For the Love of Brown-Eyed Susan

The gray and rain of January give a person a chill that can only be warmed by thinking of summer while sipping a hot cup of mint tea. This and a photograph of a clump of Brown-Eyed Susan taken during my August trip to Saturna Island are providing a zing to my Monday.

These beauties were in the lush garden of the Saturna Lodge B&B.

SPROUT: What are you doing to warm-up from the winter chills? 

P.S. MY original oil painting STORM COMING is on its way to a new home in Ohio today. I will miss it but I know it is going to a very good home.

© 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

THE SEA TO ME original oil painting by Terrill Welch

Fresh brush strokes, loose and easy, flow onto the canvas of a new painting.

Lusty dank seaweed brings its dark beauty to the summer sandstone shores along the inside passage on Saturna Island. My hand remembers.

The painting swells towards completion and then seems to drift and with an unexpected unsettledness. Incomplete and shifting on the canvas, I leave it for weeks sharing only a detail.

I approach it again – defining the sea and softening the mountains into a grander relationship between sea and sky – closing in the view and leaving a greater sense of more to see beyond the edges of the canvas. Finally the painting seems to settle. However, I suspect it may always seem just a little restless, inviting the viewer into the ripples at the water’s edge with one eye skittering off to the distant mountains, then back to the rocks in the foreground.

THE SEA TO ME 12 X 12 inch oil on canvas

(Original painting is now sold. Print available HERE)

SPROUT: What are you leaving unsettled for future competition?

© 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

Singing Seas with Tafoni Rhythmic Response

The musical voice of the sea is forever calling me to its shores. Sandstone, washed and shaped by the tidal chorus, seems to hold the notes of the sea in rhythmic response. The small holes in the stones are called “tafoni” – such a beautiful smiling kind of word.

(image is available for purchase HERE)

SPROUT: What are you listening to singing its sweet natural song today? 

SEED: Have you ever wondered about what makes these fascinating holes in the sandstone and other rock formations? They can be found in many places in the world not just here on the southwest Coast of Canada. I didn’t the formation of the holes had a name until quite recently. I am not sure if it has been decided just exactly how or why the holes exist in the patterns that they do. Here is a link to a lengthy explanation by Nick Doe http://www.nickdoe.ca/pdfs/Webp26c.pdf Whatever the reason or the means by which the rocks are as they are – I love them!

© 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

Calm before the Storm

There is a wind warning put out by Environment Canada for Mayne Island:

 

Southeast winds up to 100 km/h expected today for North Vancouver Island, central coast, north coast and Haida Gwaii. Southeast winds 70 to 90 km/h expected to develop this morning over the south coast. This is a warning that potentially damaging winds are expected or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions. Listen for updated statements.

 

It has been posted and revised since Saturday – last updated at 4:43 am PDT this morning. Just now the winds and more rain have arrived. While they have been delayed I am reminded of the calm before the storm. The wild birds and farm animals have been unusually quiet. My wish now is to get this up before the power is interrupted. I am thinking about calm and tranquility. I am thinking about my last visit to Narvaez Bay on Saturna Island. The humidity was at 100 % with the earth softly releasing its breath across my skin as I gazed into the stillness, the mist and the soft light.

Today’s post is a poem-like meditation with words and photographs….

The bull whips in Echo Bay softly roll on the gentle swells

as the sea flows around what remains of a temporary monument, with its puppy-dog resemblance.

There is perfect in imperfection of one red leaf.

Heavy clouds lift off the Straight of Georgia as I crouch next to the cliffs.

Reminded of the unyielding strength of nature,

such as this large ragged-edged clump of collected bits.

Chosen seashore pebbles and sea-glass remain as if for evidence.

Down by the rocks in Little Bay.

Mist rolls on the quiet sea.

The threaded sea.

The calm sea.

On the last day of summer.

 

 

Sprout question: Where does your gaze soften into the stillness that is today?

 

CELEBRATION: It happened yesterday – my redbubble account went over 100,000 views and I have a celebration journal entry HERE with my thanks and a few of my favourite images.

 

New: Check out my coffee table book PRECIOUS SECONDS – Mayne Island in paintings and photographs

 

© 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

Saturna Island in September

Even though the islands are neighbours with only a short distance of water between them, we had to take the Queen of Cumberland ferry, leaving at 7:20 am, from Mayne Island to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island and then transfer to the Mayne Queen arriving at Saturna Island by 10:30 am. But what an arrival!

Mist was rolling on the water as we approached with clear blue skies above.

Each with a small backpack we planned to spend the first day strolling the 1 km down into Narvaez Bay. My backpack carried my camera and two lens. The new lens is huge and weighs as much as a medium size puppy. Thus, it required a change from a shoulder camera case to a full-on backpack. David had water bottles, lunch and small first-aide kit.  We intended to spend time at the smaller bays of Echo and Little Bay then finish up with a hike up to Monarch Head in the late afternoon.Missionaccomplished. It was absolutely splendid! During this whole time we met two cyclists and one hiker with his dog Molly on our way out. Following are a few images so you can join us in one of our favourite magical places.

 

Though this path takes us to Echo Bay we opted to go out to the point.

From here I wandered over to the side and looked at the cliff side and took this image which will be familiar to some of you from a previous trip.

However, each visit is a little different and with the cliff in the shade I was surprised that this image came out so well.

Through the trees on the other side of the point I spied my favourite mountain.

I did take a photo of it all by itself but have opted to show you later on the ones I took of Mount Baker from Monarch Head instead. Going back along the trail, I was attracted by patterns again through trees.

What amazing water.

There are a couple of purple starfish swimming in here. Can you find them?

More trees with the sun coming through by Echo Bay.

This will likely be a reference for an oil painting that I will do over the winter.

Then of course there are these ladies of the arbutus waving their fancy apparel in the air.

Are you ready for a break yet? We sure are. There! Lunch! Water! Alright, pack up and let’s head for Monarch Head.

Ahhhh, the view.

And there is Mount Baker with a teeny tiny sailboat sailing by.

To give you some perspective on where we are here are a couple of shots that include part of the cliffs.

And then on the other side.

Now back we go and tuck ourselves into a most excellent B&B – Saturna Lodge.

Thank you for joining us as we celebrate our tenth anniversary of the day we met September 20, 2001 at a breakfast meeting when we both worked as seasoned bureaucrats for the Province of British Columbia. Seems so long ago in a different world of briefing notes, meetings with Ministers, urgent rush folders and a ridiculous amount of emails topped with a pile of documents that needed signing which seemed to have no bottom. How did we ever manage such a delicious courtship with lunches, long walks and quiet dinners together? But we did and here we are today still enjoying such a splendid time in each other’s company.  Glad you can share it with us.

Sprout question: What magic are you taking with you into the weekend this week?

Stay tuned, more images from our time on Saturna Island will be posted on Monday.

New: Check out my coffee table book PRECIOUS SECONDS – Mayne Island in paintings and photographs

© 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

West Coast Shore Photo-study

I wonder, has anyone mentioned that being a nature, land and seascape photographer is an expensive slide into professional shooting equipment? I have had good Cannon semi-professional DSLR equipment for a few years now. My EOS 40D with an EFS 17-85 mm lens has served me well. I think that PRECIOUS SECONDS – Mayne Island in paintings and photographs has shown us that, wouldn’t you agree? However, I knew that to take the shots I next I wanted capture I needed to add another lens.

(image may be purchased here.)

It is also time to move up into professional level equipment but there is a cost attached to this decision. The best glass for the scenery and sturdiest equipment suited the rugged terrain I am usually navigating comes at a price.

After careful research I took the profits from the sales over the summer of both prints and original paintings and I went shopping. It reminded my of a line in an Ian Tyson song “she’s gambled and gone like summer wages…”

(image may be purchased here.)

A perfect song actually for this west coast shore study.

(image may be purchased here.)

With a new camera Flipside backpack, I am off with David on another photo shoot to Saturna Island this week and will put this new puppy – Cannon’s 2010 EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM – and me 🙂 to a real test. For now, I hope you enjoyed my west coast shore study. We shall see on Friday’s post how I made out.

(image may be purchased here.)

Sprout question: What creative subjects are you poised to study?

New: Check out my coffee table book PRECIOUS SECONDS – Mayne Island in paintings and photographs

© 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

Hiking Brown Ridge on Saturna Island

The August morning is overcast but looks like it will open up into a brilliant day. We park off to the side and pull out our day packs to hike Brown Ridge. A deer looks up from browsing.

The day is warm but not unreasonably hot. This grassy windswept ridge runs along the southwest of Saturna Island and offers a view of spectacular proportions. It has to be one of my favourite sky-walking trails.

Are you ready? Make sure you have your laces tied up and watch your step.

Ah, look where we have been?

Should we take a short break?

Part of the goat trail is in the trees.

And I do mean goat trail. There are about a hundred feral goats living on the ridge. We didn’t see any but we did smell them every once in awhile. Of course they may have sensed that my hiking partner was armed and kept their distance.

They did leave us a great trail to use though.

I like to look both ways when hiking. It is an old habit from when I was young and hiking in isolated areas. Things always look so different on the way back and if you don’t look as you go it is easier to get lost. However in this setting, the natural markers are so pronounced it is not really a consideration.

The day is calm but these trees must survive hurricane force winds during winter storms.

Some are not so lucky.

Others crouch low after having their tops knocked off.

Today the view hides these hardships.

At least almost… the lean of the staggered fir trees  are ever-present.

We have walked an hour and a half. The trail continues but we know that we have gone far enough for today. It is time for a snack and to make our way back. The return trip goes much quicker as we seldom stop to take photographs. Finally in the shade of the trees again, we take another break.

My hiking partner has not uttered one complaint. In fact, he has lead most of the hike while pointing out interesting discoveries as we go. But now I look over and realize he is one tuckered boy…

We sit a bit longer and I dig through our supplies for some fruit leather while encouraging us both to drink more water. Finally, revived we zip through the last 30 minutes and dig into a stash of chocolate that was left in the truck. Yes! A full 2.5 hours hiking on Brown Ridge. Amazing.

Well are you ready for a nap? Thanks for coming with us. It has been a pleasure to have you along.

Sprout question: What is your favourite sky-walking trail?

© 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

August morning mist at East Point on Saturna Island

After two days of hiking and taking photographs on Saturna Island, this morning is our painting day. We had already scouted out where we wanted to be. But when we arrive, morning mist obscured the view.

However, it was gloriously magical. I spotted the old machine storage building behind the staircase which led me to complete a five piece study…

 (image available for purchase here)

 (image available for purchase here)

 (image available for purchase here)

Interestingly enough it is this fourth composition with the field that viewers most appreciate.

 (image available for purchase here)

But for me, it is this last image with the thistles that really inspires my imagination.

 (image available for purchase here)

Caught up in the space of a lone tree on the point I was gently reminded we were here to paint.

Though the fog was still keeping us close

and a few families had joined us on Shell Beach we went ahead and set up.

When I say “we” I really do mean “we” as the French box easel and materials were shared in 15 minute increments for a period of 2.5 hours.

My nine year old traveling companion has no idea I have him in the frame. His attention is on the mist, the stones and the sea. Someone stops to observe and comment. He replies “it is the first time I have painted with professional materials.” His eyes never leave the task at hand.

I will share more over the days ahead from our trip but this gives you a taste and foot hold into our time on Saturna Island.

Sprout question: What creative wonders do you have for us to taste 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