A Seascape as a Place to be on Saturna Island

East Point on Saturna Island is a fine place to be in almost any weather but a warm end of June just brings out its best.

From the little fog house that is….

The Little House That Is by Terrill Welch 2015_06_23 002

to the sight of Mount Baker sitting grand and surprising on the far shore.

Mount Baker A quiet surpise by Terrill Welch 2015_06_23 005

Trails past the wind swept Garry Oak and Ocean Spray tell a story of another kind of day.

wind swept Garry Oak and Ocean Spray by Terrill Welch 2015_06_23 007

But it also keeps the secret of a hauntingly beautiful cliff that can be viewed from below.

East Point Cliffs by Terrill Welch 2015_06_23 025

I eventually head across the field looking taking a thoughtful look back over my shoulder and think – does it get any better than this!?

a place be by Terrill Welch 2015_06_23 011

In answer to my own question, the next day when we return the sea and sky are both pale blue in the warm sun. It does, yes it does get better. I spend the afternoon on Pebble Beach with a friend and collector of my work who is traveling with me. I paint while she starts to notice the changes in light and shadow on the landscape as I work. It was as if watching the process of plein air painting gave her fresh eyes.

June afternoon East Point en plein air by Terrill Welch 2015_06_25 393

Shall we finish up with this wee 8 x 10 inch acrylic sketch “June at East Point on Panel Board”? Why not!

June at East Point 8 x 10 inch acrylic on panel board by Terrill Welch 2015_06_25 403

There is more but this all for now as I am still traveling.

When was the last time that you found yourself seeing with new fresh eyes?

Note: You may notice that most of my photographs lately have a watermark. I have reluctantly gone to this method due to the ease with which images are downloaded and shared with no easy ability to reference to the photographer. This way the photographs can always be traced back to me if someone has a desire to know. My apologies for any distraction this may cause.

© 2015 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

Garry Oaks viewed from Brown Ridge – Canadian landscape painting

Today’s new painting release is Garry Oaks on Brown Ridge. Enjoy!

Canadian Contemporary Artist Terrill Welch

These muted hues have endurance and awe brushed into their presence. So often painters seem to feel the need to resist the gray and brown and heaviness of our southwest Canadian rainforest. This is a mistake because there is beauty to explore in these melancholy landscapes. There is fuel to feed our own inner strength. We need not brush it over with artificial colour. We need only to seeking deeply into the hues and hold this wonder on our canvas. These are this artist’s musings as Terrill Welch worked on this oil painting inspired by a resent hike when the mist was rolling along the ridge, the air damp on her skin and her body warm from her steps.

GARRY OAKS ON BROWN RIDGE 14 x 18 inch oil on canvas

Garry Oaks on Brown Ridge 14 x 18 inch oil on canvas contemporary Canadian landscape art by Terrill Welch 2014_09_15 025

Detailed view and purchase information available by clicking on the image or HERE.

Following the goat paths where…

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Saturna Island and rendering overlapping memories

Mid-August brings blackberries, hanging fruit and puffs of dust as our sandal clad feet catch the spots where grass has given way to daily meanderings. The farm geese play watch dog and the cows search for shade under a large maple. As we find our way up on the large porch, floor planks register the weight of our human presence.

the country porch by Terrill Welch 2014_08_16 028

The main part of the house is about 125 years old. It is the oldest dwelling remaining on Saturna Island off the southwest coast of Canada. My eldest grandson and I are staying four nights at the Breezy Bay Bed and Breakfast on a co-operative farm.  Our hosts, Erin and Jamie, appear to be in their early thirties and are youngsters amongst the mostly graying heads of about 300 full-time inhabitants. This our third summer visit to the Saturna Island. We have come to revisit favourite places and to simply be together in a home-away-from-home.

We slip our shoes off at the door and pad into our introduction of the polished patina of a place that bridges the past and present with grace and warmth equal to that of its caregiver. The library up stairs is just off our bedroom and its books seem oblivious to the “hotspot” it offers for a wifi connection.

the library by Terrill Welch 2014_08_16 015

The working country kitchen though is where I can truly feel my shoulders relax. This a home. It is our home for the next four days. We can do this. This could by my grandmother’s kitchen. This can be a place where memories last.

working country kitchen by Terrill Welch 2014_08_16 024

The breakfast room confirms my observations about rendering memories.

breakfast room by Terrill Welch 2014_08_16 019

When on the last day we leave this room filled on all-you-can-eat crepes, my grandson quietly comments – I am going to miss these guys.

And indeed we will. For though this is the first time we have stayed in this particular place on Saturna Island, Erin and Jamie have a way of making us feel like we are family. For reasons beyond both my grandson’s and my control, we must make a-home-away-from-home, or at least away from my home. Though this is often a raw emotional place of frustration and loss for me, I have come to accept that, for now, there is no other choice. We must rely on others to create the intimacy of home for our vacation time together. In this respect, we have been lucky and this year has been extra special, a healing suave on my unfulfillable expectations.

I want to embed my memories for long-term retrieval and one way to this is to do quick painting sketches. So as the smell of banana bread warms the morning sun I find a spot to set up on the porch looking out towards Boot Cove.

Plein Air painting at Breezy Bay BnB by Terrill Welch 2014_08_15 213

The plein air painting isn’t exactly what I want for composition but it will do. I have the energy and of the moment. It is all I need for now.

BREEZY BAY BANANA BREAD MORNING – 8 x 10 inch plein air acrylic painting sketch

Breezy Bay Banana Bread morning 8 x 10 inch plein air acrylic painting sketch by Terrill Welch 2014_08_15 219

A week later, back in the studio I decide on a 36 x 36 inch canvas that has a lemon yellow ground and set to work on a large oil painting.

in progress Breezy Bay morning 36 x 36 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2014_08_24 009

I wanted space to walk into the painting by leaving ample room on the deck. I liked the idea of creating this kind of depth using the square canvas. It is intriguing to me how we can visually create this illusion on a flat surface. But it is not the only illusion is it? There is also the illusion that this is the life we seek – the life we deserve for our hard work. I will probably always think of this painting as “the myth of capitalism.” There is a luxury of time we have been conditions to strive and put in front for our paid labour. We will someday get to sit on a deck like this as a reward. This is not why I painted this but rather it is an after thought – one that curiously lessens my loss for my first choice which would have been to have my grandson with me at home while making my own banana bread and sitting on my own porch. I remind myself to count my blessings instead of bemoaning my inability to reach an ideal.

The painting is now finished.

It is released for sale over on my website at “New Painting Squared with a Breezy Bay Morning on Saturna Island.”

 

What blessings have you recently noticed in the midst of reflecting on deeply felt loss?

 

© 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

Sunrise to Sunset Traveling the British Columbia West Coast Water Highway

The Government of British Columbia and its fine west coast island citizens are in agreement that something has to change to sustain one of the most beautiful water highway systems in world. There is not agreement on how this system must change however. User fees are going up and usage is going down. With the expected total tariff revenue shortfall of about $40M by the of March 2016, there are proposed service cuts and tweaking of schedules which may save money but will likely not lead to increased traffic.  Several factors have led to this grim situation including a lengthy downturn in the economy, fares overreaching the balance point of cost to value in the traveler’s wallet and the government requiring that each route be self-sustaining while separating these ferry served waterways from the highway transportation system and its funding support. It is not a pretty picture. If this situation is not resolved The Local Ferry Committee concludes that “the final result will be the continued strangulation of island and coastal communities, the effects of which are already evident.” (Ferry Facts – MayneLiner Volume 24, Number 1, January 2014)

There seems to be only one way to really give you a good idea what this means and that is to take you with me on a trip from Mill Bay on Vancouver Island to Miners Bay on Mayne Island in January.

The Mill Bay sunrise with Mount Baker in the background is pleasant.

Mount Baker at Sunrise in Mill Bay by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 020

from under the arbutus tree on the Brentwood College campus where I am visiting the “O” family.

Mill Bay Sunrise under the Arbutus Tree by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 045

Boats rest quietly in the marina next door as another amazing day begins.

Sunrise Mill Bay January 2014 by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 024

I don’t have to leave until midday so we go off for a morning hike returning in time for a quick lunch before I head out. Mayne Island is only about 35 km directly across the water but I will drive an hour over the Malahat highway and up the Saanich Peninsula to the Swartz Bay terminal to catch the 2:15 pm  going to Saturna Island and then Mayne Island arriving about 4:10 pm. I allow three and a half hours for travel time. On a day like today this is a pleasure…

Mount Baker from Inside Passage by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 088

Ferry traffic can be spotted regularly as we set out from Swartz Bay.

BC Ferry Traffic Inside Passage by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 128

After passing island after island views, we approach Saturna Island almost an hour later and Mount Baker is still grandstanding on the horizon.

Almost to Saturna Island by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 391

Quality prints available HERE.

The sun is getting low in the sky when our small Mayne Queen ferry retraces its passage back between North Pender Island and Mayne Island.

January West Coast Late Afternoon Sky by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 508

The Queen of Nanaimo ferry is finding its way from Saltspring Island and Galiano Island gives a looming welcome on the right.

Galiano Island winter afterrnoon by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 496

I turn and look back towards Swartz Bay knowing that one of the large ferries taking passengers across the Strait of Georgia will likely be visible.

Late Afternoon in January by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 526

I wasn’t disappointed.

We dock about five minutes late and I meander home, waving at neighbour and friend Leanne Dyck from The Sweater Curse blog who is out for a walk as I go.

My sweet husband has a few groceries he wants to pick up before we go out for dinner.  We unload everything but my camera and head immediately for Miners bay. There is only a slight orange glow left in the sky as we pull up and part on the street facing the Miners Bay Trading Post.

Miners Bay Trading Post by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 544

What can I say? It is good to be home. It is good to have ferry service and not have to hitch-hike on a passing tug boat, freighter, sea plane or sail boat. Yet, I wonder if it might come to that again in the maybe not so distant future. If it did, we would remember these days of 3.5 hour assured travel to go a distance of 35 km fondly. But would we move? Would we leave our island home with its water highway for the paved highways of the mainland?

Would you still think about coming to visit me if there was no ferry service?

© 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

Autumn Sliced with a Tear

Just the highlights from a painter and photographer’s last five days…

Sunday – Today is one of those slow-baked, melancholy west coast Sundays, so moist and tender you can slice it with a tear.

Autumn Sliced with a Tear

(available in my redbubble store at HERE)

Monday – new painting.

To see at a glance the cliffside, the sea and the movement of light across the canvas. This unframed 16 x 12 inch oil on canvas is a studio-finished plein air impressionist painting of one of the most beautiful location on the southern most gulf Island off the west coast of Canada.

Fiddlers Cliffside Saturna Island  – oil painting

This painting is now in a private collection.

Tuesday –  After an appointment this morning I slipped off to the sea – for no reason other than to say “hello” to the sea, the sun and today.

Here is Today

Wednesday – Perfect for today…. Moroccan Harira Soup

Every time I make this soup I do something a little different. Today it was 1/2 cup of dried organic French du Puy Lentils instead of the ready-to-go canned ones. Just add the dried lentils at the same time as the carrots. Enjoy and feel free to add and delete veggies… it all works. No potatoes or cabbage in mine today 🙂

ThursdaySeagull Cry Mayne Island

These gray days are as much a part of west coast life as the gulls. Loneliness and aloneness are so close that they whisper to each other and can be heard above the wind and pelting rain.

There is a Haiku poem by Alexis Rotella that came to mind as I closed in on framing this image….

The Gull
giving loneliness
sound.

SPROUT: What are some of the high lights of your creative week?

P.S. I left out the event of locking my keys in the car over by the daffodil garden. It was not a highlight. Thankfully, because the kindness of one of our Mayne Island residents, it was only a minor bleep in the week.

Today I have a long list of tasks in preparation to leave for the big city Vancouver B.C. on Friday morning. I wish all the best for today and the weekend.

© 2012 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

An Evening on Brown Ridge Saturna Island

Oh it seems like forever since I have checked in! Paintings and photography prints have sold. I am part of a new project for an online One Day Only – Artist Studio Floor Show, August 31, 2012. New paintings are completed and the summer is flying by. But, before I update you on these aspects over the next few days, lets just settle in and enjoy the end of a fine day on Brown Ridge Saturna Island.

Nice deep breath and long exhale. Okay, now we are ready….

Pull up a seat on the grass with us while the light is getting low in the western sky.

Yes, pajamas and house coat are just fine. Bring your blanket too as the air cools quickly with this vast open view. Look at the container ship picking up steam on its way through the islands to the open sea. I wonder where it is going?

What is that munching and grunting noise? Do you hear it? I wonder, could it be the feral goats that live on the ridge? Well we will have to get now and walk over the edge of the steep grassy slop and have a look. Yes there they are! Right below us with the sea in the background.

And look at this smelly little cutie. The mammas and babies were farther off. These fellows were obviously having a bachelor party.

Well here is a bit of pink showing up in the sky but it won’t be much of a sunset tonight.

The birds are getting quiet and the air is still – not even a summer breeze coming up the cliffside. Such a view! Darkness starts to seep into the corners.

Lights from the distant cities come into view and the July half-moon get brighter in the night sky.

We make a wish on the first stars that we see. We find the big dipper and we sit in the quiet of night high up on Brown Ridge, Saturna Island. We think about what it would be like to sleep out under the stars all night. But finally it is time to head back to Saturna Lodge and our comfortable beds next to the garden.

There! Wasn’t this the finest of evenings in nature? For us it was one of the highlights of our trip, right up there with Siglinde’s amazing breakfast at the lodge 😉

Sprout: When was the last time you were deep in the wilderness when night came over the day?

© 2012 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

Sketching by the Sea – 7 tips for sketching with children

My grandson, Arrow, and I are on vacation over on Saturna Island this week. Yesterday was an overcast. No rain but the light was dull and lacked luster.  Photography and painting en plein air just didn’t seem to be the most appealing activities to undertake. So we did a midday hike at Narvaez Bay for lunch and then went to Winter Cove for some sketching by the sea.

 

Here are our tips for enjoying outdoor sketching:

1. Do physical exercise first – it is much easier to sit or stand for an hour to focus on sketching after a hike. The eyes seem to be able to see better when the body can comfortably be still.

2. Use good quality materials because they are easier and the results are more satisfying.

3. Find a place that offers some privacy where people are not able to walk up behind you. If they come up beside you or in front of you, they are more likely to ask to see your work than stand lurking in the background.

4. Situate yourself at the level or in the perspective that you want to capture your subject. In the photograph above we are almost at water level and in the same relationship to the scene as I would be to photograph.

5. Sit or stand  in such a position that you can see each other sketching without moving. This is extremely effective for easy conversation and learning by observation without interruption.

6. Keep the session short. When interest wanes, take a break. For example, wander around and maybe skip some rocks. Then come back to the sketching.

7. Relax and enjoy. 🙂 Don’t worry about the results or giving more than very basic instruction. Children  will observe and ask questions about what they need to know at that time.

Today, with a bit of luck, we shall have a chance to do some en plein air painting with oils on canvas.

 

SPROUT: What tip would you offer if introducing your favourite creative activity to children?

 

© 2012 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

Does anyone read blogs and does it matter that you write?

Short answer: Yes they do and yes it does!

Sold – photography print on canvas  of  Building with a View #2  in series of five by Terrill Welch

(available for purchase HERE)

There is a wonderful story that goes with this sale. Yesterday, as I was standing on top of a bench-seat in order to hang a small painting in the Green House Bar and Grill here on Mayne Island,  I hear a woman say

“Are you Terrill Welch?”

I turn, raising my eyebrows slightly at the smiling stranger and reply “yes I am”

The woman came bounding forward.

“OMG! I read your blog all the time! I am from Edmonton and whenever it is miserable there I go to your blog. I love your work! It is such a pleasure to meet you!”

Her husband is more nonchalantly and says – before saying hello to me –

“Is this the blog you always send me links to at work and tell me I just have to see it?” and as his wife is nodding he then smiles at me and says hello.

She is laughing and says “oh I send your blog posts everywhere – to my husband, my dad, all my friends”

Teasing she adds “you are famous in Edmonton you know.”

(For those not familiar with Edmonton – population 752,412 in 2007 and it is in Alberta, Canada – right next to British Columbia and about a two-day drive away from Mayne Island. Many make this trip at least once a year and sometimes several times. Anonymity intact!)

Before the couple even get their lunch ordered, this piece is selected and set aside for purchasing when they were ready to leave. She was able to ask for it by name and fortunately it was one of the photography prints I had selected to show this time.

I tell this story because if, as an artist, photographer or writer, you ever doubt the impact of your blogging efforts and all the time you put into posting your work – think again. It does matter. It does make a difference in connecting your work to those who will and do enjoy it.

I had never met this delightful woman before. I did not know this reader as one of my regular readers who comments here on Creative Potager.  And the post with this photograph was made on February 19, 2010

https://creativepotager.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/simplicity

I allow those who have a subscription to my blog to receive the whole post so they can read it and share it – the consequence of this is the views do not show up in my viewing statistics. But none-the-less, she is a regular reader and was able to comment on past and recent posts with great joy.

A fine moment for any artist, photographer or writer.
Thank you, thank you to my dear reader who has quietly enjoyed these posts and shared them with her family and friends. Thank you to all those readers I have yet to meet. And thank you to those readers I know well and who comment and share my work regularly. You are wonderful! You are a joy! You make my heart glad to be alive!

 

SPROUT Question: __________________ (you decide:)

 

P.S. This wasn’t the only sale yesterday as I was putting up the new show – but that is another story! 😉

 

© 2012 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

 

ALONE BY THE SEA original oil painting by Terrill Welch

Don’t even ask what I was supposed to be doing this Friday because whatever it was it isn’t done. Instead, I worked on this new 20 x 20 inch oil on canvas painting that is of East Point on Saturna Island and one of Canada’s newest national parks. I took some artistic license and made the building slightly taller than it is in real live. Other than that the scene would be most recognizable to anyone who had walked out to the end of the point during a low tide and then looked back towards land.

This painting is in answer to a request by an admirer of my paintings. She asked if I could paint something with bright colours and maybe more contrast. We exchanged several posts as I remarked on how my subject – the southwest coast of Canada, is often quiet and the contrasts subtle. But I accepted her request as a challenge and asked that she leave it with me. I have been wanting to paint this particular scene for a while and I thought it would be a perfect with its deep shadows under the bank and in the crevices of the sandstone. It was a good painting problem and I greatly enjoyed saying one of artist Gabriel Boray pieces of painting advice over and over as I worked – exaggerate,  exaggerate exaggerate! This led to a whole other internal dialogue about my propensity to understate. So when all the tensions, struggles and musings had finished playing themselves out on the canvas this is what I am left with. Oh I might play a little with it yet but mostly I think it is ready to be set aside to rest. Enjoy!

UPDATE June 10, 2012: I played with the painting more than just a little based on the following feedback from colleague and artist Lena Levin

In your painting, the building looks a bit like a child drawing. I think it fits, in a way, — in that it kind of conveys your feeling of it sticking out, as though a man has been childishly modifying the nature, which looks mature and much more solid and eternal.

But just in case this look wasn’t intentional and you want to change it, it is due mainly to distortion of perspective (horizontals of the building don’t converge on the horizon line) and, as far as I can see from the photo, the lack of variation in the red of the roof (also probably the fact that two planes of the building are of the same value, as though it’s flat).

I did want the building to enhance that feeling of temporary tension between human habitation and the landscape. However, I also wanted the building to be somewhat believable. So I went back in this morning and made some minor adjustments which then led to a few other changes leaving us with what I hope is now the final painting. The building now looks much more like the actual building on this historic site. My thanks goes out to the Lena for her critical observation.

I also had a nice surprise this week. One of my small paintings “Morning” sold at the Green House Bar and Grill. I hadn’t even had a chance to show it to you yet.  However, I am going to do a separate post showing just the small paintings and will include it with these.

SPROUT: When was the last time you were glad your Friday went sideways?

© 2012 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

My gift to you of 12 landscape and seascape photographs for Earth Day 2012

I was going to wait until morning but why wait? Why not start such a beautiful day of celebration early? Here is my gift to you of 12 landscape and seascape images in celebration of Earth Day 2012 for your personal use are available now.

 


View and download my gift of all 12 high-resolution photographs at http://terrillwelch.smugmug.com/Photography/Earth-Day-2012-licensed-for/22555682_37czZn#!i=1805146523

Of course,  Earth Day is something I celebrate everyday. But for this special day of global recognition I wanted to do something extra – something that didn’t require you or I to necessarily reach into our wallets. I wanted to do something that was accessible to anyone with a computer. I wanted do something that I felt I could share with you that was respectful of our finite and limited resources. This is what I decided.

May these photographs provide you with years of personal enjoyment and reflection on our relationship with our earth and all that she provides for us. Please feel free to share this gift with others – Happy Earth Day 🙂

SPROUT: How will you be celebrating Earth Day on Sunday April 22, 2012? 

© 2012 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