KEEPING WATCH original oil painting by Terrill Welch

Here it is! The last painting, KEEPING WATCH, of the 15 that will be in my solo exhibition, STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition opening June 30, 2011 is complete.

The painting started out in the usual Terrill-Welch-fashion with an underpainting ready to start working up into a painting.

The large upright canvas did not fit on my easel so I painted down in the sun room which is a deliciously bright place to work.

The canvas had held the movement in the scene from the beginning of the underpainting and I can see that one of my jobs will be to retain that energy right through to completion.

You may guess by now that I am painting my very most favourite arbutus tree overlooking the Strait of Georgia by the light house at Georgina Point. This tree will be featured in one of my photographs on the front cover of this year’s Mayne Island Community Chamber of Commerce brochure and be distributed up and down parts of the west coast of Canada and the United States.

The painting is now starting to breathe on its own, talking back quietly to me as I work.

Now I am close. It is not finished but I am undecided as to what to do next.

I let it rest for a few days and then I finish it up.

KEEPING WATCH 36 X 24  by 1.5 inch original oil painting by Terrill Welch

If you want you can use your inspection skills and see if you can discover what I changed. One change is particularly obvious. The others not so much so.

Please NOTE: I am taking a week off from blogging. The next Creative Potager post will be Friday May 27, 2011. It is time for a little creative downtime before shifting gears into the final preparations for the opening.

Sprout question: What does creative downtime mean to you?

STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition opens Thursday June 30, 2011.

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at

23 thoughts on “KEEPING WATCH original oil painting by Terrill Welch

  1. Terrill – I love the way that in reaching for the sky, the branches actually go over the edges — leave the canvas. Now that’s pretty darn slick!

    Sprout question: What does creative downtime mean to you?

    Being still so that my personal energy signature can recharge itself.

    Have a wonderful haitus. Please give Coen a little squeeze from me 🙂

    • Oh I shall Laurie. Coen is looking especially squeezable the last few days from the photos his mom has been posting. I like how being still is how you recharge your personal energy signature. I am pretty sure mine is too be with family when I am truly on downtime. I am quiet for a period everyday to keep my energy grounded, resilient and singing at high frequencies during day-to-day living. You got me thinking about this with your response and times like this weekend when I get together with my family there is only one real purpose – to have a darn good visit! Sometimes that is quiet and sometimes it is walks or poking through a garden. It just depends. But there is a lot of just being together grazing in the field of life.

  2. First, congratulations. I’m so excited that your photo will grace the chamber pamphlet. I’ll be on the look-out for it.
    Now, to answer your question. I always entered creative downtime-panicking. Oh, my gosh, I’m not working! Oh, my gosh, what’s wrong! Oh, my gosh, I have to work! I always did until rather recently. Relax and let’s see what happens–was my mantra. What did happen? I heard my muse more clearly. She was working all along–at her own pace, in her own way. Trust–I’m working on it.
    You’ve painted one of my favourite trees.
    I’ll be coming back often to see if I can spot those changes. I so love games. : )

    • Leanne that is the thing about a muse I am not sure they ever feel much of a need for vacation… just some freedom from producing. Good luck with finding the changes between the last two photographs. Have you found the easiest one yet?

  3. I love it Terrill. The movement, the colors, the energy, the very alive feel all says ‘com, join in the dance’!!! It is a spectacular piece, a real accomplishment. I do hope you enjoy your week of creative downtime. I started into some creative downtime today quite by accident. I woke up with an idea for a photo ebook and started organizing my digital work. Phew, what a task – but fun. I did burn the pea soup in the process however. . oh well!

    • Burning pea soup is not one of my favourite things to do Alison but I can tell that you were more excited about the ebook creating than the soup. Water and dry bread for you it is. Thanks for the feedback on KEEPING WATCH. I was hoping that it felt like how you described it because that is how it feels to me.

    • Patricia I hope to entice many from near and far to drop in and have a wee look while the show is on. Last night someone from Vancouver was wondering if they could do it a day trip and you can… just not to the opening. Thanks for coming by and enjoying the new painting.

  4. Ha Terrill! I’m still on inspection tour! I saw the protruding branches from the trunk, but I’m sure quite so sure that is what you were referring to. By any barometer of measurement, though it’s another visual delight, and I wish you much success with it. I’m happy you are stepping out the door for a bit to recharge those batteries, and make some important preparations connected to your work. In a cinematic sense the painting brings to mind the work of Russian Andrei Tarkovsky.

    Creative downtime is the time window to appreciate what you’ve produced.

    • Sam it has has taken me a long time to answer your comment today because I was off searching to see which films the Russian Andrei Tarkovsky had made. I have heard his name lots and I was sure I had seen one of the seven but I couldn’t locate it. I will have to add this to my film watching adventures. I like what you say: “Creative downtime is the time window to appreciate what you’ve produced.” I think there is always time needed for me to integrate my work into the rest of my life. That is partly what the exhibitions are about. They are my creative pause before beginning again.

  5. You have to be one of my favourite creative bods. I love this piece. Downtime? Ooogh – not sure I ever get any as being creative IS downtime as well as uptime. Even if I schedule it the brain keeps cooking up new things…

    • Pea so good to see your comment here! I know what you mean. I usually switch how I express my creativity when I am on “downtime.” For example when I made this huge potato salad for 13 of us on the weekend I went out into my sister’s garden and found some lovely violas that matched the salad and put them on top. My brother-in-law was so intrigued he took a picture of it and said “it is the artist’s touch.” Since Sue is also an artist I am sure these little surprises greet him often but never fail to delight.

  6. Pingback: Gilbert & Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore,” Murnau’s “Sunrise,” Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon” and Ichikawa’s “The Makioka Sisters” on Monday Morning Diary (May 23) « Wonders in the D

  7. Daisy posted this link on FB and brought me back here again. I loved seeing your creative vision emerge and hope that you will feel replenished by your creative sabbatical.

    • Thanks Shirley and welcome to Creative Potager. That Daisy is a networking gem! She is always finding ways to put like-minded people together. I have two more days at least that I need to work on finishing a large report for our local Housing Options Task Force and then I will feel I can get back to my painting and getting the show ready. It is rather a tight schedule but I wouldn’t have missed the time with my family for anything.

  8. This is a really beautiful painting, Terrill. I love the way the roots feel. As well as the blue in the background which makes it challenging to distinguish between sea and sky. I am still trying to wrap my mind and feelings around creative down-time. Every day I have long hours of stillness and meditation, but usually find a time to create in one or two of the hours. Sam’s answer sounds really good.

    • Kathy you do an amazing job of balancing your blogging and photography with stillness and meditation. I have a great meditation mat and cushion but seldom actually sit on it. I sit on the couch by the studio and look at it while I quietly sip my morning coffee. This is my quietest time of day and I often call it my “morning coffee meditation.”

      I like your comment about not hardly being able to distinguish the sea from the sky because that is how it often is. The difference that is noticeable is because I used two different blues and then repeated some of the water blue in a deeper shade up at the top of the sky. It is a secret to getting the painting to hold together – so we should only whisper about it or everyone will be doing it 🙂

  9. ah… these colour is awesome.. those make me wanna be panted by you – an amazing artist.. 🙂
    hope you can visit my blog too, to see me when i became a queen for one


    • Wulan I was just over to “The Wedding” post you put up. What a special treat. So glad you let us know that you have pictures up.

      Dear readers, Wulan lives in Indonesia and I can certainly see where her love of fashion has come from. Do drop in for a visit as she shares about her special day.

  10. I Love that you share processes, Terrill! Beautiful painting, as always!!

    Downtime?? 😉 My creative downtime is nature-based; restorative, nurturance. 🙂

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