What follows is the process of painting “Centuries of Seasons” inspired by the Currie heritage road on Prince Edward Island.
On this day, November 11, 2016, the painting “Centuries of Seasons Heritage Road PEI” 24 x 30 inch walnut oil on wood comes to rest, overturning most of the grey disillusionment of the past few days with the curious unexpected results of the United States election and the more anticipated death of Leonard Cohen at the age of 82 years. It is also a day of remembrance for all of those who have fought for our freedom. And finally, it is my grandson’s fourth birthday. This hodgepodge of events, experiences and emotions are most fitting to brushes, paints and a painting surface.
Today, I am drawn to the words of Canadian painter Ozias Leduc (October 8, 1864 – June 16, 1955) who lived to be 90 and was born and living much of his life in Saint-Hilaire Quebec. During his career he decorated more than 30 churches and chapels in Québec, Nova Scotia and the eastern US. The last major project he accepted at the age of 76 was a request to providing the mural paintings for the Notre-Dame-de-la-Présentation, Shawinigan-Sud. The work was completed between 1943-55. Besides his religious commissions for churches, he rendered many easel paintings including portraiture, still life, and landscape paintings. The latter paintings were mainly from his intense study of the landscape that were then painted from memory and imagination in his studio home.
“Art teaches, informs. It uncovers the soul. No doubt it also has the power to sort the chaos of the unconscious into an orderly cosmos. It leads from disorder, suffering and unbalance to stability, harmony and joy.”
(Ozias Leduc, in a letter to Paul-Émile Borduas, 1943)
“The sole mission of the artist is to express beauty. Beauty without servitude. Beauty as unconstrained as space and time.”
“If the earth were strictly utilitarian it would not be so dear to us. Our eyes seize all of its dazzling sights.”
(Ozias Leduc, sometime in the late 1920s, from the “Ozias Leduc Documentary Canadian Painter” directed by Michel Brault, 1996)
Leduc was not influenced by contemporary Canadian artistic currents and trends, and he held only one important exposition, which was at the St-Sulpice Library in 1916. By helping to promote the career of Paul-Émile BORDUAS, he became quite popular late in his career. He also left many texts, poems and short reflections on art. His feelings about modern painting are expressed in the mystical thought that man lives searching for the paradise he hopes to regain through a knowledge of nature and the beauty of art.
“I do not have a style of my own and do not choose to have one. Every time I paint I am seeking something.”
(“Ozias Leduc Documentary Canadian Painter” directed by Michel Brault, 1996)
This painting has been completed during these events and with these guiding words from a Canadian painter from before I was born. It might be said to have begun on a drive down the Currie Heritage Road on Prince Edward Island this past May.
It might be said that I only trust my brushes today and not my own words and convictions. This is true though not uncommon I would think to seek the experience of wise counsel when processing ones own experiences.
It might be said to have begun with the first trees I ever painted. This likely equally true because to know a tree well enough to paint is to spend years in its company.
It might be said that the centuries of seasons in this painting have no beginning and no ending. This too is true as we can observe that the road has worn away from years of passage over its red dirt surface.
But the work has come to rest and this is a record of the process of its completion.
Centuries of Seasons Heritage Road PEI 24 x 30 inch on wood “resting” by Terrill Welch
The painting will be released once it is truly considered completed, has dried and a final photograph taken.
Now my brushes shall be cleaned and the painting shall rest. Good day to you!
What wise counsel is guiding your day today?
© 2016 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