Olive Tree en plein air

On occasion a painter is mesmerized by a subject. In this case, I have fell under the spell of a particular olive tree in the Tuscan hillsides of Florence Italy. I have added it to two previous paintings – once because it was actually there and the second time because I wanted it to be there. This morning I made a third attempt. It is our last day in Florence and the only chance I will have to set up directly in view of this prized olive tree.

olive tree in progress 2 25 x 35 cm acrylic on 185 lb coldpress archival paperby Terrill Welch 2014_05_06 038

I rough in an underpainting and settle in to work. Oh how my brush lacks the life of the moving light! I struggle with the acrylic painting, my limited ability to interpret what I experience so fully in front of this tree and the landscape that holds. The haze is heavier than I am used to on the west coast. The colours are richer and fuller in this May midday sun. I want to give up. I want to sit on the ground and toss the brushes in the air in defeat. But I don’t. I take a deep breath and I keep working. This painting will hardly be able to be called a sketch. It is already long past my self imposed 60 minute limit for a painting sketch. I care not for this limitation today. I am determined.

Finally the brushes still. I have no idea what is on the canvas really. I lost conscious track way back when the last long narrow tree was brushed into the distance. So let’s have a look together…


plein air painting of olive tree  25 x 35 cm acrylic on 185 lb coldpress archival paperby Terrill Welch 2014_05_06 045

Well, it isn’t what I had imagined. Nor does it fully capture my intention. But it will have to do because no further brushstroke is asking to be added. This is it. Finished.

OLIVE TREE 25 x 35 cm on 185 lb coldpress archival paper

olive tree in25 x 35 cm acrylic plein air on 185 lb coldpress archival paperby Terrill Welch 2014_05_06 052

(Art prints available in my Redbubble storefront HERE)


I have no question for us today… what one would you like to ask?


Now I really must go and pack or we shall be in a flurry tomorrow morning.


© 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

4 thoughts on “Olive Tree en plein air

  1. Terrill – My favorite type of posts on your blog is the step-by-step show and tell kind where your readers are included in (become part of) the process. OLIVE TREE is beautiful. Simply beautiful.

    You said, “I have no question for us today… what one would you like to ask?”

    How on earth are you getting all of your artwork home? I assume that you’re shipping it, but Lord have mercy that’s going to be costly (but well worth every penny)…

    • LOL! You are right Laurie. We shipped our vests home after we left England as it will be June when we get back. One painting went with this lot and some of David’s clothes and books that he decided he need after dragging the suitcase up too many stairs when transferring trains. The package was worth more to ship than the contents if we hadn’t thrown the painting in that is. However, most of these painting sketches are paper thin – literally so they can go in a small flat box or even an large cardboard envelope. For now though we will keep them with us until we get back to France. My Italian consists of about 10 words so unless I get a postal clerk that speaks English who knows what I would end up paying. The other parcel we sent from France went fairly smoothly. I am hoping to be twice lucky!

  2. Yes, the work in progress here is staggering and sumptuous. Needless to say there is a cinematic quality here that enhances these ravishing locales, and how lucky the person who will down the road acquire these beautiful tapestries. Your work is more persuasive than anything a travel agent can conjure up! Enjoy your final days in Italy!

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