Winter Sun Oil Painting

There is something about the late dawn of winter sun, a bruised heaviness that seeps across the sky. I started this painting thinking it might be abstract and lighter, maybe even cheerful, but my subconscious seems to know where to take the brush. Though the quick marks of paint give impressions rather than detail… it is clearly not an abstract painting. And though colourful, I am not sure it is cheerful. In fact, I’m sure this painting is deeply melancholy with bittersweet recognition that the sun is rising… lifting, lifting, lifting us into another, and possibly, better day.

I started by brushing water (it would have been spirits but I’m using water miscible oils) and linseed oil onto the canvas. Then I began adding colour, an underpainting of sorts…

I never let it completely dry but kept working the paint into the canvas as I added more colour.

Using a good sized brush (10) I swished the sky and clouds on and softened them with a cloth and feathery brush. Then I flipped the rocks and sea loosely into place and left them like that.

I came back yesterday and tidied up a bit … as I listened to kd lang’s performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction of Leonard Cohen in 2006.

You might want to do that too as you take in “Winter Sun

18X24″ by 1 3/4″ water miscible oil painting on 100% natural cotton canvas

There are a few more small edits which I will make and then replace this last image, but it is close enough to complete to share with you.

Sprout Question: What has been your latest personal discovery through your creativity?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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

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From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

18 thoughts on “Winter Sun Oil Painting

    • Thank you Holly for your sprout response and also for the excellent post about your painting process and discovery…

      I consider every moment of the day to be part of the painting process. Walking and breathing w/ the trees in the park, inhaling the fragrance of the earth, noticing the trembling of the tender new baby green all stirs me deeply.

      Readers I encourage you to wander over to Holly’s post “Deepening and Darkening

      So glad you stopped by Holly and that you enjoyed both the painting and kd lang:)

      If you watch all the way to the end kd greets Lenard Cohen who is in the audience. It is one of the reasons I chose this particular version of her singing this song.

  1. Terrill – The words you used, “a bruised heaviness that seeps across the sky” are a delicious description of “Winter Sun.”

    Sprout Question: What has been your latest personal discovery through your creativity?

    When I’m answering a creative call — giving birth to something that’s within — there is no such thing as a mistake.

    • Thanks Kim! This time I actually remembered to take photos as I was working over the first few hours of painting – otherwise there wouldn’t have been much to show. Good of you to drop in:)

  2. Terrill, I am thinking how important this picture is. Even with its bruised melancholy. How it was a voice which needed to come up into the world; how it needed expression. I honor its melancholy beauty.

    My latest personal discovery: that everything we’ve buried must come to the surface to be resolved in the light of awareness.

    • Thank you Kathy and your sprout response is very much in line with this piece of work… the things we bury which “must come to the surface to be resolved in the light of awareness.” I have drawn and painted out many of my experiences and related emotions when I haven’t been able to speak or write about them. Some how my ability to access these parts of myself is greats through the brush. So glad you dropped in.

  3. Your sky is absolutely beautiful.
    My latest personal discovery in creativity…um…trust in my ability to transform the blank page into story. I find, to my delight, that if I trust I can enjoy what I discover.

  4. Learning a lot about how you construct your paintings. Never knew they were done in layers like this. You can tell I was never very good at traditional art.

    My latest discovery…that photographs can also be constructed by layers (and I am not talking about Photoshop here). By really seeing and taking more time to get to know a subject, I am getting more creative in how I am approaching my photography. In part, by seeing how you and others work to create their art.

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