New Art Gallery Has Me on My Knees

There are times when I deliberately choose the long way around. I would say it is for the pure pleasure of physical engagement but that wouldn’t be entirely true and my left shoulder would agree. Mostly, I suppose, it is about getting to know a place that has me on my knees – with knee-pads, screwdriver, old palette knife, steel wool, a couple of rags and the most important ingredient – paste wax.

It all began when I was taking off some old duct tape glue left behind on the 1925 fir flooring. Can guess what happened? Well, that spot looked so nice, I started in the far corner and started working my way across the room. This morning I am about three-quarters of the way finished and hope to be done by noon. We shall see what my shoulder and wrists have to say about the timeline, may take until Friday. But it does feel good! As I work I draft things in my head like a page on the website for the new Terrill Welch Gallery. I think about how the hanging gear is going to go up. I muse about all the people who have shared this little piece of land in the past… it is a long list and mostly unrecorded. I watch how the light moves around the room and know I am not the first and hopefully won’t be the last to enjoy it. I make mental notes on the other artists whose work I would to see having a conversation with mine in the months to come. These are good enough reasons to rub the wax on and rub the excess wax off the floor, by hand.

Oh, I still wonder off for our walks most days. Dinners still need to be cooked and clean laundry is hung out to dry. Plein air painting still happens and the bills get paid. Yet, part of me feels like this arbutus tree who has out grown its bark and the underside is green and fresh. I am still the same tree but a new skin is surfacing.


If you were to outgrow your current skin, what would be underneath?


© 2017 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

9 thoughts on “New Art Gallery Has Me on My Knees

  1. Lovely Terrill,
    I can only image the history and memories that such a space may hold and share. It is your nature to be “part” of the experience, I believe, it allows you to “know” the place.
    I am not sure what I am “out growing”, I hope my farrow state is about to end? Project in planning, Ideas flashing, bits of this and that but no real material emergence.

    • There is no rushing these things is there Jeff? I am reminded of all the time it takes for the arbutus the tree to grow from the inside out before it is ready to burst through its outer skin. Keep growing my friend, keep going. Thank you as well for your insightful observation about my way of being in the world. I wouldn’t have thought it was so obvious but now that you put it in words – of course it is! 🙂

  2. The Arbutus tree image is so compelling. And, your description of renewal be it a floor, or tree bark is raw and real. Renewal is not for the faint of heart. It takes “true grit.” It takes perseverance and strong will. If I was graced with a new skin, it would reveal both the fragility of new life and vivid illumination (a skin opaque with hard won wisdom). Thank you.

    • I love your comment Audrey about “true grit” and “a skin opaque with hard won wisdom” as these sentiments certainly resonate with me in this situation. You are most welcome of course and yet, what you have added sings with the perfect complimentary notes. Thanks for being part of the Creative Potager community.

  3. LOVE the descriptors of you working on that wonderful floor. Talk about truly being at the foundation of your new gallery in that historic building. I bet that wood is very grateful to be coming back to her glory.

    Such a fabulous question! I also love the visual of the arbutus tree. My response: A lovely website and confidence to regularly write blogs. Thank you Terrill. I am going to explore your question more in my journal. Lovely!

    • Katherine I look forward to your website and blog posts. I imagine them enriching the lives of many. With your help, I feel we are about halfway there in preparing the new gallery space. Of course there is still lots to do but it feels managable rather than overwhelming or hectic. So very deeply thankful for the help of friends such as you.

  4. Terrill — I love your analogy of the arbutus tree:

    “Yet part of me feels like this arbutus tree who has out grown its bark and the underside is green and fresh. I am still the same tree but a new skin is surfacing.”

    I’m so excited for you!

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