Why I hung a $2,420 original oil painting for sale at our local Farm Gate grocery store.

Does it seem odd to you that I would accept an invitation to hang one of my large fine art original oil paintings in a grocery store? Well, let me explain. The Mayne Island Farm Gate store is not just any old place you go to get your fruit, vegetables, dairy meat, eggs and other delicious goods. Farm Gate has the finest of fine of everything that is local or just plain excellent.

Take the frozen meat cooler for instance stocked with local organic grass-fed beef, succulent lamb, decadent chicken and more.

A stew for Farm Gate with its delicate vegetables fresh from the garden is a stew to remember.

But the Farm Gate story is not just about what is good to buy. Farm Gate is about what is good about us. Most places on Mayne Island are friendly and helpful but Farm Gate takes community, friends and family to the very heart of our experience.

A coffee anyone?

Or maybe you would like to take a pound of this micro-roasted organic, fair-trade, shade-grown, bird-friendly black gold home instead?

How many of you actually know the person who makes the hummus in your local grocery store? How many of you would be delighted rather than surprised when that same person saw your vehicle in the parking lot and came in to say ‘hello” complete with an island-size hug?

Since we were both there it was a great photo opportunity. Just in from gardening here is Barbara at her working best.

Barbara McIntyre of Nomadic Routes Inc. is the same Barbara that is showing her photography at the Green House Restaurant with me. By the way, we are hanging a new show this afternoon if you want to drop in, have a bite and say hello. But back to hummus – Barbara’s organic Moroccan Hummus is a reason all by itself to stop by Farm Gate. Or you may prefer one of her kayak-travel-proof-decorated-wax-covered-chocolate-truffles. Delicious! Sssssppttt! There on the left end of the checkout counter – an easy reach. No one will say anything if you buy three.

In fact, some things at Farm Gate are so good they have to be shared with friends far away. On Laurie Buchanan’s Speaking from the Heart blog post today she tells about receiving a package from me in the mail. For those of you that know us both, it is no surprise that we have an equal passion for the precious cargo sent by air mail and arriving in a plain brown package.

When Don and Shanti, the owners of Farm Gate, asked if I would be interested in hanging some of my original oil paintings I hesitated for a second. Not because it was a grocery store but because it was such a fine grocery store. The walls are spacious with high ceiling and already well appointed with their own collection of fine art. So I thought about the work I had available at the close of the STUDY of BLUE solo exhibition which was showing at the Oceanwood Restaurant and Inn. I decided I had two pieces that were large enough and would fit well in the store. There was the painting ONE shown here and KEEPING WATCH a painting of the same size (and same price) – but it sold that same week. So when I brought ONE to hang in the spot we had agreed, even though it is 24 X 36 inches, it looked rather lost in the large space above the door next to the 25 pound bags of floor on the back wall.

Don came by as I was finishing up and said “I think you are going to need a bigger sign than that – something that actually says in big letters FOR SALE. You need to catch people’s attention.”

Don was right. The small gallery sign I had was not going to do it. So off I went to make a new sign. When I came back my painting had been upgraded. Yes, just like in a fine hotel, it now had the premium suite. They had moved one of their own collector pieces to the original location of my painting and placed ONE front and centre in the best light, with the best exposure. I was overwhelmed by the gesture. Imagine someone taking the time and creativity to think through what would work best to show my work.

That is the kind of place Farm Gate is. Besides fine groceries and fine art, the Farm Gate store is about being fine people –where your best interests are their best interests. Friendly and caring does not adequately describe this kind of lived intention. It is with great pleasure and equal honour that my original oil paint ONE hangs for sale at the Farm Gate Store.

I am sure that along with your freshly picked white cucumbers, basket of raspberries and lamb burgers for the BBQ, Erin would be happy to accept a cheque made out to Terrill Welch for the sum of $2,420 and help you package ONE for safe transport to your own fine Mayne Island retreat or other far away destination of equal fine taste. But those two little packages on the bottom far left. You can’t have those. That is David and mine’s lunch – grill zucchini, onion, and red pepper with goat cheese on a freshly baked organic croissant.  Huuuttt! I see you! Okay, you can have a bite.

There is a verse in one of Muriel Rukeyser poem’s “The Speed of Darkness” that comes to mind:

Time comes into it.

Say it.       Say it.

The universe is made of stories,

not of atoms.

I am so pleased to be part of the Farm Gate story.

Sprout question: What stories are you pleased to be part of?

© 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

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

20 thoughts on “Why I hung a $2,420 original oil painting for sale at our local Farm Gate grocery store.

  1. Terrill – I feel like I can reach out and take items right from your photographs and place them in a shopping bag slung over my arm. That’s how “in the store” these pictures are. I’m telling you, I can SMELL the coffee!

    I’ve enjoyed three pieces of …(you know what, but you’re readers will have to swing over to Speaking from the Heart to find out) and it’s just like heaven. I don’t chew — I just let it sit in my mouth and float me away.

    Sprout question: What stories are you pleased to be part of?

    I’m tickled pink to have been included in the story you shared here today. I like stories with happy endings. .

    • Oh I am so glad Laurie. That was the idea – just walk you right and show you around. It is an amazing place to have right here at home. I can’t believe your restraint – there pieces! Wow. Yes readers are going to have to come on over to your blog if they want to know what has be floating you around 😉

      Life is always better in the company of friends. Mmmmaaaaaawwww!

  2. Aw, what a lovely story. You are so right. Farm Gate is an amazing store run by amazingly thoughtful, caring people. You know there’s a lot of love that goes into all they do. Thanks for sharing the story of your experience, Terrill. I have no story to add here. Yours is sufficient.

    • Well I am hoping you are not the only one Maureen. I actually have my heart set on a buyer coming in and saying they just can’t leave without THAT painting. So here is to making a wish and seeing if it will come true.

  3. The only thing that comes to mind for me Terrill, is that I am pleased to be a part of YOUR story. . . .heat-warming indeed to see your wonderful work in a place that serves up exceptional nurishment. . .and I want some of that coffee too, do they ship??

    • I don’t know about shipping Alison. One of the things about a store that focuses on as much local as possible is that it is just that – local. It is made local and sold local to create less wear-and-tear on our environment and to give the customer the highest quality product possible. But here is the link to the wholesale page for the coffee supplier http://www.milezerocoffee.com/Reviews.html You never know. Let us in on what you find out.

  4. Nah…it doesn’t surprise me T. You’re about what feels right, not formality or what feels right to anyone else. If I know you, (in a short space of time across the net), it’s about the people and the vibe. So no – try surprise us with something else.

    And what a beeeeeeeautiful antique McClary cooker in said store. The oil painting ain’t bad either ; )

    • Pea you caught be out as usual. Glad you loved the stove and liked the painting too 😉 So I will see if I can work on something that will really surprise you another time. However, I tend to be pretty consistent. I only manage to really surprise someone about once or twice in their life time.

  5. I am pleased to be part of this story, even though I am not in it, I resonate with your joy and wonderment! Holy Wow!
    Another reason I think I would move up your way… I so wish to be in this type of energy!

    • Jeff you know people are pretty much people no matter where they are in the world. Yes there are cultural differences in how we express ourselves but I tend to find pleasant, carrying, and helpful people most places I go. Mayne Island is also like any other small community – it can get mean and nasty and wrapped up in a scarcity mindset just like any place else. That is just not where I choose to put my energy. I choose to look for peoples strengths and build on those rather than their little warty parts – which we all have. So my suggest would be to find the Mayne Island you like in my blogs right at your own doorstep. It is there – might be that no one has weeded and watered it lately. Maybe it has grown over with brambles from neglect but it is there.

      • Terrill,

        You are correct people are people no matter where they are in the world and it is our response and creativity around them that allows for the experience to be one way or another.
        Little by little I seek those places, allowing myself to be present and purposeful. Thank you for reminding me!

  6. Terrill, What an awesome place! I love the “feel” of the store and your painting. A perfect match in the place of honor. Fine people, fine groceries, fine art, fine artist!! Terah

    • Terah, I think technically it is a produce store as it doesn’t have all the extra things that a standard grocery store has – like you won’t find matches, laundry soap and other none food items in the isles – wouldn’t be good to take a bite out of my painting though, a little hard on the digestion. But for the purposes of my story… “grocery store” seemed right. And thank you 🙂

  7. Pingback: Creative Island Retreat Home for you? « Creativepotager's Blog

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