SLICED WITH A TEAR autumn oil painting and process by Terrill Welch

There is something about autumn by the sea with the gray melancholy wrapped in fall colours.

Do you remember my recent post called “Autumn Sliced with a Tear” and the photograph of the maple trees by the sea?

Do you remember me saying – “today is one of those slow-baked, melancholy west coast Sundays, so moist and tender you can slice it with a tear?”

For about a month I painted and repainted this scene in my mind – maybe a thousand times. I adjusted and readjusted my approach solving one painting problem and then another.

Finally, I pull out an extra-large 36 x 60 inch canvas (that is 3 x 5 feet or just plain BIG) and begin with the underpainting.

They never look like much at this stage but I find it an extremely useful step particularly when working on large paintings. I can now start working up the painting…

The canvas is shiny with wet paint but I can already feel the bruised coolness of fall in the sky and on the water. I keep working and building up the paint.

Days have now past with my dreams waking me up early to paint for many of my waking hours. I am consumed with the transitions between light and shadow and form.

The details show the looseness of easy strokes with two and one inch brushes.

There is the leaves against the sky on the far top right. Nothing but swathes of golden colour added to the sky with a hint of branches to hold them in place.

Then there is the clatter of colour near one of the main tree trunks a the top near the left side of the painting, colours that must roll over and under each other bringing the leaves forward in the painting towards the viewer.

Up close, we see nothing but wild and loose, meandering brushstrokes across the canvas. I like to paint wet-on-wet or ala prima and work a whole canvas up at once. This is no small task on a canvas of this size. But it can be done though it is often not the only painting approached used just because of the grand scale of the canvas. For example, even using this approach it took more than one sitting or painting session to complete this painting.

Finally, my brush and the painting comes to rest. Let’s stand back and have a good look at the whole canvas and see what we find.

I think it is complete, finished, done. Now it must rest and I reserve the right to make any changes that come begging to me during this time. So it is not for sale yet. However, I will let you know when it is. In the meantime feel free to browse through current work that is available at the links below.

UPDATE February 7, 2013

Well, I thought it was done but over the past but over the last couple of months I have made a few changes. Here is the now completed painting…

Sliced with a Tear 36 x 60  inch oil on canvas  by Terrill Welch 2013_01_25 115

It is not going to be released anytime soon for sale as I am keeping it in my Artist’s collection for now.
Sprout: If you could be anywhere under a fall sky where would you want to be?

P.S. This is an early warning that Creative Potager will be making some changes in the New Year. They are not big changes but ones that I hope you will welcome as I re-purpose the intent of this blog to reflect the changes in my own focus of providing an online studio experience of work for readers. More on this soon.

ONLINE GALLERIES with Terrill Welch paintings and photography include-

Artsy Home for most original oil paintings currently available

Redbubble for photography prints, greeting cards and posters

Current Local Mayne Island VENUES –

Green House Restaurant – small original oil paintings and photography prints

Farm Gate Store – one large painting

And by appointment at Terrill Welch’s home studio

© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch Artist website at

14 thoughts on “SLICED WITH A TEAR autumn oil painting and process by Terrill Welch

  1. Wow.
    Wowee Kazowee!

    Tall, willowy women, arms outstretched as they grace the sea with bittersweet and carmel-colored leaves (that’ what I see)…

    I just came by after visiting Kathy Drue’s blog where she, too, is changing direction with her blog 🙂

    Sprout: If you could be anywhere under a fall sky where would you want to be?

    Today I’m exceptionally glad to be snug as a bug in a rug in my own little house with a banked fire in the woodburning stove. Ahhhhh, there’s no place like home….

    • Oh I like THAT analogy of this painting Laurie. I too dropped over to Kathy’s blog for a read. I think it is inevitable that blogs change from time-to-time. I just feel the need to freshen things up and streamline the focus a bit. Kind of like – what am I really wanting to accomplish here? The answer is that these blogging efforts should provide a deeper window into my creative process for both my painting and photography. It still may mean taking viewers on walks with me but the intent is to build on the relationship between my work and collectors of these pieces. I know I have and continue to do this but I believe I can do a better job for this audience. So I am beginning to consider just how I want to do this. Part of the challenge is that the various platforms I present my work sometimes leaving me feeling like “I have already said that” before I ever get to the blog post. I am going to see how I can define content that is seen here first – like the details posted in today’s painting post. Anyway, still musing, but I am sure of one thing. It is going to be different.

  2. The photo was one of favourites. And you’ve captured it so well in paint. You truly are a master.
    To answer,
    I like to live in the house of dreams–with this painting on a feature wall, possibly between two windows (that offer a panoramic view of the sea).

  3. I just love it when you walk us through a painting – lovely and fun – an adventure

    I am just home from a week away and the drive way was full of cedar boughs and plum leaves and the dog run well full of apple leaves. I had to sweep away the mess of a heavy rain storm while we were away. Brisk and cold work in the fog to sunshine, but it felt good to be cleaning it up.

    Always a pleasure to pause here. Leaves and all!

    • So glad you did Patricia – leaves and all 🙂 I am away for the first part of this week visiting with one of my grandsons while his parents take his baby brother on an overnight adventure. My companion is just 21 months old. I think leaves are his favourite part of nature except for rocks and maybe sticks. But leaves, I am confident, hold one of the top three positions for pure joy and appreciation.

  4. I have always been a sucker for colored leaves during the fall, with burnished reds, and bright yellows. Climate changes have shortened the annual window for such developments but standing near a tree and admiring this visual delight of October and November has always resulted in an incomparable sensory experience.

    • This painting is growing on me more each day Sam. I have a few tiny things I will go in and adjust and I must paint the edges. But then it is done. I know I am going to have a hard time parting with it so will likely delay putting it on the market for a while. I am guessing that climate change is something that will likely make my capturing of our current environment more meaningful in the future.

  5. Well, over two months later I have updated this post and included a photograph of the now finished painting “Sliced with a Tear.” It is not going to be released for sale anytime soon because I am putting it in my “Artist’s collection” for the time being.

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