At 10:00 am today the morning light was not strong enough to work without the studio lamp. It is heavily overcast and last I checked there is a wee bit of snow expected. However, I was able to put the finishing brushstrokes on this large 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas painting this morning. It may be weeks before I can get a decent photograph of it so we will take a look now at the shiny-wet resting point of STORM WATCHING.
But we would be wrong. It all started on Friday December 6, 2013 at about this same time of day when the power went out. I was surprised as there was little wind at la casa de inspiracion. But then the email notifications started coming in with Ferry boat cancellation and they were for the Inside Passage which is not common at all. So I knew then that there had to be wind somewhere and took a guess that it was on the east side of the island.
Sure enough it was blowing a bit out there. But this isn’t the spot we need to be. We have to walk out to Campbell Point in the Gulf Island Park Reserve because the waves are break on the rocks in a big way. Let’s go and have a look. Dress warm and still expect to the wind to go right into a person’s bones and starts sawing away with an ice-cube.
Scrambling out onto a rock ledge the wind whips my big lens and me around with the same ferociousness as the sea. But I am determined. I hunker down low and steady myself against the roar. WILD SEAS WITH MOUNT BAKER IN THE DISTANCE
(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) There was no chance of using a tripod in these conditions. It was all up to my stabilizers and years of practice of framing and shooting waves. There wasn’t much time because I would get to cold to be able to work the camera and it was no place to be getting stiff and wobbly when I stood back up from where I was crouching. So steady does it. FULL STOP
(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) BREAKING OVER TWICE
(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) Sunday as in yesterday I pulled out the large canvas and placed it on the easel. I wanted the immediacy of this moment while it was still fresh to me on a cellular level.
The continuous motion of the winds and the sea stir sea-spray high up onto the cliffs above. I want that. I want that feeling of stirring and motion. I decided no underpainting so that spray would have the advantage of the white underneath. I had noticed the spray shadow in one of my reference images and took advantage of this to create additional depth. I worked on getting the painting down with as few brushstrokes as possible.
I want us to be slightly queasy from it as we are swayed in the waters and crash against the rocks within our viewing of this painting.
At the core there is a knowing and a thimble-size of silence which makes it bearable. This too shall pass. This is the stage that the painting rested overnight. This is where I started earlier this morning and finished at the first photograph which will not be its final of course. For this we must wait for better light.
UPDATE OCTOBER 13, 2014: Link to detailed viewing of the completed painting with purchase information and a link a short (less than six minutes) video where I talk about this painting can be found on the Terrill Welch Artist website HERE.
In conclusion, my Monday morning blessing is patience, admiration and determination. If we are willing to try we can most often do more than we believe we can. A large wave from a large canvas as you forge through the week ahead.
What are you determined to accomplish this week even if the winds of doubt are fierce?
© 2013 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.
Liberal usage granted with written permission.
For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to http://terrillwelchartist.com
- Farm In Fog – pastoral landscape painting (terrillwelchartist.com)
- Seaside Mayne Island – Large Canadian Landscape Oil Painting (terrillwelchartist.com)
- Chasing October Sun by the Sea – an en plein air oil painting (terrillwelchartist.com)