do paint, I shall never cease to paint such places. They have always been my delight.
Still I should paint my own places best; painting is with me but another word for feeling, and I associate "my careless boyhood" with all that lies on the banks of the Stour; those scenes made me a painter, and I am grateful; that is, I had often thought of pictures of them before ever I touched a pencil, and your picture ['The White Horse'] is one of the strongest instance I can recollect of it.
I am anxious that the world should be inclined to look to painters for information about painting. I hope to show that ours is a regularly taught profession; that it is scientific as well as poetic; that imagination alone never did, and never can, produce works that are to stand by a comparison with realities.
He [the artist] ought to have 'these powerful organs of expression' - colour and chiaroscuro - entirely at his command, that he may use them in every possible form, as well as that he may do with the most perfect freedom; therefore, whether he wishes to make the subject of a joyous, solemn, or meditative character, by flinging over it the cheerful aspect which the sun bestows, by a proper disposition of shade, or by the appearances that beautify its arising or its setting, a true "General Effect" should never be lost sight of.