From start to finish a painting often has many pauses. Salish Sea 3 is a prime example as this small 8 X 10 inch seascape oil painting took two weeks from start to finish – mostly “resting.”
I begin as usual by working the underpainting.
In this series of paintings I have been inspired to paint the sky first and work into the picture from this vantage point. This isn’t a usual approach from me but it is what has been happening for the past two paintings. So we will go with it.
Next I start building up the blues.
As I continue to work a context is created for the painting to begin to breathe on its own.
Sorry about the bad photograph. I was having trouble with some glare from the light coming through the window of the studio. Note to self: holding a painting and photographing it is not a useful strategy to resolve glare.
I begin to find my way into the painting – it is like running your hands over your bedding in the half-light of early dawn. You know where you are but there isn’t enough light to see beyond a few vague familiar shadows.
This is most often the place I pause. There is an excitement that rises from my bones and spreads up to the hairs on top of my head. I watch and wait sometimes only for a moment, sometimes stopping for tea and sometimes stopping until the paint dries. Today it was only long enough for tea. I wanted to work in the waves wet on wet.
Now it is time for a rest. It is a rest that last for nine days. I puzzle and muse. I move the painting around to different locations. I sleep on it. I glower at it. The painting is “okay… I guess” but it doesn’t have the SNAP I would like it to have. Finally, I decide what it is and what I need to do. A couple of small changes really. I will leave you to discover them if you choose. Or you can simply enjoy the finished work.
Salish Sea 3, 8 X 10 inch cotton canvas original oil painting by Terrill Welch.
This painting will be shown as part of solo summer exhibition opening at the end of June. If you are interested in purchasing in advance of the show please contact me directly via email at tawelch AT shaw DOT ca . The price of this work is $280 Canadian unframed.
As for my other intentions, I started another underpainting but the taxes and tune up for Miss Prissy had to be rescheduled for next week. As my father would say “it’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.”
But this is far too light-hearted as I pause for a moment send light to Japan and all areas experiencing the impact of the 8.9 quake and tsunami. This post was written before I heard the news last night on twitter about an hour after the earthquake off the northeast coast of Japan.
Sprout question: Where might your creativity need a pause?
© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.
Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.
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Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.
From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada