ALONE BY THE SEA original oil painting by Terrill Welch

Don’t even ask what I was supposed to be doing this Friday because whatever it was it isn’t done. Instead, I worked on this new 20 x 20 inch oil on canvas painting that is of East Point on Saturna Island and one of Canada’s newest national parks. I took some artistic license and made the building slightly taller than it is in real live. Other than that the scene would be most recognizable to anyone who had walked out to the end of the point during a low tide and then looked back towards land.

This painting is in answer to a request by an admirer of my paintings. She asked if I could paint something with bright colours and maybe more contrast. We exchanged several posts as I remarked on how my subject – the southwest coast of Canada, is often quiet and the contrasts subtle. But I accepted her request as a challenge and asked that she leave it with me. I have been wanting to paint this particular scene for a while and I thought it would be a perfect with its deep shadows under the bank and in the crevices of the sandstone. It was a good painting problem and I greatly enjoyed saying one of artist Gabriel Boray pieces of painting advice over and over as I worked – exaggerate,  exaggerate exaggerate! This led to a whole other internal dialogue about my propensity to understate. So when all the tensions, struggles and musings had finished playing themselves out on the canvas this is what I am left with. Oh I might play a little with it yet but mostly I think it is ready to be set aside to rest. Enjoy!

UPDATE June 10, 2012: I played with the painting more than just a little based on the following feedback from colleague and artist Lena Levin

In your painting, the building looks a bit like a child drawing. I think it fits, in a way, — in that it kind of conveys your feeling of it sticking out, as though a man has been childishly modifying the nature, which looks mature and much more solid and eternal.

But just in case this look wasn’t intentional and you want to change it, it is due mainly to distortion of perspective (horizontals of the building don’t converge on the horizon line) and, as far as I can see from the photo, the lack of variation in the red of the roof (also probably the fact that two planes of the building are of the same value, as though it’s flat).

I did want the building to enhance that feeling of temporary tension between human habitation and the landscape. However, I also wanted the building to be somewhat believable. So I went back in this morning and made some minor adjustments which then led to a few other changes leaving us with what I hope is now the final painting. The building now looks much more like the actual building on this historic site. My thanks goes out to the Lena for her critical observation.

I also had a nice surprise this week. One of my small paintings “Morning” sold at the Green House Bar and Grill. I hadn’t even had a chance to show it to you yet.  However, I am going to do a separate post showing just the small paintings and will include it with these.

SPROUT: When was the last time you were glad your Friday went sideways?

© 2012 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

14 thoughts on “ALONE BY THE SEA original oil painting by Terrill Welch

  1. Terrill – i love it, I Love It, I LOVE IT! It oh-so reminds me of my dream cottage in the Highlands of Scotland. FANTABULOUS!

    SPROUT: When was the last time you were glad your Friday went sideways?

    Yesterday, but I can’t tell you why. Just yet…

    • Oh I am going to be curious to here what it might be Laurie. By the way I think can be unzipped now. I do not yet have the results of the MRI but they said there was no rush to come in. That seems like good news to me… though it does not likely me any change for the ringing in my left ear.

  2. The painting has me thinking like Robert Duvall’s character in the episode of “Miniature” when the mild-mannered mid-30’s momma’s boy visited an art museum in Manhattan every day to gaze upon a turn of the century doll house, imagining himself as one of the characters living out his life in love and bliss. I hereby wish I could be in your painting living in that rustic house by the sea, immersing myself in nature and quiet solitude. Well, at least for a while anyway!

    Lovely atmospheric painting to stand with your most distinguished.

    I went horizontal this past Saturday as per normal routine when Lucille and I watched a buffo documentary on the famed 70’s songwriter Paul Williams, who was on hand to moderate a Q & A and sign posters and other items. Williams has been sober for nearly 20 years after a long battle with drug abuse and alcoholism, and he was frank about discussion the problems. He’s about as witty, personable and down-to-earth person you’d ever want to meet, and he deserves applause both for what he did in his career and how he exorcised his demons.

    • That is a great connection Sam and I hope the updated painting does not diminish this relationship. The actual building very much has a doll house presentation – almost too pretty. But as you know I keep taking photographs of it with a consistency that even surprises me. Maybe it is like the Duvall’s character where the imagination becomes so engaged that we are compelled to visit again and again.

      For everyone who is following along in the comments – the post has been update with an image of the revised painting inspired by the feedback from a fellow artist Lena Levin.

  3. Pingback: Spaghetti Western Festival, Paul Williams Still Alive, Prometheus, Willy Wonka and Harry Potter on Monday Morning Diary (June 11) « Wonders in the Dark

  4. Pingback: Spaghetti Western Bonanza, Salo, William Wyler blogothon and John Garfield petition on Monday Morning Diary (June 18) « Wonders in the Dark

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