My Grand Studio

I have had this idea since last fall that I would like a most grand studio, one as large as the whole outdoors. What do you think?

Will this do?

I have painted en plein air over the years but not so much recently. And not so much since returning to oil painting. It is time.

Not having taken the time to put a ground on the canvas and being that an underpainting is impractical, I adapted a few squiggles for use to guide me into the painting.

As usual in my painting process, I can feel the image starting to take shape early on.

I search for patterns.

With my water miscible oil paints becoming deliciously warmed by the sun, I work. I puzzle. I work some more. Hours pass and the morning slips away.  I stand back.

The light has changed. My body and mind are pleasantly stiff from my efforts. I am done for now. It is time to pack up and take the canvas back to the studio where I can get a good look at it.

I shall let this 12 x 12 inch original oil painting, AT THE BEACH, rest for awhile and decide what, if anything, I want to do to it.

While we are musing I have an announcement. It is almost the longest day of the year – no, that is not it. It is just that, well, I need to wallow in these summer days. I need to whisk away as many routine commitments as possible. It feeds my resilience, a kind of adult playing of hooky…

I hereby give notice that Creative Potager has gone to the beach – wooden French box easel in tow. If you wish, proceed with a subscription. There will be unpredictable and sparse blog posts between now and the beginning of September. Summer speeding is prohibited and shall result in going directly to winter.

Okay, I’m a responsible hooky player. I give notice and I let you know where you can find me. If you have a few spare minutes, feel free to wander down.

Sprout question: What might be unpredictably irregular for you this summer?

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.

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From Mayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

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26 thoughts on “My Grand Studio

  1. Ha Terrill! You sure do take on-location creativity to a new level there! What better connection could you possibly make with the elements, in conjuring up a hands-on visual picture to craft your wonderous tapestries. This is the time of year when you are in maximum overdrive, and all your fans are on the glorious receiving end. “At the Beach” is magnificent – definitely my kind of oil painting! One day, when funding is possible, one day I say!

    Our vacation aspirations for the summer are still in teh planning stages. When I need a real rush though, I’ll stop over here at Creativepotager. You need the break for the coming weeks. Indeed, you should post sparingly when you are moving into creation overdrive! Have a great summer my friend!

    • Thank you Sam for the sound advice. Posting sparingly does feel right for the moment. You are so accurate about the need to stay in tune with the creative process and not try to frame it in words or images – that “making sense of it all” comes from the other side of the brain 🙂

      Your feedback Sam leaves a warm spot of appreciation for the time you take in reviewing and commenting on my work. I know in my bones that someday you shall have an original painting to call your own.

      This one is going to be a little more expensive, but not too much more, because it will come with a gorgeous floating wood frame. I will post it again in the frame when I am sure it is finished. At that time I will attach a price. Anyone who is seriously interested now can contact me directly through my email at

      Best of the summer to you Sam!

    • Thank Maureen. There is no doubt that I shall. I am fully aware that there is beauty everywhere and I sometimes think it is just a way of seeing and feeling the world. However, I admit that the Gulf islands are particularly lovely. Enjoy your summer Maureen 🙂

  2. I’d love to have a studio like that. I love being outdoors and when I take pictures (I am so not a pro) it tends to be outside, of “things” so I do have huge studio. Of course, my sewing machine doesn’t desire to be outside much so I’m going to just have to remain inside with my teeny tiny closet sized one that I do love to bits.

    Beautiful painting.

    • B @ SweetLimes welcome to Creative Potager. Your “things with wings” are awesomely engaging. I am not a pro either when it comes to photography but I think that is an advantage because a person is free to take whatever images they want and retain a learners mind – open. I have large covered decks at my house because of the strawbale and cob walls. They must be kept dry. So sometimes I take my sewing machine outside on the deck to work. It is most pleasant and the breeze drifting through the shaded area makes for fresh coolness even on the warmest summer days. Your art dolls would like it here.

  3. Terrill – And what a GRAND hooky notice it is! A delicious feast for the eyes. Thank you!

    Sprout question: What might be unpredictably irregular for you this summer?

    My hours at HolEssence. I have just switched to BY APPOINTMENT ONLY on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. If someone were to stop by without an appointment, they would find that I have “Gone Bicycling…”

    • Congratulations Laurie! What a wonderful summer plan. Good for you! I am thrill to hear you are being creatively responsible while increasing your freedom time this summer (here we are in sister mode again 🙂

      You are most welcome for the time out on the beach with me today Laurie. Always grateful to have you along.

  4. Oh, Terrill, this is enchanting!
    My secret irregular thought is to find a bike that fits my body and abilities and spend time cycling. I loved the early morning for quiet rides when I was younger and think it will be a gentle way to start my day. While it will take away from my writing time, I’ll be feeling what it’s like to be Magda, my main character, who spends half her time riding around Mayne Island on her bike. Of course, she’s just 12, but I will see the world the way she sees it and will write with new eyes.
    Lovely summer ahead. Hurrah!

    • Amber, I am almost sure this kind of time away from your writing will increase the speed in which your new book shall write itself! I will wave to you on my way to the beach as you peddle by in the opposite direction. We shall both grin one of those ear-to-ear-don’t-we-live-in-paradise kinds of grins and be on our way. A grand time will be had by all.

  5. You have the grandest studio anywhere, I think! It’s a great plan and one to be emulated. For what it’s worth, the painting is perfect!

    My summer cause all kinds of unpredictability in the normal routine. There’s harvesting veggies, planning the next crops, canning, pickling, making jellies and jams, and sometimes even making some art and blogging about it.

    • Martha I think you and I are often in the same summer flow of energy though your gardening stream is much stronger and more developed than mine. I usually just think about canning and pickling and make a few jars of blackberry jelly. But the salad greens with sprigs of bronze fennel, sage and rose blossoms, parsley, and green onion are washed and ready for tonight’s salad.

      Thank you for your feedback on the painting as well. That second opinion really helps. I like how loose it is but then got thinking maybe it was too shapeless. But this morning it seems to be just right. I guess that is what “resting” is all about. Best of the summer to you Martha 🙂

  6. Yes this will do! A grand studio.
    I do not think I dare slow down my blog and I am thinking right after the 4th of July I will launch Wise Ears – although the subscribe to the newsletter part is up and running right now – I am just having difficulties with the chat portion and the phone….but we are up and running by email…But in this part of the country one MUST get our in the sunshine when it is out…
    and it is out right now!
    Be Refreshed and renewed

    • Patricia when you are in the middle of a birthing process like you are I agree – nothing to do but push forward and get that baby born. Please drop me a note by posting on whatever post is last up when you are ready to do a shout out to world that you are up and running full steam ahead. I would love to be part of sharing the news and celebrating with you – even if my nose is slighting sun kissed from being at the beach.

  7. I am sad, but completely understand my friend.
    Visiting your blog and finding a new post will be like finding the first buds of spring.
    What is proving to be unpredictable are my muse’s demands. Two nights ago she didn’t allow me to sleep at all–well her and back pain. This morning she woke me at 4:00 Am, shouting, “Okay, get to work!”
    Terrill, did you know that the birds began to sing at 4:53 AM. I know because that’s when my muse was finished with me. She kicked me out of my chair and sent me to bed. It’s a good thing we are such good friends or I would never forgive her.
    Inspired by your grand studio, I will read outside today. : )
    (I hope my comment makes sense, if not you;ll know why.)

    • Leanne I do know that this is when the morning birds first start their song as I was up at 4:30 am a couple of days ago just before the full moon slid down behind the hill across the valley and just as the birds started to twill their morning calls. I sometimes perfectly love the curious uneven unpredictable hours of sleep – especially when there is no schedule to keep. I think that is why I love a good afternoon nap. Ah… there is nothing better. By the way, your comment makes perfect sense! We had a late breakfast outside under the trees this morning so I just know you are going to have the best day ever – reading. Enjoy! And I look forward to our by-chance meetings over the summer around the island.

  8. Another wonderful painting Terrill and what a grand studio it is. Plein Air is on my “one day” list, maybe it will be this summer. Enjoy your summer holiday, I look forward to seeing your posts when you come back refreshed and inspired with lots to share with us.


    • Melodie, it is well worth the effort to get out on site and paint. So many things are uncontrollable it forces a kind of release and spontaneity that just doesn’t seem to happen in the studio with reference material. At least that is how it works for me. An amazing experience.

      I will be here from time to time over the summer – just not sure when I shall show up. We will have to wait and see.

  9. I love your Grand studio! I use the same type of studio myself as often as I can. Nature is my muse, and her studio is always open.
    Once again I am thrilled to witness and observe your process of painting as well as your mind/thinking while being creative…
    It is good not to be tied to this space so much, even though we will miss your journey, I am sure when you feel the time to share you will do so. Grab summer while she shines, enjoy…
    My plans are usually one day at a time!

    • I like that Jeff: “Grab summer while she shines.” That is exactly how I feel. I will likely pop by now and again. Just not predictably on Monday and Friday. Best of the summer to you Jeff!

  10. Terrill, the best of all summer wishes to you! It’s been such a pleasure ….. I’ll be anticipating your return in the fall. The painting is beautiful. It brings me back home, the light, the smell of the ocean, everything west-coast and summer. Smiling and breathing deeply ………

    • Thank you Colleen and the best of the summer to you as well. I a writing this thinking about where I might go to paint in the morning and if it is overcast and looking like rain maybe I shall work in the garden instead. I love this kind of fluid flexibility!

  11. Pingback: Stage Play “Unnatural Acts,” “Bringing Up Baby,” “La Dolce Vita,” Buster Keaton and “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” on Monday Morning Diary (June 20) « Wonders in the Dark

  12. “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find resources of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson. Here’s her bio @ — a kindred spirit without question. Enjoy this summer respite, Terrill … I’m of the same mindset. What gets done will get done; what doesn’t get done, won’t. We all need time to savor and reflect, to become friendly with the invisible forces that dwell among us with great eloquence. Blessings! –Daisy

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