Barefoot

I wrote the following quote last night for a friend. This morning I realize that is perfect to accompany us on a short stroll we are about to take.

As we “face the winds of the world” stand barefoot on mother earth. If the winds become fierce, go lower and place your belly against hers. In this way we can remain vulnerable, humble and filled with fire-strength to see our vision through.

Our stroll is on a day that it is late morning before enough daylight seeps into the corners of my studio to warrant turning the lamp off. The heavy clouds wrap around me like tangled blankets in a nightmare. We go for an overdue lunch. Our usual walk is only a sultry possibility against pending rain. A drive seems like our best option. Bumping around potholes under the tall trees I have a moment of total defiance. Without comment or signaling (we have met no one on the road in the past fifteen minutes) I dip the old Volvo down a side road to Navy Channel. Once there is it a short slop to the waters edge.

At first there seems to be little to see but gray clouds, flat silvery water and high tides.

Then my attention is drawn to things closer to me – things near my feet.

When was that rock so soft that it squished like that? Or is its smoothness from wave action?

Oh look, there is a rock embedded in that piece of driftwood. How long they have been together? How far have they traveled?

All the while, gentle waves slowly move in and out over the sand, bumping the driftwood and calming my jangled west coast winter nerves.

I become one with the moving water, the stone the wood.

I move closer, crouching. It is here I find my still-point. I find my inner peace within the heavy solitude.

View image in full resolution here.

Okay, we can put our socks and shoes back on now. Yes, that pebble… the one that was caught between your toes – put it in your pocket to remind you.

Sprout Question: When was the last time you were vulnerable and barefoot against the belly of mother earth?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

Unstuck

Unstuck is so much better than being stuck. Thank you Tobin, Laurie Sue, Robert, Ryan and Sam for answering yesterday’s Sprout Question: Has there ever been a time when you were stuck and finding it difficult to finished a creative piece? What did you do?

Here are the results of yesterday’s work where I tried a number of the suggestions offered in the comments on the previous post “Stuck.”

But here is how it will be cropped when framed.

View image in full resolution here.

Yes, I think this is my  last edit to take out all that isn’t adding value to the final image. It is the photographer in my that likes to trim.

Arbutus driftwood and Sandstone may never be in the category of “one of my very best paintings” but I have a huge sense of satisfaction in having it “done!” Besides, I have long ago stopped deciding what is best or worst in my work because I have seen people overlook my favourites and purchase something that I was reluctant to keep (my mother has saved a few pieces from my compost pile that I am now glad she did).

Best of all, I can now move on to other work – like using my new water miscible oil paints. I haven’t painted with oils for 30 years. I am so excited to get started – after laundry and other chores of course… or maybe painting first then chores. How does that sound?  Like celebrating right? Shall we?

Sprout Question: How do you celebrate when you have a creative break through?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

Stuck

I’m stuck. The painting above is about half to three-quarters finished and somehow I have become attached – invested. The arbutus driftwood, sandstone and tide pool have drawn me into a deadly web of “don’t touch it!” When I’m painting with watercolours, more than with any other of my creative processes, I must work from a place of detached emotional clarity. Watercolors are transparent like steps in the sand. Every move shows until you start a new sheet (or the tide comes in).

Sometimes, if I wait for a few days the next step will become clear and release me from the fear of “ruining everything.” I’ve waited two weeks. Nothing. Sometimes, if I move the painting to a new location and see it in different light I can decided what is next. Still nothing. In fact, I’m even more attached than before I took the darn thing out of the studio. Yet, I know the painting is not finished. This means only one thing. I must push through allowing my intuition to guide me into new learning.

I must firmly say to my self: “It is water, colour pigment, and paper. That is all.”

If a muddy puddle of coloured water with mushy paper is all that is left by tomorrow, I shall compost it in the flower bed. If I end up with a finished painting, I will consider it the first in an exhibit I’m building about the arbutus tree. Either way, I shall take a photo of the results and share them with you.

Sprout Question: Has there ever been a time when you were stuck and finding it difficult to finished a creative piece? What did you do?

p.s. If you hear little from me until late tomorrow, I’m painting…or possibly composting.

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

Good Luck Creativity

View image and purchase of “Arbutus in the Fog”  here.

My partner of many years (and the lovely man who has recently become my husband – December 10, 2009) and I have a banter that goes something like this…

I ask with raised eyebrows and a tone of dismay “how did you ever end up with a wild and crazy woman like me?”

With his eyes snapping, he responds “just lucky I guess.”

The truth is my wildness is not of the usual kind – having mostly to do with my vivid imagination and free spirit. And his “good luck” has mostly to do with acting on his preparedness when the opportunity presented itself. But we shall not be entertaining you with our love story today.

What I want to talk about is good luck and creativity. Some time ago, I read Deepak Chopra’s definition of “good luck” in The Seven Spiritual laws of Success (1994). Every since reading his description, it has embodied much of my perceptual understanding about what constitutes good luck. His exact passage reads:

You can look at every problem you have in your life as an opportunity for some greater benefit. You can stay alert to opportunities by being grounded in the wisdom of uncertainty. When your preparedness meets opportunity, the solution will spontaneously appear. What comes out of that is often called “good luck.” Good luck is nothing but preparedness and opportunity coming together.

So there you have it. Now what does this mean when it comes to our creativity? If we are writing, drawing, painting, taking photographs and enhancing our skills daily we are more likely to be prepared when the opportunity arises. When we have “good luck” by this definition we are overjoyed by the unexpected success that befalls us. This is certainly the case with these two images (one above and one below) that I share with you today. In each of these photos the exact coming together of the elements in the images are not likely to repeat themselves readily. In both cases I was prepared. I had my camera with me on my daily walk. I was watching, searching the beauty and the mundane around me. Then as if by magic the image was there – waiting for me, inviting me to capture it.

View and purchase “Holding the Moon” here.

Sprout Question: What part does “good luck” play in your creativity?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

Reflect

View image in full resolution here.

To reflect or “cast back from a surface” is a large part of my photography, writing and painting. As a self-proclaimed storyteller, it is the art of reflection that is “the brand” of my creativity. My desire is for you to be with me – seeing what I see. I want you to smell the damp earth as you look at the trees reflected in the pooled water from resent heavy rains. I want you to hear the small winter birds and feel the sun as it finds its way through the forest canopy. I want you to notice how blue the sky is through the trees in the image reflected on this surface.

My desire is to be with you in this sharing. This is what motivates me to post, to have a blog and to specifically have the Creative Potager blog. It is my kitchen garden of creative thoughts and moments for us to enjoy. I am thrilled when you stop by to plant an answer for the Sprout Question or add an idea or appreciation in the comments. I love the easy gathering that happens with each of these posts. I am fed and nourished in ways I find hard to describe by our shared reflections.

For this I thank you.

Sprout Question: What are you casting back to the world from your creative surface?

Note: I am traveling on Monday so posting today, Sunday, before I leave.

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

Fan Your Creativity

When we live a creative life, we create, we manifest and we pour out our inspirations day after day. In the language of Julia Cameron the creative well needs to be refilled – an “artist’s date” is what she prescribes.

We need to fan the flame of our creativity with cushy pampering. My “artist’s dates” often include enjoying the creativity of others.

Going to the city is a great place for tapping into rare creative gifts. We dined at Café Ceylon. Chef Tamara Bailey, a native of Sri Lanka – uses principles of Ayurveda in her cooking and prepares the most delicate dishes I have ever tasted. We seldom get to take in Chef Tamara Bailey’s masterful art work because of ferry schedules. Last evening I feasted under her talented palate on blackened coconut curried prawns – the sauce takes five hours to prepare. My creativity is stoked.

Later back at our room in the Humbodlt House Bed and Breakfast, following a lengthy lounge in an oversized soaker tub (we only have a shower at home), I browsed through my blogroll to see what other creative souls had been doing. Leah Piken Kolidas of Creative Every Day is featuring creations by amazing CED participants.

Ahhhhhh! See you back at the studio next week. Friday happy dance to you.

Sprout Question: How do you pamper and fan your creativity?

Note: I have limited computer access today but shall be on-line again this evening.

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

Ordinary

Today, I only have the ordinary to offer – the equivalent of canned moose meat. Yesterday’s walk produced nothing of significance in the way of photos.

There was the sound of the water running out of the pipe.

There was the horse and buggy “slow sign” that made me laugh.

There were the distant mountains to the north through active pass that made me think about how far it was to my parent’s farm in north central British Columbia.

All was rather ordinary. Still, I walked, I looked, and I framed shot after shot on the hopes that something might appear worthwhile of your audience. I feel like the fisherman who came home with no fish. When this happened as a child, well… we had canned moose meat. So today, I share with you ordinary images – my equivalent of canned moose meat. A creative day that is sustaining but not luxurious in its richness.

Sprout Question: Creatively, what do you do when confronted with “the ordinary?”

Note: Tomorrow I am traveling. There will likely be no Creative Potager post – unless I am very lucky find a window of time and an internet connection. If I don’t connect with you before hand, have a wonderful weekend.

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

My Art for Haiti

As I am catching up, after two days of being off-line due to high winds, I drop in on Martha Marshall’s blog and discover her Art For Haiti post. I must participate. Below are the three images that I will donate 100% of post-production profits until the end of February 2010 to AVAAZ Stand with Haiti. I’m providing my redbubble link for each image for full resolution and purchase of various products including cards, matted and framed prints and canvases.

View “Sandstone Shoreline” (a new image) in full resolution and purchase here.



View “Last of the Season” watercolor image in full resolution and purchase here. More about publishing of “Last Rose” in River Poets Quarterly Journal here.


View full of resolution of “Stand with Haiti” image and purchase here. More about the rose-hip and Stand with Haiti image here.

If you are on twitter, you can help by tweeting “RT @terrillwelch  My Art for Haiti http://bit.ly/77EG0b #art4haiti ” in your update.

In closing, I offer a special thank you to Martha Marshall and her outstanding An Artist’s Journal Blog for this inspiration.

Sprout Question: How has your creativity been useful in contributing to the greater good of others?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

High Winds

I awoke to rattling, banging and snapping at just after 1:30 am on Monday morning. No, it wasn’t a break-n-enter but high wind. Cones, branches and bits of whatever else were being slammed down on our tin roof from winds that were recorded up to 120 km an hour on a near by island. I could hear the roar of the wind high above the trees. The sound was similar to a large jet overhead except it never moved away – it just stayed there and roared. For the next four hours we watched and monitored as a cast iron chair on the deck was knocked over by large broken branch, the upstairs window was blown open even though it opens out and the trees bent and twisted against the force of the wind. Not surprisingly, the electricity went off at around 3:00 am.

When daylight arrived there was an eerie calm as sun danced across the debris, which looked rather mundane compared to the noise it made in its decent during the night. There was no serious damage. Our large fir trees were still standing though their dressing gowns of branches and needles were looking much thinner from the night’s engagement.

I had planned a painting day for Monday but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. We did what people usually do. We wandered down the road to see how our neighbours were making out and catch up on the extent of the damages. When we returned, it was time to fill the oil lamp and start the outdoor wood cook stove for an early dinner before dark.

My creativity was garnered to the task at hand – choosing the right wood for the cooking fire and setting the vent in the right spot at the back of the stove for the oven.

Our house stays warm for better than 24 hours without electricity because of the in-floor hot water heating and the thick strawbale walls. So we had our dinner, lit the lamp, and read some poetry aloud.

Then we crawled under the covers in the silence, broken only by the battery operated clock, to watch the stars in the still night. The storm had passed.

Sprout Question: When was the last time your creativity was needed in an unusual event?

My Cloud Biscuits…

CLOUD BISCUITS

Can easily double this recipe

2 cups flour
1 tblsp white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (not shorting)
1 beaten eggs – very well beaten
2/3 – 1 cup milk (I usually use half whipping cream other half water )

Sift dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until coarse. Add egg and some milk to flour; mix all at once. Add enough milk to allow dough to be easily kneaded. Knead the dough a few times (not too much or will be tough – just a lick and a promise!). Flatten to about 1” thick and cut into desired serving size. Bake in 450 degree F. oven (or “HOT” oven in wood cook stove) until lightly browned on top… for 12-15 minutes.
Good luck!

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

Time Found

View full of resolution of image here.

Today is a sketching and painting day. While I work in the studio, I bring you a poem I wrote in October which may hold the treasure-chest of gray I live today.

Time Found

Run away with me –
I’m leaving now following a warm trail of imagination.
Slipping between – moist vapor swiftly moves,
trees appearing and disappearing – deception a namesake.
Moments pass quickly when noticing the slice of moon
sliding across night’s gateway to tomorrow.

Darkness settles into the corners of the room as lamps are silenced.
Be my imagination not that of Goya’s ghosts –
I seek a warmer, friendlier, more hopeful place.
Lifting evening’s gentle cover close under my chin,
time greets me as familiar as an old friend –
one I have been missing.

On this West Coast, mid-January day … as dawn carries the rain into rivulets down earth’s spine – I shall live each moment of each day to my fullest.

Sprout Question: What creativity might be hidden in your shadow?

Additional reading for the unwilling explorer of darkness: a powerful article by Lissa Rankin –  Owning Darkness: Accepting The Shadow

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.