SEA AND CLOUDS original oil painting by Terrill Welch

About a month ago I set a day aside to paint a new work SEA AND CLOUDS. I had completed the underpainting already and it was simply sitting there in its 36 X 36 inch glory tempting me to pick up the brushes.

It was a big canvas and the day was pleasant so I decided to work on the side deck. I have a rather odd approach I guess to setting up my palette. I start fresh each time and choose all the colours I am going to use before I start painting. In this case I used one of my photographs as a reference point. From there it is a matter of mixing which I often do on the canvas as much as I do on my palette.  So here is what the paints look like as I start painting.

Next it is a matter of getting some paint on the canvas.

And a bit more I think…

and some more paint!

Three hours later I start to build up the image.

I work without thinking – breath after breath I move the paint with brush and palette knife over the canvas. I move the canvas to avoid shadows. But at last I must stop. I am out of light.

I move the wet canvas to another deck and capture a late-in-the-day image of the painting in progress.

For the past month I have mused and walked by this painting almost everyday. What is it that I need to do? What will pull these pieces together into a completed work? Oh I grumbled and I worked on photographs. I thought and then one day it came to me. I knew exactly what had to happen. I set aside the morning and finished the painting.

SEA AND CLOUDS 36 X 36 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 

Update October 6, 2012 : This painting is now SOLD.  Other paintings currently available can be viewed in the Artwork Archives online Gallery HERE.

Sprout Question: How long have you waited for the right combination of information to finish a creative work?


© 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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18 thoughts on “SEA AND CLOUDS original oil painting by Terrill Welch

  1. Cool….I get to be first……I absolutely love this one

    Seeing the process more makes me wonder if I could be more creative !!!

    I guess there are a lot of thing that bring me to this moment

    • Well I think that Chris may end up being first Kim but I had to approve his comment so you couldn’t have know. Of course you can be more creative! We all can. It is just a matter of making it a priority over anything else. I watch a movie about the French artist Seraphine de Senlis who was a house cleaner and made her own paints when she started. She couldn’t even hardly keep up with her rent of one room and painted with her canvas laying on the floor.

      If a person ever wonders what is creatively possible and needs inspiration I highly recommend watching Seraphine (2008) directed by Martin Provost.

  2. Terrill – There’s something EXTREMELY ALLURING about the photograph where a “wedge” of sunlight is coming in from the left as you look at it. I can’t say what it is exactly (somewhat haunting?)…but to my eyes, it’s rather remarkable.

    I really, Really, REALLY enjoy the soft yellow(s) that you’ve blended into both the sky and the sea.

    Sprout Question: How long have you waited for the right combination of information to finish a creative work?

    Hmmmmmm, the shortest I’ve waited is “Bam!” — it happened right in the moment. But the longest I’ve waited is about two years (but worth every speck of waiting).

    Make it a great weekend! Thoroughly enjoy the SALISH SEA SUNDAY SAVINGS event 🙂

    • Thanks Laurie. That yellow was very fun to work with and not have it turn to green with the blues. Two years is a good long time. I am also pleased to hear you are enjoying the Salish Sea Savings events. I am as well 🙂

  3. I was curiously looking for beauty and found it here…Thank you…also for a new oven, I am curiously looking – have not found it….found listening at holessence and roosters, money, youth, at other sites.

    It was such an amazingly successful linking journey…I wrote a whole post a bout it for Monday…

    Thank you for adding to my explorations.

    • Well hope you found the oven as well Patricia. I really miss it when I don’t have working oven. And you have me very curious about your Monday post. Making note to self to be sure to stop by.

  4. So I would have to call this Sky Yellow, Terrill 🙂 Wow, just fabulous!! Love the “as above, so below” theme … captivating colors and impact. Congrats on your wonderful success with this painting. And happy weekend. –Daisy

    • You always have such good titles for my paintings Daisy. I think I am going to have to leave them unnamed and invite you over to lead a naming ceremony or something. And thank you! Best of the weekend to you as well.

    • It is a bit of glimpse anyway Leanne. There is a lot missing as I can’t hold the camera and brush at the same time. I also tend to get completely embedded in my work once the foundation is in place. I do not want to stop, talk or even rest at that stage. Pssst! and that is where all the really interesting things happen.

  5. Terrill, Thank you for sharing your process. Painting is very foreign to me. I’m fascinated.
    You ask how long?…. Lately things have been coming easier, but it’s not unusual for me to set something down, in plain sight for a few weeks until it speaks. xoxo Terah

    • Oh I know that process well Terah. Some say keep working whether it feels like it is time or not. I say leave that piece and work on another until whatever has me stuck sorts itself out. As you can see I am always working and creating something so it doesn’t have to be the on the piece that is sulking in the corner with its narrow little eyes following me around the room just daring me to pick up the brush.

  6. Hi Terrill,
    It is such fun to see the painting as it progresses. I love the way the sunlight dances along the water in the final shot.
    I think I left one painting for over two years before I came back to it, and then it was finished in two hours!! An extreme example, but I, too, tend to set a piece a work aside if it is not quite right and let it rest and return with a fresh eye at a later date. Take care, Sue

    • Thanks Sue. It was kind of like that with this one as well. The final bit of painting took no time at all. I sometimes think that I haven’t learned what I need to finish a work when it “hangs up” like that. I am finding the same with some of my photography as well. I am learning so many new editing techniques now that I can go back and do a much better job and even recover some favourites that didn’t quite work with what I new at the time. Other times, it just seems to take time to be able to see differently and give up on my vision and see the painting if that makes any sense 🙂

    • My studio is really very small Kirstie particularly with several large canvases hanging around. But I do love it. I can leave everything and not have to put it away to make dinner which was the case for many, many years.

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