Capturing the Emotion of the Canadian Landscape is No Easy Task

Share Your Love of Art! Share Your Love of Canada!

ARABELLA invites you to become a part of our Great Canadian Landscape Painting contest!  Register and cast your vote for your favourite artists and their works!

A while back, I was invited to consider competing in the Arabella Canadian Landscape Contest. The six year old Arabella magazine had made an audacious proposal to tell Canada’s story through contemporary art by creating an outstanding collection of current works that examine the emotional power of landscape art in shaping Canadian identity with a full sense of past, present and future. Though I do not usually bother with art competition, with a proposal like this how could I refuse?

The contest is now at a point where I need your help. The Exhibit of over 100 participating artists and 300 paintings is now open for voting and commenting in the People’s Choice Award. I would greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to register, vote and comment on my three paintings that are part of this Canadian landscape art competition. Also, if you could share this blog post in your networks I will be ever-so-grateful. The direct link to my three paintings in the competition is at

The paintings that I submitted will be familiar to most of you. They are:

SLICED WITH A TEAR – 36 X 60 inch oil on canvas

RHYTHM OF THE SEA EDITH POINT – 20 x 40 inch oil on canvas

And EVENING AND THE ARBUTUS TREE 36 x 60 inch oil on canvas

To register to vote and comment on these paintings in this Canadian landscape art competition, go to the Login details on the upper left on my competition page HERE. I know registering, voting and commenting in an art competition is a lot to ask. However, a comrade on Google Plus has helped me to reframe this request with his comment as follows:

It is hard to ask of others for some people – I’m one and you are as well. But you are really not asking for anything..You are giving it!  If you did not post this I would never have known or suspected that I could make a difference in your world other [than] by comments.  You are giving me a way to thank you that I never had.  Your paintings and musings make me feel good and take me away from concrete and glass.  For this I am grateful and am in your debt–not vice versa..   Someday I’m going to see you in the McMichael*….You deserve to be there!

By Dennis Rogers

* Renowned for collecting only Canadian art, the McMichael Gallery permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, Emily Carr, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other artists who have made a contribution to the development of Canadian art.

Isn’t this a nice way to look at my asking you to drop by register, vote and comment on my paintings that are in the competition? Since so many of you are regular readers and often comment here on the blog I decided to be brave and ask for your support. So thank you and special thanks to those of you who have already dropped in voted and commented. I deeply appreciate the effort.

Your votes will count in determining the winner of the People’s Choice Award, just one of the great prizes being offered in this contest.  All prizes will be awarded in August 2013 at the conclusion of the jurying process. Please note that in order to vote you must register an account. Email data requested is only used for the contest and will not be used for any other purpose.

Now I am going to do something that may seem odd for a participant in a nation-wide art competition. I am going to share with you a few favourite works by other artists. I feel that these works collectively do a brilliant job of fulfilling the task of expressing the emotional impact of the Canadian Landscape. I have hyperlinked each artist’s name so that you can go directly to their competition profile and see any additional work they may have contributed. Possibly you may even take the time to vote and comment too.

Holly Friesen – an artist I have introduced to you in the past.

Holly’s connection between our inner world and the landscape moves me deeply as the painting stretches, encircles and holds my emotions.

Maryanne Jespersen

Maryanne has a lovely colour harmony and loose expression in this painting leaving lots of room for the viewer’s imagination.

Michael O’Toole – with just this one painting in the contest Michael has captured so much about the west coast of Canada.

There are six artists whose first name is Peter in this competition. I am not sure if this says something about the popularity of the name Peter in Canada or not. But you are excused if you have a hard time keeping them straight and instead resort to just using their last names. I am going to share four of these six “Peter” artists next – with both their first and last names 🙂

Peter Adams

There is strength in less when we dare to be bold and vulnerable as is  so aptly demonstrated by Peter Adams here.

Peter McConville – again with only one work in contest it is worth going to his profile and following the link to see others of his pointillism style paintings.

Not often is so much movement captured in such detailed work as in Peter’s landscapes.

Peter Rotter

Slipping into to the woods is easy in Peter’s painting. Yes there is an opening beyond but my viewer’s eye is in no rush, allowing the trees to fold me into their peace, their stillness.

Peter Stuhlmann

The gorgeous use of design and colour by Peter allows me to pull away from the specifics of the scene and appreciate the whole and then be drawn back into the landscape – again and again.

Rich Bond  – a fellow British Columbia artist with six paintings in the contest making it hard to choose just one to share with you.

Patches of colour, harmonious and pleasant, seeking the trust of the viewer’s eye to find and accentuate the landscape elements independent of the painter. It is a rare gift to paint with such strength and conviction that any ego remnants of the painter are submissive to the landscape and its relationship to the viewer.

Well, this gives you a small taste of eleven of the over 300 paintings in the Arabella Canadian Landscape Contest. There are many more to browse and enjoy on the contest Exhibition website – which collectively really do capture the beauty and emotional spirit of Canada.

Yes, I am fully aware that this kind of sharing of the other participants art is not actually conducive to winning a People’s Choice Award for this competition. However, this is not my motivation for sharing the work of these fellow artists. Five years from now the People’s Choice award will likely be lost in the litter of our everyday lives. We will have moved on (artists and viewers alike) – we will have forgotten about the registering, voting and commenting. But just possibly the Canadian landscape itself will be strong and present to you through the work of these artists and through my own paintings. This chance to have a lasting impact on your experience of the land I love and the country I love is why I share these additional works by my fellow contemporary Canadian landscape artists. I hope you enjoyed the experience.

Now wish me luck and I look forward to reading your comments on my paintings in the Arabella Canadian Landscape Contest for the People’s Choice Award.

What emotions most aptly capture the Canadian Landscape for you?

© 2013 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

23 thoughts on “Capturing the Emotion of the Canadian Landscape is No Easy Task

  1. A fantastic post championing the diversity and love of landscape in Canadian Art! Proud to be a part of this endeavor and thanks for taking the time to articulate and feature the Arabella contest so well!

    • My pleasure Holly and you are most welcome. There is something awe inspiring about seeing all these paintings together in one place – all of them honouring our beautiful Canadian landscape. As artists we have community in this alone… And there is so much more 🙂 Good luck in the competition my friend!

    • Your sharing is as always so very much welcome along with the comments of course. I think it takes courage to publicly comment on work in a contest like this – though it is the same maybe it feels much more visible than else where on the web.

  2. I will come back tomorrow to sign up and vote…what a great opportunity and lovely sharing My Pleasure…(I am harvesting chickens today – will be at home base tomorrow – I hope that will not be too late?)

    • Tomorrow will be just perfect Patricia and good luck with the chickens. I like how you say “harvesting” instead of “chopping the heads off” 🙂 Thank you in advance for your assistance and I look forward to reading your comments.I didn’t think this was going to mean much at all to me – but I realize that it does. I do so much want to have all you supportive beings leave a few words with the paintings. So know that your efforts are very, very much appreciated.

    • Thank you so much Sam! I do so very much appreciate you and everyone else who has taken the time to register, vote and comment. Most fun! The nice thing about this particular process is a person doesn’t really have to choose and can vote and comment on as many paintings as they wish 🙂

  3. I just registered and voted…then I spent about 2 hours this afternoon looking at the beautiful art work…what an amazing group…Can I vote for others too? I tweeted and facebooked also

    I have to turn off the computer now…Huge hot thunder storm moving through, can not see across lake, street is a river of rushing water, and the gutters are instant waterfalls…Zip is barking at the thunder!
    I am sure this is headed your way – northwest off the water…Black sky…exciting

    • Yes Patricia you can vote and comment on as many paintings as you want. I must have left a few words on about a dozen favourites. Thanks for the tweets and facebook posts as well! It all helps and I have had a LOT of fun connecting with all my special people in a more direct way the last couple of days. What a wonderful value-added experience from this voting stuff.

  4. What emotions most aptly capture the Canadian Landscape for you? I feel the emotion of games, aesthetics and a desire for the appreciation of what an artist brings to the world. I voted for you and am happy I came here to see your friends art as well. Hugs!

    • Thanks a huge bundle Kathy! Yes I think I too feel the emotion games when I face off with the Canadian Landscape – as it can be brutal even unforgiving and deadly if we make a mistake. It has been such a pleasure over the past few days to connect with so many people in my network because of having to rattle my up my courage and tell people about the People’s Choice Award. I find it a wee bit exhausting and exhilarating at the same time – not unlike spending time out and about in the Canadian landscape 🙂

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