A More Contemplative Year Ahead

My best guess is that I shall paint fewer paintings in 2014 and release more photographs and painting sketches. This will be partly due to three months traveling and living in Europe. We plan to leave sometime near the beginning of April. The tickets will likely be purchased by the end of the week.

The 2013 year was a good solid success for my paintings but I want to go deeper into the learning curve of how my specific historical experience impacts my work. I want to go deeper into how I can paint the spaces in between light and shadow. I want to find ways to bring you, the viewer, farther into my work until you can clearly formulate the poetry of landscape. I want us to know and understand our embeddedness in our natural environment.  Human life, as we know it, may depend on strengthening that one relationship. I suspect that my trip to Europe and its museums and countryside combined with my camera and brushes is going to help me find answers to these searches.

Oh, there will always be new work to release in my Artsy Home online gallery, such as the two new paintings entered over the weekend. But I find it is not really important but rather a task similar to organizing the books on the bookshelf for a research project.

What is important then?

There is quote attributed to Buddha that I saw this morning which seems most succinct:

In the end only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

My only commitment today is a long walk. With the heavy rains water is rushing to the sea.

Rushing to the Sea by Terrill Welch 2014_01_12 037

Quite possibly it is a stone in a stream that will hold most of my attention today.

Stones in Stream by Terrill Welch 2014_01_12 016

This , and a few of the lines from the Mary Oliver “Morning Poem”

If it is your nature

to be happy

you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination

alighting everywhere.

And if your spirit carries within it

the thorn

that is heavier than lead –

if it’s all you can do

to keep on trudging –

there is still

somewhere deep within you

a beast shouting that the earth

is exactly what it wanted –

reference; p. 106/7 of New And Selected Poems volume one (1992) by Mary Oliver

What are your focus and intentions for the year ahead?

© 2014 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 http://terrillwelchartist.com

15 thoughts on “A More Contemplative Year Ahead

    • Thanks Philip! I am not widely traveled really though I have spent a month in Peru. It is at times overwhelming to think about the whole thing but I know once we get started our activities will just flow from one day to the next.

      • I have spent a long time travelling in europe and it is great. The one thing to be aware of though is that different european nationalities have different expectations of you. They are all friendly and nice in their own ways but the french for instance love to see a genuine effort to speak french before they let you give up and speak english. The germans are just friendly.. they dont like litter or pointless nonsense but they would go out of their way to be helpful. The italians are just easy going about everything and that is a bit difficult to get used to. The Scandinavians are great but they dont like flashy or in your face behaviour (there is even a law against it in sweden). Eastern europeans are friendly in a different way but still great fun. The spanish.. well.. I will let you know when I finally get used to them 🙂 Im well jealous that you are going for 3 months. I lived in france for 2.5 years and it was great. I miss it really. Enjoy it.

        • Thank you very much for these insights Philip! One of the pleasure of planning this trip is talking with people like you who can give valuable tips. I am not great with languages but am more than willing to try. My husband speaks Italian, has some Latin and French language training and consequently can most often make himself understood in Spanish. My strengths are that I am good with directions and reading maps and reading peoples body language. My family on my mother’s side is Norwegian. I know all about those quiet serious types with their dry straight-faced jokes that are so subtle if one isn’t paying attention you never know someone has been poking fun. Together this combination of experience seems to allow us to get by in most situations. This and willing to admit we have done something foolish.

  1. Three months in Europe! I’m jealous. Hope it is as inspiring as you hope though I can’t imagine it not being. To answer your question I am off to New Zealand myself (at the airport right this minute) and I am hoping to determine my focus for the year while I am away too. Much shorter trip though only three weeks. Cheers for now.
    Ps love the quotes and poem

  2. This post is so powerful and uplifting–images and words

    How much you loved
    How gently you lived
    and how gracefully you let go

    In the rush of water releash other’s negativity: the misunderstood word, the slicing comment. They aren’t meant for you. And they will be carried away.

  3. Terrill — I love your intention:

    “I want to find ways to bring you, the viewer, farther into my work until you can clearly formulate the poetry of landscape.”

    You asked, “What are your focus and intentions for the year ahead?”

    My focus is to finish a second non-fiction book that I’m currently working on. My intention is to sell our home and relocate to Boise, Idaho.

    Happiest of Weeks to YOU!

  4. Terrill, I am expecting you will be weaving your travel experiences into your creative output for 2014. The trip itself is epic and will no doubt give you both major highlights in your lives. I can certainly understand the reason you want to do this—and it’s a terrific reason. My own focus with be on health and happiness, though in a conventional sense we all strive for that every year.

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