Reef Bay Mayne Island observation to painted experience

When do observations transform into renderings of full experiences? This is the question I ask myself while I am gathering references for my next painting. I observe. I take a total of 57 photographs. Though all are important, one later becomes my primary painting reference.

Reef Bay morning observed Dec 7 2012 by Terrill Welch 2012_12_07

What pixels actually hold the smell of the sea and cry of the gulls?

I capture a video just over a minute in length. Later I choose a piece of music to go with it.

At what point in this process of creating a video reference did I move from observing to experiencing?

I return to the studio and rummage through my blank canvases. Eventually, I  choose an 11 x 14 inch and set it upon the easel. I squeeze out the oil paint onto the palette. I listen to the video. I glance at the photograph. I pick up my brush.

Quickly and without hesitation the landscape is blocked in. Swiftly my body engages in the visceral process of painting wet-on-wet. Swish, swish and swish. I move back and forth across the studio to peer at the forms sliding off my brush onto the canvas. I remember the gray dawn with its slimness of colour.  I remember the sea, and the soft rush of water as it comes ashore. I remember the heaviness of the rocks and the salty dampness of winter seaweed. I feel the coolness of the air and the cry of the gulls. Which strokes will hold the promise of a this day? Which strokes carry the sounds and the material weight of substance? Which strokes follow the soft light across the seascape. Oh, how I wonder!

Then it is done.

Too soon my logic bullies. There must be more!

But, two days have passed. I have not touched the canvas, not because technical correction would not lead to a more accurate rendering of the physical setting. Rather I do not alter the painting because nothing more is needed to render the fulness of my experience. It is done.

Reef Bay morning experienced Dec 7 2012 11 x 14 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2012_12_09 069

REEF BAY MORNING EXPERIENCED December 7, 2012 – 14 x 18 inch oil on canvas

Oh, I will photograph it again once it is completely dry and on a brighter day. But the painting of the painting is done. If I want to do more it shall be on another canvas.

What observations are you currently rendering into the fulness of your experience?

It is December 9th today and the great room is in disarray with packages to be wrapped and shipped. It is the time for this artist to begin her holiday break. I shall be back in the New Year to share more painting and photography adventured.

For now, the best of the holiday season to you and yours – one and all!

ONLINE GALLERIES with Terrill Welch paintings and photography include-

Xanadu Studio Gallery for large original paintings

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

8 thoughts on “Reef Bay Mayne Island observation to painted experience

  1. Happy Holidays to you and David, Terrill. I most enjoyed that atmospheric video and the haunting music you added. It brings some motion to the original canvas on the Mayne Island shore. Like you Lucille and I am thinking about gifts and holiday plans.

    The best!

    • The best indeed Sam! I can imagine that you Lucille and your children are still feeling the trauma of Hurricane Sandy even though your immediate safety prevailed. I recently watch a photograph album on Reuters and as we don’t have TV found the devastation far greater than I had previously imagined. May your holidays be all that you wish.

  2. Pingback: Wagner and Me, The Central Park Five, Hitler’s Children, Edward Scissorhands and huge honor for David Schleicher on Monday Morning Diary (December 10) « Wonders in the Dark

  3. Terrill –

    “…nothing more is needed to render the fulness of my experience. It is done.”

    I love that!

    What observations are you currently rendering into the fulness of your experience?

    They have to do with the SEA, as you shall SEE on Tues the 18 — a week from tomorrow’s post 🙂

    • A week from tomorrow… Laurie do we have too!? So long! Well, I know that pleading and whining is not likely to get us very far so wait we shall 🙂 Take good care Laurie and best of the holiday season to you.

  4. Pingback: Connecticut Tragedy, The Hobbit, Hyde Park on the Hudson, Dickens December and John Garfield Petition on Monday Morning Diary (December 17) « Wonders in the Dark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.