Painting Spring

Something happened yesterday on the official first day of a late west coast spring. At the end of last week I was still in my contemplative winter mental attire. My grey, northern, rain forest interior is filled with homemade soup warmth, maybe a touch red-wine melancholy, smoothed over with by woolen thoughtfulness and a sparkle from a waterproof jacket garnish. It is a savory mix best served hot. During this time I often explore the underbelly of my daily life both in painting and in words. But the garment of winter fell free as easily as the first night of hearing the frogs in the pond in the valley below. Consequently, I had something intricate and dense simmering about the language of painting for this post. But it is not to be, at least not for this week. The joyous zealous brushstrokes of spring are here. Who can ponder at a time like this!?

So I dug through the archives and have chosen seven springtime paintings or painting sketches representing a variety of locations I have been over the past four years. There is a spring work to enjoy for each day of week. Happy spring!

Spring in Tuscany 20 x 30 cm acrylic sketch on canvas board and a rare painting where I have overtly included the painter in this Florence, Italy countryside.

Prints available HERE.

Villeneuve lez Avignon France 24 x 36 inch oil on canvas with its layers of memories and visible history.

Original painting available HERE.

Fremont Hills California Early Spring 18 x 24 inch walnut oil on canvas. Painted from a plein air day of reference material with a colleague and friend, Lena Levin.  We were just talking last week about how our paintings were so different even though we were standing almost right beside each other.

Original painting available HERE.

Cherry Blossoms Mayne Island Japanese Garden 20 x 24 inch oil on canvas. The gardens are a divine place to be in spring and a local year-around treasure.

Original painting available HERE.

Sea and Sun Cox Bay Tofino BC 24 x 48 inch oil on canvas. Know as our real west coast, spring is the time that the sun breaks through the winter rains and spirits are lifted as high as the rollers coming in from the open sea.

Original painting available HERE.

Rolling Spring Storms Rocky Point PEI 20 x 40 inch walnut oil on canvas. Bit of weather out there today, someone will likely comment. Collars of light jackets will be turned up and tightened at the neck but the smiles, they tell us one thing – spring!

Original painting available HERE.

Blooming Point PEI 8 x 10 inch acrylic plein air sketch on gessobord. Spring comes a little later to Prince Edward Island. So on this particular year we had two springs! The first on the west coast Canada and then a most lovely second on the east coast.

Prints available HERE.

Now that we have been to Florence Italy and Avignon France in Europe, Fremont California in the United States, Mayne Island and Tofino on the southwest coast of Canada and finally to Prince Edward Island on the East coast of Canada, what about you?

Is it spring yet where you are?

And yes, I am publishing a day early this week. Why not, it is spring after all.

© 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

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The Riviera

From north-western Italy to Southern France it is The Riviera and stunningly beautiful.

It could be an afternoon in Manarola

Manarola Cinque Terre Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_09 052

with “lady of the grapes”

La Donna Dell'UVA in Manarola Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_09 186

or sipping local wine by half-bottle

afternoon lunch by sea in Rapallo Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 099

next the sea in Rapallo

Castello sul Mare 1550 Rapallo Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 092

Then again, it could be a small Italian working fishing village

Italian fishing village Festival rain or shine  by Terrill Welch 2014_05_11 182

before coming to the big city host of Nice France

Roof Tops in Nice France by Terrill Welch 2014_05_15 076

with its amazing square

Square in Nice France by Terrill Welch 2014_05_15 029

no matter which way you happen to look…

morning in square Nice France by Terrill Welch 2014_05_15 035

It is all good, fantastic and delicious! There is however, only one painting sketch and it is not of these grand views but rather a humble still life.

Basic Essentials – 25 x 35 cm acrylic on archival 185 lb paper.

Basic Essentials 25 x 35 cm acrylic painting sketch by Terrill Welch 2014_05_12 110

Yet, it seems just right. Enough. Maybe even more than enough.

This is our last of Three days in Nice France. Tomorrow we will be leaving for Aix en Provence and then Narbonne as we travel along the south of France. We will have no internet in the next places we are staying. Therefore, you may or may not here from us again until we reach Barcelona Spain on May 23, 2014. So don’t worry. We are fine – just a little disconnected 😉

If you were to summarize the basic essentials of one of your favourite places what would be included?

 

© 2014 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

Good Morning Rapallo Italy

With oranges picked from a tree and sliced to eat to lemons, fresh eggs from the hen-house and an enthusiastic young niece to our host to greet us we felt right at home in our tiny house style apartment up in the hills of Rapallo Italy.

orange from the tree in Rapallo Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 001

This morning before walking down the hill to get groceries I walked up a ways until I could see the Mediterranean Sea.

May morning in Rapallo Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 037

We are surrounded by hills with little spots of inhabitants scattered around.

From the hillside in Rapallo Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 030

I believe there is a bus that goes around to the area across from us. I hope so because it would fun to have a closer look at this hilltop.

Hilltop near Rapallo Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 048

But it is the sea that is calling me right now.

over the palm tree is Rapallo Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 039

The Bird of Paradise blooming outside our door

Bird of Paradise in Rapallo Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 007

nor the abundant number of prickly beauties

prickly beauties by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 019

and not even the roses will keep me on the hillside today.

A rosy kinda morning by Terrill Welch 2014_05_08 057

We are off on the twenty or thirty minute walk to see the sea and get a feel for this place.

 

What is holding your attention today?

 

© 2014 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

Olive Tree en plein air

On occasion a painter is mesmerized by a subject. In this case, I have fell under the spell of a particular olive tree in the Tuscan hillsides of Florence Italy. I have added it to two previous paintings – once because it was actually there and the second time because I wanted it to be there. This morning I made a third attempt. It is our last day in Florence and the only chance I will have to set up directly in view of this prized olive tree.

olive tree in progress 2 25 x 35 cm acrylic on 185 lb coldpress archival paperby Terrill Welch 2014_05_06 038

I rough in an underpainting and settle in to work. Oh how my brush lacks the life of the moving light! I struggle with the acrylic painting, my limited ability to interpret what I experience so fully in front of this tree and the landscape that holds. The haze is heavier than I am used to on the west coast. The colours are richer and fuller in this May midday sun. I want to give up. I want to sit on the ground and toss the brushes in the air in defeat. But I don’t. I take a deep breath and I keep working. This painting will hardly be able to be called a sketch. It is already long past my self imposed 60 minute limit for a painting sketch. I care not for this limitation today. I am determined.

Finally the brushes still. I have no idea what is on the canvas really. I lost conscious track way back when the last long narrow tree was brushed into the distance. So let’s have a look together…

 

plein air painting of olive tree  25 x 35 cm acrylic on 185 lb coldpress archival paperby Terrill Welch 2014_05_06 045

Well, it isn’t what I had imagined. Nor does it fully capture my intention. But it will have to do because no further brushstroke is asking to be added. This is it. Finished.

OLIVE TREE 25 x 35 cm on 185 lb coldpress archival paper

olive tree in25 x 35 cm acrylic plein air on 185 lb coldpress archival paperby Terrill Welch 2014_05_06 052

(Art prints available in my Redbubble storefront HERE)

 

I have no question for us today… what one would you like to ask?

 

Now I really must go and pack or we shall be in a flurry tomorrow morning.

 

© 2014 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

I Hung My Nightgown to Dry in the Tuscan Sun More Than Twice

Today the sun shines but we have had some great thunderstorms  and we were glad we could borrow umbrellas during this past week.  On a particularly miserable day, while we were tucked into our apartment that is part of an old Farmhouse on the outskirts of Florence Italy, I read advice in a travel guide on how to see four towns in a day while traveling by train in Europe.

Farmhouse courtyard Florence Italy 18 x 24 cm acrylic painting sketch on linen finished panting block by Terrill Welch 2014_04_27 004

(Farmhouse courtyard Florence Italy – acrylic plein air painting sketch.  Art Prints available HERE)

Let’s just say we are slow travelers in Europe. Our minimum stay is three nights. Our more lengthy settling-in-visits are up to fourteen days. We have done some long days on the train a couple of times but mostly a five-hour trip is enough.

What does this really mean as far as being able to say we have been someplace?

Well, it means that we actually live like we would at home in the communities we are staying. We buy  groceries, mail letters, go to the pharmacy and run out of toilet paper, garbage bags and coffee. We need to do our laundry and hang it out in the sun to dry. That is the best part. Clothes that flap in a hot breeze under the Tuscan sun can never be taken for granted again. That white cotton nightgown of mine with the tiny bit of embroidery around the neckline knows that it will be worn until there are only tatters left for painting rags.

It means we don’t make it to all of the highlights and sometimes we hardly make it to even a few. Instead, I can be found painting on a hillside.

plein air painting southern Florence Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_04_25 136

The painting sketches are quick way to deepen my understanding of the light, the land and a place.

Galluzzo Valley in southern part of Florence Italy 18 x 24 cm acrylic sketch on linen finished paint block by Terrill Welch 2014_04_25 145

(Valley in Galluzzo southern part of Florence Italy – acrylic plein air painting sketch. Art Prints available HERE)

It means there is time to be given not only a lemon but a cedro which is not a lemon and about the size of a grapefruit.

cedro cut in half by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 006

There is time to find a recipe by Elizabeth in Rome on how to make a salad using the sweet pulp of this fruit while the rind and dry center are composted.

Cedro insalata Florence Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 015

There is time to do a composite painting sketch in a makeshift studio that combines five different experiences that happened over about as many days.

Spring in Tuscany 20 x 30 cm acrylic sketch on canvas board by Terrill Welch 2014_05_03 030

(Spring in Tuscany – acrylic painting sketch. Art prints available HERE)

I begin to become familiar with the changing light in the narrow stonewall-lined lanes where the walls of homes sometimes converge with the pathways.

country lane in Florence Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_04_29 056

The fields and the hills start to speak in clear notes of recognition.

rolling thunder on the Tuscan Hills by Terrill Welch 2014_05_03 001

The courtyard becomes well worn with memories of breakfast, lunch and afternoon painting.

garden pots 18 x 24 cm plein air acrylic painting sketch on linen finished painting block by Terrill Welch 2014_04_29 030

(Garden Pots – acrylic plein air painting sketch. Art Prints available HERE)

There is time to use different photography editing tools to express the light’s dramatic effect on the courtyard

storm breaks  poster edges by Terrill Welch 2014_04_30 005

or a curved building at the top of the hill on the road out of town.

ink outline on the old road to Rome by Terrill Welch 2014_05_03 042

Whether it is a villa

villa across a Tuscan Field by Terrill Welch 2014_05_03 035

or a more humble dwelling

Via Dell' Amore Italy by Terrill Welch 2014_04_29 053

Florence or Firenze is so much more than crowded streets in the old town or the lookout over the city. The Village Road painted by Italian Macchiaioli leader  Giovanni Fattori in 1904 is very little different from the village roads here today.

(Village Road by Giovanni Fattori)

We have only today and tomorrow left in our two-week visit to Florence. David has headed off on his own to do a bit of shopping. I am considering if I have time for one more painting sketch. But mostly, it is time to start packing up our belongings and our hearts. It is time to say good-bye to the Tuscan hills, the fields and the narrow village roads. We promise, as good visitors sometimes do, to return. It is a sign of our love and appreciation rather than a true commitment. That is okay too, for such a possibility will be a welcomed gift during the short daylight hours of heavy rain back at home on the west coast of Canada.

We leave for Rapallo Italy on Wednesday from which we will then do a day trip into the Cinque Terre. From May 13th – 16th we will be in Nice France. The primary intent of our stay there is to see the museums of Matisse and that of Chagall. On May 16th we will travel to Aix en Provence where we will wander (and I shall paint) in the footsteps of Paul Cezanne until May 20th. We follow this up with three days in Narbonne France which will be our last stop before Barcelona Spain and our next longer stay of ten days where we will spend time with the work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi who we have both long admired. This will take us to June 3rd with slightly more that three weeks left until we return home. As you can see, we have some shorter visits in this next stretch as we travel towards one of our major goals to visit Barcelona Spain. We will not know these places in between nearly as well but we can say that we gave them more than one-quarter of a day on high-speed town hopping European excursion. Yes, it is work to book trips independently, to plan each stay and each train trip and each meal that must be made. But I wouldn’t trade it for a fast trip. No that would never do. For it is not what we see with our eyes that sustains us but what we visit with our hearts. This is what drives my creative will, my desire to interpret and translate and this is what leaves me just a little sad with each good-bye.

 

Where have you most not wanted to say good-bye but instead promised – until we meet again?

 

© 2014 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

Photography sketches of the Florence Countryside

There are times, as many of you know, when I am taking photography sketches that I will then be use as reference for paintings that I will do in the studio. It is tricky business to do these sketches as they are often a series of several photographs taken from different perspectives so that there is enough memory triggered in the later viewing to bring me back to that specific place and time. This is necessary as I need information from all of my senses to successful interpret a painting in a meaningful way onto a canvas. A few of these photographs are worthy of being considered completed works in their own right. Mostly though, they are reference work just like a charcoal drawing or quick painting sketch. That said, it was a nice walk and I thought you might like to come with me for at least part of it.

The air is full of seed pods with parachutes today. David has to keep his sneezing self indoors. So it is just you, me and the camera hiking along with a water bottle on this May 1st, national Labour Day holiday in Florence, Italy. The sky is trying to rain but just can’t work up enough gumption to deliver the goods.  We will be fine. I promise.

Florence countryside by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 020

We will turn this way, then that way, in a maze of back streets that take us to a high road where we can look across to some place north of where we came from.

looking across from the high road in Florence by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 029

A soccer game is playing over a mega-phone system or some such thing. At least I think it is a soccer game. Whatever it is, the sound seems fitting and odd all at the same time. The side of the road is very narrow where we are standing so we best go part way back the way we came and go in the other direction as it looked much more peaceful – quiet even.

afternoon in  narrow lane of Florence countryside by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 141

Lucky us, the sun has come out for a few minutes and we have over an hour of these old bricked back roads to explore. There is only one problem. I need to be at least a foot taller.

over the fence in Florence Italy  by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 188

About half of the view always remains a mystery to me. How about you? How are you making out. Oh heck, let me give you a boost and you can get a good look…. no, no! Don’t fall over the top! That sign said something about a dog. Pheeeewfff! Okay, no more of THAT! Lets just look in through the bars of the gate instead.

sun in olive tree grove  by Terrill Welch 2014_05_01 153

There will likely be fireflies in this olive tree grove this evening. If we wanted we could catch some in a jar and leave them beside our bed. In the morning the fireflies will have turned into one cent coins. It’s true! Just ask my host if you don’t believe me. Though she is pretty sure that her father had something to do with these results. However, in the whole valley all the small children would go out in the fields in the evening and catch fireflies. Then they would try to stay awake at night to see if they could see how it happened. No one ever did. But in the morning, sure as anything, there would be a few coins in the jar beside their bed and the fireflies would be gone. I saw my very-first-ever firefly two nights ago. I am going to go out tonight and see if the thousands of others have arrived yet. They are reportedly suppose to arrive in early May. A few small coins might be kinda nice don’t you think?

So….. maybe if it rains tomorrow or maybe not until I get back to Canada at the end of June but I am confident that at least a few of these photography sketches will become paintings.

 

What kind of creative sketches do you do in preparation for a final work?

 

© 2014 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