November 27th Colour Art


Today, I have turned my attention to James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903).

Whistler, an American-born painter, relocated to London in the 1850’s, where he produced many inspirational landscapes – in and around the borough of Chelsea.

Although influenced by the French Impressionist movement, he strove to create much more than just a fleeting impression in his art – he sought to create harmony, such as you’d find in a musical score. Indeed, the titles he chose for his paintings reflect these, with many of them called Arrangements, or Harmonies, or Nocturnes.

It’s his Nocturnes that I find to be particularly inspiring, especially the ones he created of the Old Battersea Bridge in the late 1870’s. And the painting I have chosen to reflect upon, ‘Nocturne in Blue and Gold’, is from this era of his creativity.

I’ve seen it in what is now called the Tate Britain and it motivated me to take a series of photos of the current Battersea Bridge. I took some photos on 35mm film using an Olympus OM1n camera and an Ilford black and white film, which I submitted to the Wandsworth College to gain a City and Guilds qualification in photography in 1995.

In order to make the photos relevant to my Colour Art project, I decided to see if I could improve on the exposure levels of the originals. I also added a hint of colour to the now digitized version of the photos, using filters from a readily available computer programme.

I was surprised how easily I could do this – this would have been no mean feat back when I developed the negatives and enlarged the photos for my college work.

I’d love to know what you think of my photos. Thanks for reading.


‘Nocturne in Blue and Gold’ by James McNeill Whistler, sourced from Wikimedia Commons


Battersea Bridge in 1995


About Katie Hamer

I am a writer, an artist, a photographer, philosopher, interior designer, listener, and explorer.
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