Waiting to be Invited

There is a part of creativity that is about showing up prepared. That means setting up your writing station and putting bum-to-chair. Or pulling out a canvas and placing it on the easel. Then putting a brush in your hand at a regularly scheduled time to paint. Or it means putting your camera bag on your shoulder and heading out everyday to take the photograph that is there to be taken. Each of us practicing our creative craft will engage in some form of preparation. If you are a musician or a dancer or a woodcarver you will know exactly what to do to show up prepared.

After doing a few warm up exercises, I find there is a second part to most creative processes. This is waiting to be invited. There is a pause or suspension of expectation or a kind of taut readiness. Mind, body and spirit seem to align and, there it is – the invitation. We know intuitively exactly what we need to do next. We proceed.

This is my intention for the week ahead. I have a half-finished painting and few canvases of various sizes that I picked up last week. I am going to set aside the time each day, be prepared, do my warm up exercises, stilling my mind and wait to be invited.

This is what happened when I took these two photographs at the Japanese garden on Friday morning. As the rain came down, I visited with a friend who is moving away. We were sitting on a sheltered bench. I had taken my camera even though the day was heavily clouded and didn’t show much promise.

First, this invite was extended to me.

And then this one.


I remembered my manners and said “thank you.”


And here are a couple of things you may find inspiring:


Last Tuesday, we slipped into Victoria B.C. and attended the IMAX theatre for the most impressive Van Gogh brush with Genius . Well worth seeing if you ever get the chance. Thank you Sherwin, from Shower Wisdom, for making such a compelling recommendation in your comment to last Monday’s post.


While we were in town we went to a couple of art galleries. At the new Madrona Gallery we saw a 3 X 4 foot acrylic painting by Karel Doruyler of a mature, dense west coast forest. His skill with light is outstanding. The work we saw was Thoughts of Summer. Doruyler has developed a heavily textured approach so that the tree trunks are significantly raised off the surface of the painting. Doruyler has been painting professionally for 40 years and is now 70 years old. His work leaves me with such a sense of possibility for my own continued development as an artist.


All the best in your creative endeavors!


Sprout question: Where are you showing up prepared to be invited?


© 2011 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.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada


23 thoughts on “Waiting to be Invited

  1. Terrill – I enjoyed this post and the links. You put a face-splitting grin on my face with your “bum-to-chair” comment!

    And while both of the photographs you shared are compelling, the second one especially caught my heart and reeled me in.

    Sprout question: Where are you showing up prepared to be invited?

    I’d like to think that the answer is “wherever I go.” And while I’m very much a participant, I’m an equal blend of observer. Those two work hand-in-glove to keep my internal radar on the lookout for “invitation” blips on my screen.

    • I am glad you were grinning Laurie when I said “bum-to-chair” because it was you and Leanne I was thinking of when I wrote this. I like how you answered the sprout question Laurie. I can certainly see this being true for you. I am sure that an invitation seldom crosses your personal screen without you being aware of it. Have fun accepting the blips!

  2. Terrill,

    There is a sense of knowing you will be invited so we come prepared! Yet there are days where nothing happens, that creativity is just stirring under the surface, waiting to be inspired, tuned in or turned on by emptying ourselves of ourselves.
    Since it has been freezing cold here, anywhere between 9 and 16 degrees F. It is too cold for myself or the camera. So I look for inside inspiration when the sun shines through the windows, I go to redbubble and view other peoples work, comment and such! I am reading a bio of Photographer, Dorothea Lange who’s work during the depression captures a view of the world people had not seen yet.
    I am glad you got to go to Victoria BC to be inspired to feed your artist!

    I am Love, Jeff

    PS: Interesting photos of rain decorated trees!

    • Jeff it sounds like you are making the most of waiting for invitations in places you are not usually expecting to find them. I too have been doing some indoor shoots. Something I find challenging because I am not use to artificial lighting but I learned some tricks this morning when I had some images I was determined to get just right. Hang it there Jeff. Warmer weather has to reach us soon.

  3. Your post resonates with me. I’m in my second 365 photo project this year. Last year I set up a lot of shots in a day and then posted them one and at time. This year, I’m *trusting* that I’ll be invited each day. And, it is amazing. If I’m prepared and open, I’m invited! In fact, I’m so often invited that I am sometimes overwhelmed, so that’s something new to learn about.

    Your photos are absolutely stunning. Wow!

  4. Wonderful photos and post Terrill. I think what you are describing as “being invited” is what I would describe as being open to intuition. It takes preparation along with being still enough, in our minds and our emotions, to notice the whispers. To be invited. Beautiful.

  5. Oh Terrill, what beauty. Both photos were such gifts. And hearing about your visit to the IMAX makes me want to leap up from my chair and find one RIGHT NOW!! I love too the feeling of centeredness I got from this post too.

    Being prepared to be invited is such a great idea for contemplation. It’s a totally cup half-full way of looking at the creative process. Instead of berating myself for spending to much time “getting ready to get ready” I can now plant a new line of beans here in my subconscious. Thank you so much for that, it was past due time to wipe my hard drive clean of that old programming!

    I am preparing to be invited to receive a new theme for my mindfulness series. I start forming the intention and opening to receive it a week or so ahead of the post. This way I know that whatever comes up strongly, is what I will be giving voice to. Then when the message is all cued up I put pen to paper, or in my case fingers to keyboard.

    Have a great week with your projects.

    • Alison you always have such a well-rounded poetic what way of creating word-picture response to each of the Creative Potager post. Your thoughts and musings feel like a part of myself being reflected back to me. Best of the week to you as well!

  6. Beautiful!
    I’m being invited and also inviting.
    Yesterday, I set the table at my blog. First the cutlery, then the plate and the water glass. Organization, structure is necessary even though I fight it every step of the way. However, I find my muse appreciate these things–and for her the world.

      • I’ve attached a theme to each week. Mondays are for knitting. Tuesdays are random. Wednesday is the author reading of The Sweater Curse podcast. Thursday is random. Friday is interviews. Saturday is a day of rest (no post). Sunday is for Six Sentences Sunday where I post six sentences from one of my works in progress (the sequel to The Sweater Curse). See I did say I was getting organized. : ) Hope you’ll take a peek at a day that interests you.

  7. Showing up and then waiting for that intuitive nudge — I love that approach, Terrill! Too often, as creative spirits, we get lost in “what will I create today” instead of waiting for the moment to present itself — organically. This takes all the pressure off and allows for collaboration with the vast powers that ultimately define our universe. A rich and joyful partnership that means being receptive to “what is” and not forcing what we think we should create, necessarily. It makes all the difference, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration — and re your sprout ?, where am I showing up waiting for the invitation to proceed — I think this happens when I’m out walking Noah or enjoying stillness and silence in my day. Or when doing yoga or meditating. Keeping the channel open, right? Have a lovely week (book should be there soon!) … Daisy

    • Awesome Daisy! I can hardly wait.

      Dear readers, Daisy and I have done a book exchange. Do you have a print book you have written that you would like to do an exchange? I always find this a fun way to get to know each other better and also enjoy some good reading.

  8. I am showing up in front of my easel … sounds basic, but it is that true fact of showing up that you so aptly spoke of that needs to happen before paint can appear on the canvas.

    Thanks for the links to the artist, Karel Doruyler. His work is indeed inspiring!
    Take care.

    • Sue apparently Karel Doruyler is living in Penticton these days. His work may be showing somewhere close by. You just may be able to get a closer look than the images on line. And I see you standing there in front of your easel because I a peaking at you from over top of mine 🙂 Have a great week Sis! Oh! Be sure to check back, I am going to be posting some new images on the development of BABY O soon. Just got back from an overnight visit with Josie and Ryan.

  9. keeping a schedule is what keeps me productive “show up” lately there has been more waiting than i would like. I have been giving much thought to that place where i am relaxed yet alert physically, intellectually as well as emotionally.
    I have been paying close attention to this while drawing and trying to bring the same level of relaxed attention to my painting.

    • Jerry it is interesting that you mention experiencing a difference of presence in drawing and painting. I am not sure I have been aware of this distinction in my own practice. If I am distracted or disconnected it seems to flow through everything I am doing. I am going to pay more attention this week and see if there are shifts between one method of creating and another.

  10. Pingback: New Oil Painting Orange Sea « Creativepotager's Blog

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