An Artist

My daughter, Josie Olszewski, took these photographs of me last weekend. I am collecting a couple of images of me to accompany a new youtube video of my recent work which I hope to finish in the next few months with the help of a musician in Europe.

I sometimes ask myself “what makes me an artist?”

It seems to be a simple enough question. However, I never find a satisfactory answer as I am taking the insides out of the squash in preparation for dinner or stripping the bed of its sheets for the laundry.

These photos should make Wulan at Lemon Zest very happy.

Sprout question: What makes you an artist, writer, musician, photographer?

© 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

22 thoughts on “An Artist

  1. Terrill – I love the photographs, Josie did a great job of capturing the inside you, not just the outside you. And the background is enhancing rather than detracting. Fantastic!

    Sprout question: What makes you an artist, writer, musician, photographer?

    When I listen with my heart, that’s what I hear it saying.

    • Thanks Laurie. I do not get my photograph taken often. These are very natural, everyday photos of me as I go about being an artist. No make up, no jewelery – just me and some soft comfortable cloths embracing the day.

      Such a perfect answer Laurie to today’s sprout question… who can doubt what the heart has to say? Not I.

  2. Terrill,

    I love the photographs of you, Josie did a great job! Your spirit shines, among the nature that you are so much an artist of.

    What makes me/us an artist? The fact that we are born to be creative, that we create the world we live in, and a few of us create Art from that beauty and call ourselves artist.

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Thank you Jeff. Being with Josie doing something we both love it is easy for me to shine. She did a great job.

      Jeff well put about being an artist. I like how you say “a few of us create Art from that beauty and call ourselves artist.” It is the practice of our creativity that seems to give us the courage to call ourselves artists or writers or musicians or photographers.

  3. Lovely photos, Terrill. Bravo! I am uncomfortable with personal photographs, but you look so relaxed, natural, joyful. Re your question, what makes me/us an artist? As you mentioned, my poem, The Artist, touches on that question … especially when the paintbrush metaphor isn’t taken literally … but, otherwise, I’d just say:

    A desire to share creative expression with others and to find peace, joy, and perspective in mining the depths of my internal world … make me an artist (I hope).

    Great question. Have a lovely week. Daisy in SunnyRoomStudio 🙂

    • Daisy I am laugh a great belly laugh I reading about you being uncomfortable getting your photo taken and how relaxed I look. I HATE getting my photo taken. But I had a purpose in mind and I am very relaxed, natural and joyful when out in the woods hiking. It is good to see that it came through and Josie was able to capture it.

      Dear readers, late last night I was preparing today’s post. As I finished up I went over to read Daisy’s blog to see what she had posted. And right there at the beginning of a guest post with Ros Morris was her poem “The Artist” On the principle that there are no coincidences, I dropped her a line so that we would be sure to make the connection for today’s Creative Potager post.

  4. Terrill, these pictures are fabulous! My favorite kind of portrait – candid, casual, capturing an authentic moment.

    What makes me an artist? My mother — through genes and through example. She led an artst’s life while still managing to be a great mother to me and teacher to thousands of kids throughout her career. When I was little and she was painting, she would set up my little easel and some paints nearby to keep an eye on me. 🙂

    • Martha I just love this story about your mom. It really gets deep into some of the doubting of my being an artist… because life has intervened with many other responsibilities and task. Still, I found time to create even fleetingly. I tried having a separate studio space years ago but that just made it harder to juggle all that needed to be done. Now I can make a homemade soup, put down an underpainting, edit a photograph, put a load of clothes in the dryer and tweet the new image without missing a beat! The story about your mom helps me to stop arguing with myself about whether these diverse and necessary activities somehow diminish my claim to the word “artist.”

      In coaching these are called limiting beliefs… I will be an artist when I can do it full time, when I have been accepted by a major gallery, when I have been written up in a renown a art journal… you get the picture. If we can reframe and own who we are without these limiting beliefs our joy and even our success comes with great ease.

  5. Awwwwe! Lovely, Terrill! Josie did a Wonderful job capturing your radiance!! The setting is a Gorgeous compliment, allowing your essence to shine through!

    What makes one an Artist/Writer? Following what has heart.. expressing the Beauty of the circle of life and all around us in meaningful ways? Creating something which touches another, heart and soul? But, ‘writing’ makes me a writer, I believe.

  6. Great photos… and a great smile! I like the pose with the glasses.

    What makes me/you an artist?

    I think it has to a lot to do with how we view the world. We see things around us that most people miss. We see beauty that others don’t. And we constantly are looking for ways to express what we see…what we feel… to capture the moment in either a photo or a painting or sketch. And we lose ourselves in the joy of creating something exciting! It is just who we are.

    When I was in first grrade I discovered that I had a gift that most of the other kids lacked. The teacher told us to put our heads on our desk, close our eyes and listen while she read us a story… then we were to draw a picture about the story that she had read. On the first day she did this she took the picture I drew and held it up for all the class to see. She was very impressed with it. I had no previous training,.. I had only the same kind of coloring books most kids get. That was my start.

    • Sherwin what a great sprout response. Beautiful expansion on our discussion. I love the story from when you discovered your talent. Happy long sigh…. big smile. Sure is nice to be part of such an outstanding creative community.

  7. Artists are people who have had the opportunity and encouragement and fight to express that urge of creativity that rests in each person’s soul. Personally, for years, I had something inside me that I could not figure out how to get out. I knew there was something there that needed to be said/wanted to be said but how? With me it has mostly been a fight to give myself permission to sit, to listen and to do. And slowly…

    The biggest hurdle for any person is to understand that they do have that ‘ball of creation’ in their soul, they do have something to say, they have a story to tell. When I made my environment work for me I was able to more easily open up and express.

    I guess what I am really trying to say is that if we open our eyes and hearts we will see that all people are potential ‘artists’…the right opportunity and environment are great levelers.

    • Shirley so glad you came by to join in today’s discussion. Though we may all be creative and possibly have the potential to be ‘artist’ our methods of expression vary as does our dedication to creating. However, in the end only a few become great artist or great writers. I think what you are saying is that the words and the brushes and cameras do not belong to only the great or the exceptional. Besides how will we know if we have the potential to be outstanding in our creativity if hide out in the dirty laundry? So good to share this space with you here on Creative Potager.

  8. Terrill,

    this is a full on post for me, which as you know, I will definitely get to it, and slowly–you know how i work by now.

    and today I have been reading a lot of John Gardner ‘s On Moral Fiction and he discusses this question a lot. Tonight I will post that over at my posterous account and link back here.

    Thank you for this.

    the short answer, spontaneous, for me, right now: relentless pursuit for the beauty in truth, despite it all.

    • Leanne, I too sometimes paint when I am frustrated with trying to figure out how move forward with a different painting. I wonder if song writers sing about the song they are struggling with as well? I have the same relationship with writing but it is turned way down in volume compared to painting and photography. In fact I will sometimes paint what I can’t write.

      As creative beings our creating is most often a “must do” not just a “nice to do.”

  9. hm.. finally i can see u clearly on your blog.. josie has great talend of photograpy as well just like you.. i really adore those smiling photo..

    about Sprout question: What makes you an artist, writer, musician, photographer?

    i’m tend to be musician (although my skill of playing guitar is not good enough) and photographer.. those are my heart’s saying..

  10. Fabulous pictures! I have always appreciated the personal touch, of getting to know the blogger/writer/artist more intimately through posts that reveal the inner machinations that emanate from even everyday routines and activities. In your case, Terrill, it does inform greatly the artistic inspiration that has become more plentiful in recent months.

    Well, I’m not so sure my own output falls under that parameter, but I’m always on the watch for new ideas to inform my work and my hobbies.

    • Sam you blog Wonders in the Dark is a regular weekly inspirational drop in for me. With the posts and traffic you get there, I am surprised you have time for a day job, let alone a hobby or two. I too like to get to know the bloggers/writers/artists that I connect with. As my daughter will be the first to tell you though, I have a bit of an aversion to getting my photo taken. So this will likely be a rare glimpse of the “me” that is behind the camera and holding the brush for impressionistic expression.

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