The Adventure of Visiting Parents

We are halfway home again this morning and I am still thinking about how wonderful it was to get a good visit with both of my parents. It is not easy to catch them in the same photograph as they tend to be like bees and busy working away on their separate tasks until mealtime or if one or the other needs help with something. But this morning I caught them having a brief conference about something or other that needed doing. This is mom (Nell) and dad (Jack) who are now in their early 80’s and still farming with a large garden, hay fields and 40 head of beef cattle in rural north central British Columbia. They were getting a bit pained with my snapping at this point as I had already taken a few with my big camera.

Dad got the last of the hay turned and baled in the field before the rain settled in. We had our first feed of corn without the frost getting it. The car is loaded with a large bag of potatoes, a few beets, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers for snacks. We also ate farm beef and more vegetables from the garden while we were there and even a few peas and raspberries that were hanging on. But it is definitely fall. I couldn’t help but be able to imagine the fields full of snow and the warmth of the wood stove keeping the cold out.

Dad turning the last of the hay in the field closet to the river. There was still a small amount right by the house to finish up when we left. But he has to wait for another chance to get it, if he gets it. The fall rains, heavy dew and fog sometimes have a different idea.

Mom is puttering as she calls it, watering her various flower containers. Everything is reused including this old car and many other items that I will do a separate post about in the next few days.

The view from the top field looking back down to the farm house and buildings by the river is always a pleasure. I had bear spray on my camera belt (just in case) and kept singing and making noise (which is a practice we had as kids as we had no bear spray).

The next day, we looked back up in the field and a beautiful big black bear was standing right where I am now taking this photograph. I think it was the same one we saw at the top of the hill on our way out as well but they do live there and it always something to keep in mind when out hiking or poking around. Mostly, they are shy and will scoot off when they see you. But just in case they don’t, well, mom suggested I take the bear spray.

The greenhouse my cousin did for my mom and dad now has the old windows from the house in it. There is tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers eggplant and a few other things in there with more herbs in the the old watering troughs at the back.

These beauties are the large brandy wine and small chocolate tomatoes on a platter ready to go to the house for supper.

This morning, I make my own coffee, instead of dad handing me a cup, and I tuck into my own daybed, instead of curling up under a blanket on my parent’s couch or at the end of their bed. I am home again. My Mayne Island home. But this childhood home, a full 900 km away, is not far from my thoughts as I gather together images to see if I can give you a wee taste of what it is like go the last 10 km or so before I get to the river.

The last half of the 40 km from Vanderhoof is a well cared for gravel road that can get mucky after a rain (Red Rosie can tell that story this morning) as it has that stuff on it to keep the dust down. There are farms and rural homes on the way out. But, once we are this far, they are set way back off the main road. I always think when I make it to here – not long now!

And it isn’t long at all before we are heading down a narrow track of a road for another 3 km and a bit. This is where we saw a black bear on our way out at the end of our visit. We thought it might have been the same one we saw in the field a couple of days earlier. No photos. The bear ran away as all bears should when they hear you coming.

We keep going down the sand hill and up the pipeline hill until we get to the beginning of the property.

I can smell the over-ripe high bush cranberries in the stand of poplar. I ask my husband David if he can smell them. He says – no. I am a bit puzzled because the aroma was strong. Then I realized he didn’t know what he was smelling. So I tell him that they smelled a little like a wet dog (my mother corrected me later and said more like a wet bear ;). David says – then yes, I can smell them!

We cross the big fields I showed you above.

I pay little mind to the haystack as we pass by.

I pay no attention to the tractor either and pull up to the house, watching for mom and dad to come out to greet us and help carry things in. There are hugs all round first of course!

I hardly glance at the large garden and save it for exploring later. Now that I have said hello to my parents, I have one thing in mind.

We head for the house with our bags and up the steps.

Past the onions drying for winter.

I drop my bag in what I still think of as “my bedroom” though I am sure my baby sister feels the same way. We shared this southwest bright bedroom for a few years after she was born while I was still at home. After that, she had it to herself until she left home. There is a solar light beside the tissue box and a regular flashlight on the windowsill. There is no electricity on the farm but, things are so well set up, one hardly notices.

Then, as soon as things are quiet enough, I gather my camera and head back out the door. I squeeze through a gap in the fence, just beyond the apple trees, and take the last few steps to the banks of the river. It is what one might anticipate from a landscape painter I suppose.

This is the Stuart River and this is Sturgeon Point Farm. The point is visible on almost any map if you know where to look. Two days of driving and, halfway up the province of British Columbia, this spot seems to settle the gritty edges of travel immediately!

Now back at the beginning of my journey, I shall go for a long hike with a friend this afternoon and do this same kind of “settling practice” here on Mayne Island.

This annual trip is like stitching up holes in a favourite well-used sweater of my life. There are still likely a lot of good years left in it yet, if I take care of it! Life is like that isn’t it? We never know its length but the richness of its depth is ours to deepen and to discover the mysteries in each day, from the time we open our eyes until we close them again.

May you have an ordinary day filled with small discoveries that remind you of just what a special miracle you are in this beautiful world we live in!

ONLINE GALLERIES include –

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Website: TerrillWelchArtist.com 

When Your Hometown is the Province of British Columbia

Road trips! Long or short, they always leave me with a sense of living in a bigger place that is much smaller than I often realize. What do I mean by this? Well, the best way to explain is to provide an example of traveling from Mayne Island to Williams Lake British Columbia in 9 hours including ferry, big horn sheep, two large herds of deer and too many cows and calves to count.

I was delivering 20 paintings to The Station House Gallery for a solo exhibition of my work. My “thank you” note after the opening evening says it all…

I would like to thank the Board Members and Executive Director, Diane E Toop, and Clayton of The Station House Gallery and the sponsors (Community Arts Council of Williams Lake) for a beautiful opening evening and their warm welcome for the “Light of Place Exposed” solo exhibition.

I also want to thank Terri and her mom who traveled down from Vanderhoof and Sue who came up from Armstrong B.C. today. Both directions are 4-4.5 hours of driving time.

It was a pleasure to meet many new people, including someone who had lived on Mayne Island for six years and to visit with everyone in general.

Below are a few photographs of the show before the opening. Enjoy!

When you first enter the room, its spaciousness for viewing large contemporary impressionist paintings is immediately apparent.  Later I appreciated how many guests it would hold during the opening.

Yesterday, when I was driving back down the Province I remember someone looking at at the painting on the left and saying “that is the Stuart River” without even a glance at the title for any other clue than my brushstrokes. The viewer knew the area well.

There were lunches with old friends and cousins and a long visit or two with my aunt and my sister.

There were people who knew where I went to school and lived beside the remote area of the McIntosh Lakes outside of Williams Lake.

There were people who knew my parents and the paintings from the farm were immediately recognized… even though this place is about a 5 hour drive away from where the show is located.

I lost track of the number of times I was asked if I knew so-and-so who now lives in such-and-such a place.

There was a friend who honked her horn at my sister and I walking down the street (which we didn’t hear as we were deep in conversation) who was in the area working but lives in Langley, British Columbia.

So you see, though I was born in Vanderhoof B.C., I moved with my parents often to various rural areas outside of Williams Lake starting when I was three years old and then back to the farm they still have outside of Vanderhoof the summer I turned twelve years old. But once I graduated from high school, I continued to travel the province from one end to the other for work and school. Some of these connections have lasted and others keep getting added. Our province is large and this recent trip didn’t even take me as far as the geographical middle. Consequently, we will travel a long ways to meet up with each other and always want to pass along “hellos” to those we might know in common. So, it occurred to as I was driving through the snow, sleet and rain yesterday, that my hometown is actually the Province of British Columbia.

Do you too ever feel like your “hometown” is as large as a Province or State and as small as a village?

“Light of Place Exposed, Landscapes by Terrill Welch” can be viewed in the main gallery at The Station House Gallery in Williams Lake, British Columbia from Thursday, April 5th to Saturday, April 28th of 2018.

The Station House Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Closed Sundays. More information and directions to the gallery at: https://terrillwelchartist.com/2018/03/05/light-of-place-exposed-landscapes-by-terrill-welch/

© 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

Melded Time

Try as I might, the mix of experiences this past week refuse to be organized into a meaningful story. It all feels like beautiful colours tangled into a day with no breaks in the string, no long pauses and no rest points. New projects, such as getting a gallery up and running, are often like this I think. The past seven days went something like the late ferry sunset building to a perfect moment.

With a couple of thoughts about the morning’s plein air painting time with a fellow painter and friend,

And another thought about the gyroscope jewellery coming in mail from another multi-talented painter and jeweler friend,

and it is over…

As the sun drips into the sea, we turn away preparing for night and see the almost-full moon reaching out to greet us.

In this flow of melded time, knowing one of these moments, someday, will be our last, one is often tempted to think about the strange concept of forever.

 

What moments this past week have tempted you to think about forever?

 

© 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 http://terrillwelchartist.com

Early Autumn Misty Morning Blessings

When September begins to draw to a close, early morning arrives much later for a photographer. It is almost a sensible hour to be out catching the first light of the day.

Sunflower maidens milk the scant light as they swing their heavy heads through the mist towards the drifting dawn. These beauties are both received and given as blessing one.

sunflowers in morning fog by Terrill Welch 2013_09_23 012

Detailed view and purchase of quality prints available HERE.

I am counting my blessings both received and given on this Monday morning and for every Monday following until the end of the 2013. This proposed practice has come about because of an invitation from Kathy Drue in her Lake Superior Spirit Blog post “Count our Blessings” blogging practiceEven though life can be contrary at times there is no particular reason for accepting her invitation other than, well, there are so many everyday ordinary blessing that I feel compelled to notice. Such as these sunflowers in the fog above.

The day’s colour is caught on the ridge and chases the mist across the field in a sparkling two-step. Autumn is almost upon us. She is not in her grandest finery yet. But her undergarments hold out a promise as we caress the landscape – seeking and hoping. Softly, her golden jewels remain slightly hidden from our wanting eyes. Her beauty is profound, hushing our pleas before we dare to speak. I bring her to you as my blessing two.

early autumn morning in the field by Terrill Welch 2013_09_23 051

Detailed view and purchase of quality prints available HERE.

The poplar trees stretch as if they have an invisible string attached to their bushy early autumn crowns with the other end anchored in the heavens. It is too early for leaf-kicking and too late for a swim. But the trees give it no mind as they shine and shine through the morning mist. I bring these trees as my final blessing in threes.

tall trees early autumn by Terrill Welch 2013_09_23 065

Detailed view and purchase of quality prints available HERE.

These photographs were taken on September 23, 2013 at Sturgeon Point Farm, Vanderhoof British Columbia and the home of my parents. I am back on Mayne Island now and up late or maybe possibly it is now considered early 🙂 In any case, I shall release this post immediately and then be off to catch a few winks.

What Monday morning blessing are you feeling compelled to notice?

© 2013 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

Sitting on My Ordinary

It is an ordinary quiet week here at la casa de inspiracion. In fact it has been quieter and more ordinary than usual. With only a few outside commitments, I have even been sitting on my ordinary – well, backside. Shhhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone.

 

Oh I did dive in and order new print stock, clean the studio and get a few other household chores out of the way… but only worked at these pesky necessaries for a short while each day. Mostly it was a week of relaxing and the easiest route to an end goal. Do you ever take a few days to do this?

 

Sitting on my ordinary is about being with the everyday in an unhurried fashion.

 

It is about quietly observing and nurturing and replenishing my inner strength and resilience.

(image may be purchased HERE)

It is about honouring and reflecting on – exactly where am I anyway and what is it I really want to be doing?

(image may be purchased HERE)

Most often it means time in nature feeding my soul.

(image may be purchased HERE)

These four images are a result of  “sitting on my ordinary” this week. So as you can see, it doesn’t mean doing nothing but rather doing what you love in a way that gives back.

 

Best of the weekend everyone!

 

 

Sprout Question: How do you sit on your ordinary?

 

 

© 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

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

 

End of Summer

I begin my day by arranging a huge bundle of fresh-cut flowers I received as a thank you for a photo shoot I did earlier in the week. I thought I was going to take photographs of the finished results. Which I did. But the most stunning image was on the cutting table where the morning sun had edged its way in. A reminder to always take the photograph that is there to be taken.

(this image may be purchased here.) 

I am grateful today that hurricane Irene was less than anticipated. I am grateful for so much love from my family and friends. I am grateful to celebrate one more year on this planet.

 

Sprout question: What are you grateful for today?

 

© 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

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch/art/7681425-end-of-summer

Meet Baby Isaac

Most of you know by now that we have a new grandson born August 15th to Amalia, David’s eldest daughter, and her husband Fede. Because I was traveling we had to wait until this Wednesday before we could slip over to Victoria and be introduced. Weighing in at 8 pounds 10 ounces at birth, Isaac Graziano has never looked back and is now over 9 pounds of warm, soft, relaxed and cuddly baby boy.

David offered up “the holding” to me. Lucky me! I sure didn’t hesitate more than a second. Yes!

and Fede grabbed my camera to capture the moment for us.

You may or may not remember that Fede is Federico Vanoli and a professional photographer and took the photographs at my daughter’s wedding last summer. He now has a website with some of his fine art photography.

Of course, I wasn’t shy about taking a few precious photographs of my own for my brag-post here on Creative Potager as well!

Fede is just a natural baby whisperer…

Look at that contentment!

Amalia was taking a needed baby-holding-break while we were there so we have to wait until another visit to capture the two of them together.

There you go – a nice new-born baby fix to start the weekend!

Speaking of the weekend, my thoughts are with those you on the east coast of the U.S.A. as you evacuate and brace for Hurricane Irene. I know some of you are in its direct path. May you be safe.

Sprout question: When was the last time you held the floppy wonder of a newborn?

© 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.

FromMayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

Creative Island Retreat Home for you?

Every once in a long while I spy a home for sale and think “I could live there!” So when I ran into Annette at the Farm Gate Store and she told me her retreat house was for sale. I took her up on an offer to come have a look.

Off we went to an address within easy stroll to the lighthouse where I was painting en plein air last week. Or you could meander down to Reef Bay at David Cove where so many of my photographs and paintings have been inspired.

It is not the usual”for sale” sign we park beside. Annette’s young children have painted all the signs and posters that have been posted around the island. It has been one of their contribution to this creative family restoration project.

Doesn’t it look lovely.

Wood is so inviting. The new siding and much of the decking was milled from trees that were taken right from the property.

The yard is bright with a tropical feel. It can be low maintenance or a full-on garden – your choice.

There are lavish environmentally treated cedar decks to enjoy.

I particularly like the frames within frames at this vantage point.

Oh and there is the studio building with one room up and one down, completely separate and connected with a breezeway to the main home.

Don’t you just love it? It would be a great place to write, paint, make jewelry, or have a little home store for your wares.

It even has its own woodpile guard. It is not a very strenuous post (pun intended) on Mayne Island but the carving is great company just the same. There is a story here but you will need to ask Annette to tell you about it.

From the loft studio balcony you can even look down and see if your sweetie has dinner ready. In my case, I would be looking until breakfast the next morning but you never know…. This is a kitchen that will inspire gourmet delights.

As we climb the stairs to the spacious loft I admire the windows. What a nice glimpse of outside.

But that is it for my part of the tour. Now I am going to turn you over to Annette to see the loft and other photographs on the most incredible website she has set up for this property.

If you like, give her a call and chat further about this creative gem of a retreat. I know she would be delighted. And be sure to say “hello” from me.

Best of the weekend everyone… and you will not be seeing me around next week. I will be in Mill Bay and on Saturna Island while David minds the peas and carrots in the garden on the home front. After that things will pretty much get back to normal as I start to ramp up for the fall and more time with all of you. Until then!

Sprout question: If you are seeking a creative retreat what must it include?

© 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.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

Summer Crossing

I know I said I was only going to post as I chose this summer but it seems as if I choose to post frequently. Maybe it is the good sales of my work last week. In addition to the medium size canvas photography print, I also sold another original oil painting from the STUDY of BLUE solo exhibition. The 8 x 10 inch painting of SALISH SEA THREE is going to buyers from Vancouver B. C., Canada. This means there are only 10 paintings left to choose from so if you have been mooning and musing over a particular piece, now is the time to act.

In the meanwhile, let’s do a summer crossing starting at Tsawwassen across Georgia Strait.

 

When I look back towards the ferry terminal I realize that it is no wonder I have done a study of blue.

I often feel that I am wrapped in time when at sea.

There is an openness

and a containment when traveling across the straight on a small vessel like the Bowen Queen.

Ah yes. One more stop at Galiano Island while I admire the Mayne Island lighthouse with Mount Baker looming in the background.

I shall be home soon.

Sprout Question: What creative crossing might you traverse 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

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

 

Poppy Opening

Poppy Opening

Poppy petals unfold,

their crinkly wrinkles.

Laundry on a summer line.

Sun-kissed and fresh.

Moving gently with the breeze,

these frocks of orange.

(image is available for purchase here.)

Happy Summer Solstice.

Sprout question: How might you celebrate summer solstice?

STUDY OF BLUE solo exhibition opens Thursday June 30, 2011.

© 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.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com