Pure Joy

Well, it has been more than a week since I posted. I am thinking about what to post. I want it to be good! It could be my newest photo of wild sunflowers but no, that is just not quite right.

Or it could a photo of our large extended family walk while we wait for the grandparents and great aunt to arrive (or great grandparents and great-great aunt depending on who was doing the referencing). Which is okay but probably only significant to me.

However, what I most want to post is about a moment of pure joy simply because I keep thinking about this moment over and over again.

You see, my sister and her family have a pool with house.

Actually, the house was there first and the pool was built last fall. It has a filtration pond and the swimming pool has no chemicals. Here I am dipping in my toes with the youngest family member.

You can see the filtration pond behind me. It will be filled with water plants in mid June.

Looking very natural and as if it had been there all along, the swimming pool has a great admirer – one nine year old boy. The water is about 17 degrees Celsius or 62 degrees Fahrenheit.  But this doesn’t seem to be a problem.

He is going down!

And he is in!

Somewhere in there?

The look of happiness.

Pure joy is unmistakable.

We have a camping trip for a week to plan this summer. Do you think it should be someplace where we can swim?

It was the most grand of grand weekends in a long while. Special thanks to my sister and her family for having us.

Sprout question: What could you have shared today but didn’t?

Best of the weekend everyone!

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.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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

Happy 100th International Women’s Day

Today is the 100th celebration of International Women’s Day. Why, you might ask, is this important to recognize? Most of you know me as an artist, photographer and writer. A few of you know that of the last 100 years I have spent more than 30 of those years actively and purposefully working towards women’s equality. I cut my feminist teeth on Dorothy Smith’s The Everyday World as Problematic: A Feminist Sociology in university in the late 1980’s while raising two young children as a single parent. International Women’s Day is one of my most important holidays of the year. It is a time to recognize, reflect, rejoice and recommit to making the world a better place for women and children.

One hundred years ago today women in Canada did not have the right to vote. It would be another seven years before most women over the age of 21 get the right to vote in federal elections. It wasn’t until 1960 that First Nations people received the right to vote in federal elections. Even noting these complexities, it is true, we have made gains. Yet, our fight for equality is not over and in some areas it is backsliding:

At the end of 2010, full-time working women earned only 71.3 per cent of men’s average full-time income. In the late 1980s, women earned 77 cents for every $1 a man earned.

More shocking,[ Queen’s University professor Kathleen Lahey] says, are Statistics Canada data from December 2010 show that women with university degrees now only earn 68.4 per cent of men’s average university-degree incomes, as compared with 86.8 per cent in the late 1980s.

Read more: Why Feminism Still Matters by Daphne Bramham (Vancouver Sun)

As a 52 year old feminist, activist and woman, how has the last half of the last 100 years influenced my life? Steeped in women and gender studies, waged in income for women’s equality such as women’s shelters, women centres, women’s counselling programs and women’s leadership, the answers should come easily. You might even expect that they would flow out in graceful paragraphs – eloquent after years of study and practical experience. They do not.

The blog post article I published in May 2009 “Untapped ROI – Increase Women in Leadership 13 Myths and Facts plus A-G strategies is still as relevant in March 2011. Change is a slow process. But it is more than that. The clarity and contradictions about women’s equality are worn in layers of personal scars and successes only to then unravel again in my today – as an artist, as a feminist, as a wife, and as a woman who, for the first time five years ago, understands that sometimes financial independence is a barrier to love and mutual quality of life. I now experience the equality of a great love that, for the most part, renders gender differences invisible as two people equally work in harmony for what is best for each other and for self. Outside gender imbalances are successfully rebalanced in our day-to-day living. I have experienced nothing as powerful or leveling as deeply held human regard for another.

Today as I write this, my sweetheart is calling me to come eat the breakfast he has loving prepared. Today as I write this, I smile to myself at the involvement of my son and son-in-law with the daily tasks of parenting their children. At the same time, I remember a blog diary written last week by a woman volunteering in a health clinic where a young woman giving childbirth died on her clinic floor. She needed a cesarean delivery. The child was being born feet first. There were no such medical services available. Human life is not equally valued the world over. There is still much to do.

Today as I write this, I revisit my own struggles resulting from a history of childhood trust broken with inappropriate touching of my innocent child’s body and violence handed out by men who should have been the ones I could count to stand beside me. The details are not important. Many of us – many women and a few men – have our own experiences of being treated with less than regard and loving respect by those closest to us. We can instantly provide our own details, often with undesired vivid clarity.

Yet, as my being, my body and my spirit remind me of these passages in living, I wish better for others. I have worked tirelessly for more than 30 years to create the change I want to see in the world. Now I paint. Now I slip down by the sea and I photograph. I seek healing serenity in the bodily memories of these contradictions that we live as we celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day. My eye finds a particularly powerful reminder that we are one.

My brush strokes link us to our human vulnerability.

My work towards women’s equality is not done – it has only changed. For now.

My sister, may you have the opportunity today to give yourself a hug for being the incredible woman you are.  My bother, may you know that you are an equally part of what will make a difference in the lives of the women you love.

Happy 100th International Women’s Day!

Sprout question: What woman has been your greatest creative influence?

To learn more about my work towards women’s equality visit Terrill Welch – A Woman Behind Women.

© 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

Tis the Season

Well, today is the day!

Today is the day that Creative Potager holidays begin. Thank you every reader who dropped by especially those who took the time to comment and be part of a delightful, passionate and intelligent creative community. I have enjoyed your companionship, your humour, and your vulnerability.

Today is also our first anniversary. David and I eloped one year ago today. Here is the evidence – as we prepare to share cake with friends who stood up with us.

We wish you the very best of the holiday season.

I look forward to seeing you again with a new post on Monday, December 27, 2010.

Before we go too far though, I invite you to drop in to Leanne Dyck’s The Sweater Curse blog today where I have a guest post “Within a Curse.

Sprout question: What is your favourite holiday season greeting?

Thank you for your community, support, encouragement and purchases of my photographs, calendars and paintings in 2010!

Please note: Creative Potager will be on holidays beginning Saturday, December 11, 2010 and will return on its one year anniversary Monday, December 27, 2010.

© 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

Trees Mist Sun

I looked out the big windows over the valley and ran for the camera.

How many times have I focused in on these evergreens across the way? Each time I try to capture the wonder I feel when I see how the light is accentuating their beauty. I am never quite satisfied but I share them with you anyway.

It is full on Art Days for me until the end of Monday December 6, 2010.

Today I am taking my oil painting “Cabin on Shore” over to our fancy Oceanwood Inn to be placed prominently on a small easel. I am honoured to be their feature artist for the month of December.

Then I am taking my oil painting “Whisper” and two canvas photography prints down to the Mayne Island Reading Centre (the Library) for the Mayne Island Trincomali Community Arts Council Light and Dark group show that opens tomorrow evening at 7:00 pm.

This evening I am going to go to the Mayne Island Hardward’s Décor Store (or Sue’s Place) for their ladies night. My prints, calendars and cards are included with many special items that have been brought in for local Christmas shopping.

But Friday December 3, 2010 at 7:00 am PST right here on Creative Potager is when the really big event begins. The first of three original oil paintings will go on sale. The second will go up on Saturday and the third on Sunday. After each of the three paintings become available they will remain on sale until sold or midnight PST Monday December 6, 2010, whichever comes first. So exciting!

There is a pre-post with all the critical information for Buyers which is now posted.

Sprout question: What advice does your wise-self offer for creative abundance?

p.s. I hope you will join me and post your encouragement, thoughts and any interesting links for the duration of this special Creative Potager event. You have each been so much a part of my work this year. I would be thrilled if you showed up with your party shoes on.

© 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 in November Snow

Here I am with a Creative Potager bonus post today. I am blaming it on the snow. Big flakes started rolling past our large picture window looking out over the valley at dusk. We don’t get much snow on Mayne Island and seldom in November. I was up before blue dawn like a kid on Christmas morning.

The far side of the valley was a bit warmer and did not get the same three inches of wonder as we did half way up the cliff.

David’s gate that he built a year and a half ago looks extra special in the snow.

And the prayer flags.

Then there are these red begonias.

And this is all I can see of the yellow calendulas shown in Thurday’s post.

But this is my favourite image of the morning. It is a photo I took as I was sitting down to upload and edit this morning’s photo shoot.

La casa de inspiracion has never felt better.

 

 

Sprout question: What are your favourite moments of winter?

 

Special Notice: I have made a decision. Two Fridays from now on December 3, 2010 I am going to place three of my larger 18 by 24 inch original oil paintings on sale for $950 Canadian over three days. The regular price is $1,200. I am going to introduce the first painting on Friday, the second on Saturday and the third on Sunday. All three will be shown together on Monday December 6, 2010. The sale will end at midnight PST on Monday.  Here is where you come in dear readers. You may want to buy a painting. Or you can tell others about the paintings. If a buyer identifies you as the source of the referral you will receive a $45.00 value gift in cards or a calendar of your choice. (Psst! The referral can even be to your spouse.) The referral gift is for the first referral identified by the buyer and there is only one referral gift per painting sale. The specific three paintings that will go on sale will remain a mystery until the day it is released. However, you are welcome to try to guess by browse some of this year’s paintings HERE. Look carefully though because some paintings are sold and/or are a different size or medium. Terrill-size cyber hugs will be given out for any right guesses.

© 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

 

 

Stories in Mist




Dawn creeps through the mist, stealing night’s solitude.

Mist settling in between notes of soft music drifts through the room and out into the valley.

Between now and then is the shadow of self… wavering slightly in our imagination.

Sprout question: What stories are your soft edges telling?

© 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

Home becomes Gallery

The transition is just about complete. For Saturday November 13th and Sunday November 14th our home will become a studio gallery for my:

* oil paintings

*large photography canvas prints

*2011 Sea, Land and Time Mayne Island calendars

*and, lots and lots of cards.

Would you like to tip toe through and have a wee peek? I thought you might. Leave your shoes at the door. The floors are heated and so cozy to walk on. Go on down the curved hall into the great room.

Feel free to stop and look on your way.

The sunroom area is not quite finished yet. The bed will be covered in cards by tonight, with a large canvas print resting on the headboard after I remove the pillows.

Now come up into “the private area” which is where we will have our breakfast…

and opposite of where my working studio is located.

Let’s look over the loft railing.

Well this is it. The cards are not out yet and there are still a few more pieces to hang but this gives you the general idea.

For those of you that are too far away to get any closer than this blog to these open studio days, you don’t need to miss out. Remember? Redbubble has a 15% sale on all my work in their online storefront. You can only get this deal if you order online. So there you go. Something for everyone.

Sprout question: When are you next presenting your creative work?

Have a wonderful weekend.

© 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

The Distance Between


The distance between summer and winter is the glorious colours of fall. The leaves on Mayne Island make for very subdued frocks compared to other parts of the world. Still we are not left out.

The maple trees are the biggest and brightest dancing and spinning before the winds and rains undress them.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased my redbubble calendars this week. You know who you are and I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did creating them. For those that are still interested, take your time, there is no rush yet. It is still a couple of weeks before redbubble sends me a notice to say they can’t be sure that a delivery will get to its destination before Christmas.

Speaking of redbubble, they just had a major re-design. Here is a link with a thumbnail of my All-Time-Popular images shown together http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch/portfolio/art . Very cool.

 

Sprout question: What creative seed are you planting so it will sprout for spring?

 

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

 

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