Gracing the Green House

Announcement: Creative Potager host, Terrill Welch, has a new venue displaying her photography in collaboration with fellow photographer Barbara McIntyre at the Green House Restaurant on Mayne Island.

We are very excited. Our shows of Gulf Island framed prints and canvas prints photography will change every one to two months.  Please drop in if you are in our neighbourhood. You can’t miss it. The Green House Restaurant is on the right hand side just before you crest the last rise into Miner’s Bay.

The menu is diverse and delicious. In winter, there is all the cozy charm of home. You might even find me sitting at the closest table to the small fireplace sipping a glass of wine waiting for my dinner to be served.

In summer there are large decks that catch the late afternoon and evening sun. This is a great place to enjoy a quiet meal or visit with friends and take a long deep breath of Mayne Island relaxation. Make sure you slip inside to see what new we have on show.

Gerry always has a smile for you.

Owners Doug and Gerry decided to call the new restaurant the “Green House” because it was once the site of several green houses operated by the Japanese family before the Second World War. The house dates from about 1910, builder unknown. Kumazo Nagata bought it in 1921, and enlarged it in 1937. [Source: Ovanin, Thomas K. Island Heritage Buildings. Islands Trust, c. 1980.]

We are thrilled to have our photography on show in this historic building.

Of course for those readers from far away, you don’t have to come all the way to Mayne Island to view and purchase our photography.

 

Barbara McIntyre has a new redbubble account so feel free to drop on over and have a look there as well.

 

As many of you know, my work can be found here on redbubble where this new image “Shades of Blue” is available.

So glad you stopped in. Come on back anytime.

 

Sprout question: Where is your creativity showing this week?

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

Waiting to be Invited

There is a part of creativity that is about showing up prepared. That means setting up your writing station and putting bum-to-chair. Or pulling out a canvas and placing it on the easel. Then putting a brush in your hand at a regularly scheduled time to paint. Or it means putting your camera bag on your shoulder and heading out everyday to take the photograph that is there to be taken. Each of us practicing our creative craft will engage in some form of preparation. If you are a musician or a dancer or a woodcarver you will know exactly what to do to show up prepared.

After doing a few warm up exercises, I find there is a second part to most creative processes. This is waiting to be invited. There is a pause or suspension of expectation or a kind of taut readiness. Mind, body and spirit seem to align and, there it is – the invitation. We know intuitively exactly what we need to do next. We proceed.

This is my intention for the week ahead. I have a half-finished painting and few canvases of various sizes that I picked up last week. I am going to set aside the time each day, be prepared, do my warm up exercises, stilling my mind and wait to be invited.

This is what happened when I took these two photographs at the Japanese garden on Friday morning. As the rain came down, I visited with a friend who is moving away. We were sitting on a sheltered bench. I had taken my camera even though the day was heavily clouded and didn’t show much promise.

First, this invite was extended to me.

And then this one.

 

I remembered my manners and said “thank you.”

 

And here are a couple of things you may find inspiring:

 

Last Tuesday, we slipped into Victoria B.C. and attended the IMAX theatre for the most impressive Van Gogh brush with Genius . Well worth seeing if you ever get the chance. Thank you Sherwin, from Shower Wisdom, for making such a compelling recommendation in your comment to last Monday’s post.

 

While we were in town we went to a couple of art galleries. At the new Madrona Gallery we saw a 3 X 4 foot acrylic painting by Karel Doruyler of a mature, dense west coast forest. His skill with light is outstanding. The work we saw was Thoughts of Summer. Doruyler has developed a heavily textured approach so that the tree trunks are significantly raised off the surface of the painting. Doruyler has been painting professionally for 40 years and is now 70 years old. His work leaves me with such a sense of possibility for my own continued development as an artist.

 

All the best in your creative endeavors!

 

Sprout question: Where are you showing up prepared to be invited?

 

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

A red leaf heart to begin December

I could have waited and shared this image in February for Valentine’s Day. I could tell you about how I just looked up and there it was – this magnificent red leaf heart shining brightly against the blue sky.

(View full resolution – available for purchase here.)

But it really wasn’t just “there it was!” I had been predisposed to this image. Let us see how.

First, there is Laurie and her Speaking from the Heart blog. Laurie is passionate about heart connections. On her Holessence website there is an image of a beautiful heart with wings painting by Russell D’Alessio and farther down there is also a photograph I gave Laurie with a heart on the cliff wall. Needless to say whenever I think of a heart or see a heart shape, I think of Laurie.

Second, there is L. M. from someplace in the USA. I know nothing more about her, other than her tweet name is  @ellepiari . If you look at her profile at http://twitter.com/ellepiari , there is a most beautiful red heart leaf avatar almost exactly like my photograph. I know L. M. for her warmth, sharing and engagement.

So you see this beautiful red heart leaf image is heavily influenced by the creative expression of others.

Sprout question: How is your creativity influenced by the creative expression of others?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Mayne Island Japanese Garden Dressed in Winter

This morning is -4 Celsius or 24.8 degrees Fahrenheit here on Mayne Island. On the west coast this is chilly. We have a damp cold that seeps right into your bones without stopping to slow down much even for your woolies. There are still a couple of inches of snow left in the yard and the winter birds are thankful for the full bird feeder. Our hot water in-floor heating has a hard time keeping up when it gets below freezing outside. The Floors are beautifully warm but not much heat is rising to the loft. I have turned on the oven with the door open for a bit to circulate some heat up to the studio. A few more flakes of white stuff are expected over the next couple of days.

Now that we have dispensed with the weather report let’s have a look at some of the photographs of the Japanese Garden dressed in winter.

You may remember this image from “A Search for Colour…

Winter has its grace with this beauty caught still dressed in her fall finery.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

The garden pond is partly frozen obscuring some to the reflections.

There is a peace which settles deeply when we drink in this snow-covered garden’s quiet.

The bridge seems to beautiful to disturb by walking across its whiteness.

Now stepping back and having a gaze at the whole picture… I hope you are smiling.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

May you be warm.

Sprout question: What makes you feel warmest when you get really cold?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Dentist Doctor and Birthdays


How many of you still use a hard copy calendar hung on a convenient wall to keep track of appointments, birthdays and holidays? Come on put your hand up. Way up so I can see it. Don’t be shy. Surely not everyone uses a blackberry, iphone, or the back of their wrist to keep track of things. Most people still have a big calendar with all sorts of notes written on it that they can easily reference with eyes blinking sleepily in the morning. Don’t they?

Actually, I have no real idea. I only know it is fun to take my new images for the year and make these lovely large calendars. Here are the three new calendars for 2011. Just click on each one and have a browse – much better than trying to remember to send a birthday card to Aunt Myrtle by the smudged ink on the back of your wrist…

Sea, Land and Time MAYNE ISLAND 2011

Mayne Island Tree Spirits 2011

And something a little different…  Kitchen Company 2011


If you would like one to arrive before the New Year or get one for a Christmas gift, now is the time to order.

Yes, I know. I am shamelessly marketing but if you don’t know what I have in the store, how can you decided if you want to buy it? At the very least, you will get to have another look at some of the best images posted this year on Creative Potager. Now that shouldn’t be too painful. Enjoy!

Sprout question: How are you going to keep track of important creative dates in 2011?

AND if you have a calendar with your own creative work for 2011 be sure to leave a link with your response to the question above. I love looking at these calendars and seeing all your favourite pieces for the year.

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Feminine Beauties


If I had painted their white ruffles and splashed them with a dash of fuchsia paint would you have believed their beauty? These feminine lovelies are ivy geraniums – white as a christening gown. I smile when I saw them dancing on the morning wisps as I sipped my coffee in the courtyard – seductive, sensual darlings.

Sprout question: How does sensual beauty appear in your creativity?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Stuffed Ambercup Squash with Champagne

The last day of September has arrived. Golden afternoon sun moves into the long shadows of the fir trees outside her window. Leaving the bed with its crumpled woolen throw and Barbara Kingsolver’s Orange Prize The Lacuna, she climbs the shallow steps up to the kitchen and looks at the orange Ambercup squash on the counter. She hadn’t planned to cook this harvest poster vegetable yet but there are shallots in the wicker basket beside it. She muses about the great handfuls of parsley in her kitchen garden. Then there is that beautiful plump sage over by the fence. Of course it will need some thyme and just a bit of rosemary. By now she has put on her oversized apron and garden clogs and is out in the potager gathering the herbs.

“We are having stuffed squash with shallots, apples and pumpkin seeds” she shouts up to where her husband is working on securing another deer fence at the back of the yard.

He straightens up with a grin that reaches right to the back of his soft brown eyes. He knows that she knows that squash is his favourite food. She grins back.

With a fist full of herbs she is back at the kitchen counter. There is only one way to safely take the head off of a squash. It is with a large heavy cleaver. If hitting the cleaver with the back of her hand doesn’t slice the tough hide of the squash, she resorts to using the rubber mallet from the tool shed to pound it through. This method has never failed her. Today no rubber mallet is necessary.

With the insides of the squash composted, she is ready to make the house smell like savory heaven. She is sure there is a garlic clove over in the garlic holder. Yes, there it is. Butter, lots of butter – well, first a little olive oil is drizzled into the well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. The garlic, shallots and herbs are chopped and ready. A few slices of that heavy multi-grain bread filled with seeds cubed will do nicely. Two small this-year Macintosh apples are sliced and added unpeeled. She eats three pieces of their tart flesh before they make it into the mix. Fresh ground nutmeg and some of that fresh ground allspice too.  Now let’s see… a few pumpkin seeds, maybe a handful. Finally some sea salt and pepper ground with wrist snapping vigor.

“That about does it,” she mutters to the kitchen wall.

Hanging up her apron she remembers wine. She has forgotten to buy wine.

Well, there are a couple of small bottles of champagne chilled that she was given by a friend in August for her birthday. Squash with champagne it will be.

Stuffed and the lid pinned on with large tooth picks, she places the squash on an old pie plate with a bit of water in the bottom and a piece of tinfoil loosely over top. The oven has been warmed to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer is set for an hour even though she knows it will likely take a bit longer.

She thinks that maybe she should write out the recipe but what would she say? Seize a medium sized winter squash and a few shallots. Then keep adding ingredients until you find that you have closed the oven door. Done!

Sprout Question: Can you share your creative recipe?

Best of the weekend to you!

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Good Neighbour Gate

We have all likely heard of good neighbour fences where you make sure the fence is agreeable to both parties and looks nice on both sides. What about a good neighbour gate? I love the idea that you can do more than visit over the fence with a neighbour. Imagine having a chat and opening the gate so they can come in and get a closer look at your prize pink dahlias.

Sprout Question: Where are your good neighbour creativity gates located?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Please Do Not Take This Pumpkin

Cities on the west coast are changing. I visited a friend in Victoria yesterday. After walking through her garden and behind the outdoor studio, I admired a hen through the fence in the neighbour’s yard.  But even before I got to the house, I stopped on the street to see how the pumpkin was doing.

Imagine my delight when “the son” answered the doorbell a few minutes later  and agreed to get his picture taken with this large beast growing between the sidewalk and the street.

Just to help ensure you can tell how big this pumpkin is, Simon is eleven. The pumpkin gets so many visitors that my friend is thinking of putting out a guest book.

Congratulations Simon on your giant pumpkin. Thank you to your neighbours for not picking it.

Sprout Question: What part of your creative experience is larger than usual?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

dahlias from a friend

Grown in her garden, these dahlias were picked and packed and brought by ferry to my art opening. I love how you can only see one face of a dahlia at a time. They seem to turn just slightly to give each large bloom a chance to shine. When I look at this image I remember how my friend came with her sleeping bag and a tent to stay in the camp ground because it was the only accommodation where she could stay for just one night and bring her beautiful big dogs. I remember how she sometimes says that “getting old is not for wimps” and that the wind came up that evening along active pass. She said she wouldn’t have missed my party for anything. I believe her.

Today is the ninth anniversary of the day David and I met. We are fortunate in our love, our family, and our friendships. I re-gift these dahlias from our friend, now as a photograph rendered in oils, to David. Happy anniversary my love.

Sprout Question: How can the many blossoms of your creativity come together in one bouquet?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada