Yes, it is my first blog post of 2018. The last I wrote specifically for Creative Potager was December 21, 2017. I have been waiting for some kind of clarity or direction that I wanted to take us next. None has surfaced. Instead, I woke this morning with a desire to assess, summarize and begin again to just write notes to you as needed. A painter’s life seems to be like that. There are these short pauses during an overall incompleteness of painting, organizing, showing, and shipping paintings to new homes. Writing posts and sharing often comes in fits and starts and then ebbs away for a bit. I have learned to trust this process and let it be what it is.
The light of a resting catches a surface.
The brushes seem to linger over a canvas and then it is moved and another takes its place. The work continues for a bit and then it too is moved and yet another is set on the easel.
One brush mark after another, a new shiny wet painting begins to appear.
This morning, with its steady rain, I am feeling a little push around by the twenty paintings ready to packed up for travel to a solo exhibition a day’s drive away on next Tuesday. Then there are the two large canvases that have come to the home studio after being completed in the winter studio at the gallery. They seem to be standing at the edges of my life wondering where they are going to go.
At the moment I have no answer for them. But we will get there. They are designated for a show about trees in May. The reason they have come home of course is there is the two artist exhibition “Earth & Water: A Conversation on Edge” with Elena Maslova-Levin that will open April 13th. I am still waiting impatiently for eight of her paintings to find their way to the island. They have traveled promptly from California and then been held up between Richmond and Nanaimo for better than a week. I have cleared the gallery, put up posters around the island and done everything I can think of to open up the energy flow for their arrival. Now we wait… some more.
This 16 x 20 inch oil on canvas “Evening View Over Navy Channel” commissioned painting is ready for travel to the United States now that the new special shipping boxes has arrived.
I am also critically low on small 8 x 10 inch painting sketches as we head into the busy season. I have one left. Just one.
Then there are painting lessons to prepare and present each week to eager and dedicated students.
My husband is making his breakfast and we confirm that we will go to figure drawing in the evening. It is his area of interest but it is also good for a landscape painter to practice this kind of unforgiving drawing. And it is something we can do together with others, a date night of sorts. 😉
Easter weekend is coming up and if the weather is decent my daughter and two grandsons plan on coming to camp in the local campground and visit.
My parents have three calves on the ground already this spring in rural north central British Columbia and dad has a snow fence built as it has been a long deep snow winter up there. They are in their eighties and still farming. I phone on Saturday mornings to catch up and visit. I have to phone early or I miss catching them in the house. Rural farm life is like that.
But right this very moment, I must get the six-inch thick bundle of receipts and invoices to the city and handed over to the accountant so that our income tax will be filed on time.
As you can see, there are a whole series of projects at various stages of incompleteness between new works needed, finished works, exhibitions coming up and work to be shipped and so on. There are also various relationships that are important to me that I must make room for between the demands of a painter. But I am still here, sipping my morning coffee, listening to the rain on the tin roof and smiling into the possibilities of today. This is not a small thing. I have lost several friends, some of them fellow painters, before their 70th birthday’s this year. I will be sixty years old this summer and I know that each day I wake and then settle into the soft quite of the evening is a gift. I assess, revisit and conclude – I am doing what I must do as a painter and a teacher of painting. I am doing what I need to do as a partner, mother, grandmother and daughter. I am doing what I love to do in the process of being in all areas of my life. I have no desire to change a thing. It is a good feeling.
What about you? How are you?
© 2018 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
7 thoughts on “A Short Pause During the Incompleteness of Painting”
Terrill — Like you, I find each day a glorious gift. When I wake up in the morning I asked myself two questions:
(1) What is the specific point of today?
(2) Why does it matter?
Once I have answered both of those questions, I know how/where to invest my personal currency—my energy.
I am contributing and I am relevant. These things fill me with joy and fuel my interests and my relationships.
Life is good. Life is very, very good.
Oh these are such perfect questions to start the day with Laurie. Are they in your new book – The Business of Being? And I am thrilled that your life is very, very good! 🙂
I don’t know what to say You are very busy and I do know that experience and feeling. I feel as though my reading and book reviews are giving authors some exposure and that that is a good service to writers and their efforts. And then again, some days I just do not feel like reading! I do it any way. It is how I travel and how I meet new people ( Characters) and touch their stories. I helped register young voters this past weekend and that felt very good and important. I am liking the Marcher’s energy. So many do not understand the laws and Democracy. I worry that we have Dumbed Down the nation and there are only those bright spots of hope coming through now? Lots to do and lots to counterbalance. Thinking about you upcoming show and the arrival of your friends painting. It will be great!
Patricia, rather than “busy” I like to think of it as being actively engaged in living fully. As you know, each day has the same number of hours. I pick and choose what I want to do most with this finite number of hours to accomplish what fills me up with joy and meaning and then add on what absolutely needs to be done for safety and well-being. It seems that reading and writing reviews for you can be both fulfilling and at times an effort. What would happen if you didn’t read or write a review on one of those days you didn’t feel like it? What if instead you did the most desirable thing that came to mind? What would happen?… Just a passing musing as I was read your comment. 🙂 Wishing you much joy Patricia and satisfaction registering young voters. We sure need them engaged and involved in shaping our future.
And thank you in regards to the shows coming up. It has been a stretch but a good one getting them both ready to open in the same month.
I may have turned slightly green reading your post. This is a good thing as it is because I am once again wishing I could do more art and less ‘day job’ after a period of politically induced gloom. Thanks for the reminder
You are most welcome Flissw, though having people turn green wasn’t really my intention. The things is, I do reasonably well now but it took many years of day jobs with just an ember of art happening to keep the flame burning. It wasn’t until 2010 (with another source of income for living expenses available to me) that I began to work full-time as an artist and it was another two years after that before I felt I was making any real headway. Being a full-time artist is often a long runway of just barely surviving with a good chance of financial fail and poverty if one doesn’t have another source of income or financial support. However, if you can make your art a priority right after your other basic needs, you have a chance – especially today where you can cultivate an online following and share as you go along. Good luck and I hope you a nice flushed hopeful pink now. 😉
Thanks and yes the green was fleeting 😉 it’s good to know it’s possible