Interview with Terrill Welch by Bill Maylone

It is not the cover of the Rolling Stones but for Mayne Island it is the next best thing. It is the kind of coverage that a person casually hands a copy over to family with a smile and a shrug. I figure blog friends are a close second to family when it comes to being supportive. So with a quiet, lopsided grin… following is an interview by Bill Maylone for our local monthly magazine – the MayneLiner. Plus, my oil painting “Henderson Hill” made the cover.

Bill knows art and is an excellent writer so I was thrilled when he asked to come by and see the paintings for the STUDY of BLUE solo exhibition and to interview me for an article. Enjoy!


TCAC (Trincomali Community Arts Council)

Art On Mayne by Bill Maylone

Terrill Welch, who is active in the Trincomali Community Council and other Mayne Islandgroups, is an accomplished painter, photographer and writer. She has sold paintings to patrons as far away as New York and Switzerland. Her method of working and her finished work intimately reflects her relationship to her subjects. Terrill moved to Mayne Island with her partner, David Colussi, in May 2007. “I need to have access to a natural world and to have a relationship with the environment”. Looking down from her back deck, in a view framed by large Douglas fir trees, eagles fly in wide spirals above Meadowmist Farm. Its fields and meadows are dotted with sheep and deer, and beyond Heck Hill across the valley, a distant squall sweeps across Navy Channel. Here, and in her exploration of the Southern Gulf Islands, she finds the inspiration and the subject matter for her work as an artist.

She always carries a camera when she’s exploring the Islands. “Digital photography really changed the way I go about painting. It was never practical to take a lot of photos of a subject for reference because of the cost and time and inconvenience of chemical photography. So I’d draw a lot of sketches at a location to try to capture the essence of a place or a subject to help me remember what it was like and what I saw. Reference photos are useful, but you need to take a lot of them. I’ve taken up to 120 for one painting. Each one gives you a different angle on the subject, but no single one captures what I try to express through the painting that ultimately ends up on the canvas.”

She begins a painting by exuberantly spreading a thin layer of blue, cadmium yellow or orange paint across a canvas or hardboard surface. One advantage she finds in using oils is that they dry slowly, allowing her lots of time to play with the paint and gradually work recognizable shapes out of the suggestive abstract forms on the surface. The technique, known as underpainting, creates a foundation on which other layers of paint are built upon. It also sets up a basic emotional tone through the use of colour.

The painting process is an active and physical one for Terrill, and it relates to how she perceives her subjects. “I like to work standing up because it lets me dance around the painting and look at it from a variety of perspectives. When you visit a place, you don’t see it from just one angle; every time you take a step or move your head, new parts are revealed to you. The place itself is active, too: the waves and clouds are always changing. The wind moves the leaves. The light is different each moment.”

She works the whole canvas at once, which tends to give her pieces a strong sense of unity. She explains, “I don’t worry about trying to get some detail just right. It’s bringing along the entire painting as a whole that’s important.” What emerges is not intended to be a photorealistic image, but an impressionistic and emotional picture of not only what she sees, but of what she feels about the subject. “The painting I create reveals my relationship to a place.”

Her solo exhibition titled, “Study of Blue”, a collection of new and recent paintings, opens at the Oceanwood Resort at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 30th, and it runs until July 27th.
Why blue? “It’s a personal thing. There’s something deeply emotional to me about blue. It’s a visceral experience that I want to share with others.”….


Note: This article was published in the MayneLiner Magazine Volume 21 – Number 6, June 2011 on page 51. It has been posted here with permission.


Sprout question: If you could be interviewed by anyone, who would it be and why?


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.

FromMayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at

23 thoughts on “Interview with Terrill Welch by Bill Maylone

  1. Terrill,

    You seem to be in the stream of artistic flow right now! Congratulations, great interview, much of your process you have share here on you blog and it is what makes your art so “real” and personal, you have a conscious relationship to it and to those who will be viewing it!

    Who would I wish to be interviewed by? You. Terrill Welch! Because you have sense of who I am and what my photography is about!

    • I am smiling Jeff because when you know make a request, quite often you know what happens? It is fulfilled. We shall have to see what we can do about me interviewing you. I would be delighted to make an attempt at capturing what I treasure about your work and who you are. I am putting the idea in my summer stewing pot that will be stirred again in the fall. And I am honoured to be have such a wish placed front and center for consideration.

      There does seem to be this stream of artistic flow right now Jeff – one that I can float in with an inner-tube of delight and interest… warm and lazy but moving with refreshing laughter. I invite other creative beings to join me.

    • Daisy I am going to have a lovely sip of wine and a nibble for all my guest who will be there in spirit. It will be a collective sip and nibble otherwise I will be falling down from imbibing and being over stuffed with bites! Having met and made new friends like yourself this year as I worked away is a treasured part of my creative efforts. It gives me courage and confidence to relax into such a large undertaking as a solo exhibition of this size. No matter what happens, I will go into this opening at my best and a big part of that is because of my online community encouragement and support.

      Thank you Daisy. Thank you all!

    • Thank you Alison and maybe someday 🙂 I was just over and read your post “When the left shoe drops” and I think about the light that has come through some of the dark shades in my life over the past few years. I think about what is ahead as life naturally narrows towards death or it may be a fast unexpected funnel – either way I shall have lived! For that I am grateful. To have know and exchanged parts of that living with people like you Alison is one of the great blessing of living. Thank you for being you.

  2. If I could be interviewed by anyone, it would be Bill Maylone. What a wonderful review, Terrill, full of insights and surprises. And yes, he did interview me, and you’ll be reading all about my creative process in an upcoming Mayneliner.

    It’s interesting what a good interviewer can bring out, how your very private, inner world can be shared with others so that they can perhaps more easily identify and access their own creativity. This is a gift, and one that Bill Maylone certainly has.

    I feel I know you as an artist much better now, and that’s something I really value.

    • Ah yes Amber, I will be looking forward to reading the next interview with you by Bill Maylone. Congratulations! You are so right He is a gifted interviewer. We are fortunate to have his talents available on our small island.

  3. Pingback: Daily Painting – June 27 « Le Art Studio

  4. WHOOHOO! (My yell of delight was loud enough for you to hear all the way over there). It was followed by a mad cap happy dance!

    This is a FANTASTIC interview, Terrill. Simply FANTASTIC! I read it through twice.

    Sprout question: If you could be interviewed by anyone, who would it be and why?

    That’s easy — SAM JULIANO of Wonders in the Dark. I had that recent privilege in May and he made it a complete and total blast!

    Terrill, your big exhibit is coming up this Thursday. I’l be think, Think, THINKIN about you!

    • I did hear it Laurie and so did the 40 or so guests at last nights opening because it was behind my laugh of delight watch people stepping up to a painting then stepping back. Then going on to the next, only to come back again to show a friend one they had found particularly interesting. I remember your interview and my own with Sam. He shines an extraordinary truth finding light of recognition and curious wonder on those he interviews. We were very lucky 🙂

  5. By now the exhibit is finished, and I can’t wait to hear the glowing report! The interview was wonderful indeed and especially provocative. I connect too with the color blue. It seems like you are a natural with interviews Terrill, and Bill Maylone has made an invaluable addition to both the Terrill Welch and Mayne Island literature!

    This is a glorious time for you, and I wish you and David the greatest success.

    Laurie, as always you are a peach and I am blushing at that testimonial from you.

    I prefer to be the interviewer, rather than the one interviewed. Ha!

    • Well Sam you are right. It is the morning after the opening of Study of Blue. The even was success. As I mentioned to Laurie, more than 40 guests came by to examine and appreciate the goods. The FIR TREE SKY painting sold bringing the total to four so far in solo exhibition.

      Paintings painted are like books written. Once they are released, they are no long yours but have an identity all their own. They live lives and have adventures on wall and in homes, lobbies and offices completely unrelated to their creators. This is the experience of moving a painting from the studio to hang on an exhibition wall. Once there, the painting must face the crowd and stand on its own. Thankfully these did and thrived on the experience.

  6. Pingback: “Terri,” Eric Rohmer’s “Le Rayon Vert,” “Summer Wars,” Buster Keaton and Sachin Gandhi on Tuesday Morning Diary (July 5) « Wonders in the Dark

  7. This is really a great interview, Terrill. Congratulations! It feels like your life is like a painting, and you can feel the richness and texture of it. Hope you enjoy your summer…

    Oh, as for the interview question, my dream came true after being interviewed for the year-long outdoor blog commitment. The interview was printed in seven daily papers in downstate Michigan. I was over the moon! Thank you for askign us.

  8. Pingback: “Project Nim,” “The Double Hour,” “Planet of the Apes (1968)” and New York Asian Film Festival on Monday Morning Diary (July 11) « Wonders in the Dark

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