Having recently finished filming a series for the BBC on watercolour and travel, actress Sheila Hancock is invigorated by what she regards as the often underestimated medium of watercolour.

In this short film she visits Tate Britain’s Prints and Drawings Room, where she is given an up-close view of JMW Turner’s The Blue Rigi, Sunrise 1842 (one of the several Turner pictures that features in Tate Britain’s Watercolour exhibition), as well as the chance to see the travelling watercolour palette that the artist used to carry around in the 1830s.

J.M.W. Turner's paintbox in the Prints and Drawings Rooms

Watercolour opens at Tate Britain on 16 February.


Tony Wilson

I am writing an editorial piece on the 2010 acquisition of JMW Turner's "Modern Rome — Campo Vaccino” by the J. Paul Getty Museum for $44.9 million.

A number of executives were madly discussing "Fishermen Coming Ashore at Sun Set, pervious to a Gale ('The Mildmay Seapiece')" by Turner which was exhibited in 1797 and of which has since been untraceable.

Their excitement was about an unknown Turner detail on the following website. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JMW_Turner

Is this the above missing Turner?

Do you know anything about the Unthank Collection in Melbourne, Australia?

Your faithfully,

Tony Wilson journalist

Margaret Worthington

I saw Blue Rigi just after it was bought for nearly five million pounds. I was surprised to see how small and rather dull-coloured it is. Is it really worth all that money?

Martin Everard

Could I ask you to come to and review an exhibition of botanical and other watercolour paintings by Barbara Everard? Many of her works will be on display at the RHS London Orchid and Botanical Art Show (Preview March 18th, Show dates 19th and 20th 2011) at the Lindley Hall, Vincent Square, London and I think that you will be amazed at quality and finesse of her work if you do not already know of it. Quote EVBE or her name, Barbara Everard, if and when you book tickets on 0845 612 1253. Sorry for the plug but I think that you will be impressed.

Bernard Victor

Having had the pleasure of visiting the print room on a couple of occasions, I would back up Sheila Hancox's views on the power of these great watercolours.

It was an amazing experience, to see not only the Blue Rigi itself but also the preparatory sketches and other versions.