The Times When We Simply Proceed

A spring cold gathered momentum on Thursday morning requiring medication to keep my fever in check. There were studio guests arriving on the island and a painting class to teach. Both pleasant activities though I was functioning far below optimum. However, I simply proceeded.

Only while doing a quick painting sketch at the edge of the pond in the Japanese Garden did I forget how miserable I was feeling.

This was likely because I did not need to talk and I was warm in the afternoon sun.

Last evening I was reminded of this moment while reading about the chemical attack in Syria. I asked myself, when do we break and crumble under the weight of adversity? When is it that we can no long simply proceed, as if it was only a common spring cold?

Earlier in the day I had read Dina Nayeri’s powerful article “The Ungrateful Refugee: ‘We have no dept to repay’” which was the long read in The Guardian on Tuesday April 4, 2016. I will share with you just her closing paragraph….

“Still, I want to show those kids whose very limbs apologise for the space they occupy, and my own daughter, who has yet to feel any shame or remorse, that a grateful face isn’t the one they should assume at times like these. Instead they should tune their voices and polish their stories, because the world is duller without them – even more so if they arrived as refugees. Because a person’s life is never a bad investment, and so there are no creditors at the door, no debt to repay. Now there’s just the rest of life, the stories left to create, all the messy, greedy, ordinary days that are theirs to squander.”

After dinner, I was reading an opinion piece in the New York Times by Ariel Dorfman bring “A Message From the end of the World” in Santiago Chile. In his climate change impact summary of events on the southern tip of the Americas, he tell us about the widening of the gap in the Antarctica ice shelf and how it will eventually crash into the sea causing a rise in seawater. Chile is the first place that will be impacted.

I leave the table with plans to come write today’s blog post. But I don’t. Instead I simple proceed to clean up the kitchen and stay with these feelings of overwhelming disgust, horror, helplessness and a kind of deep hopelessness. It is too late for a long walk which is my usual line of first defense when the world falls short of my expectations. Instead, I just sit with the feelings, unable to write until this morning.

I should be celebrating with you this week. Two paintings have left the studio for homes of their own and the small postcard size painting sketch that was sent to England for the TwitterArtExhibit sold on opening night. Over $10,000 in U.S. dollars were raised for a local charity, Molly Olly’s Wishes, in the first night. Instead, this morning these bright spots in an artist’s life seem garish, insensitive and above all, unimportant. What to do?

My answer comes easily. I shall post this note and go for a long walk and listen to the spring birds. I shall breathe in time with waves on the sea. I shall inhale the scent of the blossoms on the breeze. I shall run my hands along the length of the arbutus tree. Then I shall paint. This is what a landscape painter does. After this is done, then I shall see if there is anything else I can do. In times like these, first we must simply proceed until we decide what else can be done.

When was the last time you asked yourself to simply proceed?

 

© 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

 

Three Large Plump Peaches in the Studio Today

There are just three large plump peaches, fresh from the fields, sitting in a bowl on the table.

Almost done still life painting sketch of peaches by Terrill Welch August 26 2016 IMG_9338

I paint the still life sketch promptly because there is a great risk of there only being two.

Study of Peaches 11 x 14 inch acrylic still life sketch by Terrill Welch August 26 2016 IMG_9390

The result is slightly larger than life contemporary impressionist style painting sketch.

Still life painting sketch of peaches by Terrill Welch  IMG_9400

Because this is all there will be, no larger painting anticipated, the 11 x 14 inch original acrylic still life painting sketch on gessobord has been released immediately HERE.

I have also released this work as a print and products in my Redbubble storefront HERE.

The studio study was completed simply for the pleasure of summer, peaches and paint.

 

What simple pleasures of summer are you enjoying?

 

Happy Friday to you!

 

© 2016 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

What a Difference a Day Makes arriving in Charlottetown Prince Edward Island

It is 2:30 am when the taxi dropped us off into the quiet dark of Water Street. We have arrived in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island from Victoria, British Columbia after making two connections – one in Vancouver and one in Toronto. The key was right where it was suppose to be along with a note from our hosts. We slipped into our small well-appointed circa 1857 house apartment. I send a quick note to our emergency contact that we were safely at our destination and it is lights out. This lasted until 5:30 am when I awoke to the beginnings of an east coast day. I toss and turn for an hour and then give up. There is nothing to do but get out there and join the rising sun! I head around the corner and down a small hill and I am at Confederation Landing.

Lower Water Street Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3040

The upside down world of the harbour seems most fitting.

upside down world in the harbour Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3044

There is a stunning art installation that will keep me coming back many times.

Art instilation at Conferdartion Landing by Terrill Welch IMG_3029

There is frost on the boardwalk.

Frost on boardwalk Confederation Landing by Terrill Welch IMG_3023

Pussy willows just budding out.

pussy willows in morning sun PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3034

Crocuses coming up under the shrubs.

Crocuses morning sun by Terrill Welch IMG_3026

All these wonderful signs of early spring! Little did I take to heart just how early a sign of spring it really was.

After a solo breakfast at a place down the street recommended by the city worker near the landing, I make my way over to the long boardwalk of Victoria Park. David is much more sensible and is peacefully getting a goodnight or rather day’s sleep.

boardwalk Victoria Park Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3047

Around the corner an old farm sits disappearing even with its well-worked fields.

all but gone PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3070

I see my first small lighthouse and smile. It has been a good morning.

Lighthouse near Brighton Rd Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3071

I go back to the apartment, fall into bed and sleep for another couple of hours. Our host and his daughter knock to welcome us and we have a great visit about this and that and everything. My paint supplies hadn’t yet arrived at his office. Our luggage will be coming later today as it wasn’t able to keep up with us yesterday – just ordinary friendly chit-chat in that warm PEI kind of way.

Once they leave, I started poking at David to get up so we can more easily get into eastern time.

We go for lunch at Terre Rouge and I have the best seafood chowder -ever! David decides on baked mac and cheese. I eat his salad. We each have a glass of wine. Even though this is breakfast for David, it is three o’clock in the afternoon. Have I ever said that we travel well and even better together?

Note: If you are planning a summer visit and think you might like to try Terre Rouge, a reservation was made while we were there for July 19th for two. I asked the server if this was common and she said anyone who had been to Charlottetown during the high-tourist summer months knew to make reservations ahead of time. So there you go, decide where you would like to eat in July and make the booking for the occasion at the end of April. No problem.

After a wander around the old town area we decide to go back to the boardwalk in Victoria Park. The beautiful large old dames along the shore are in perfect afternoon light.

white dames along the shore Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3084

We decide to sit in the late day sun on a freshly varnished bench in this highly polished city. A woman walks by and says “Nice to not be sitting in snowbanks isn’t it?”

I agreed and let her know that we didn’t see snowbanks last winter as we were from the southwest coast of Canada. This lead to a lengthy exchange which let us know, among other things, that the first cruise-ship arrives on May 2nd. This explains why there was a whole hive of city workers scrubbing and cleaning away the leftover remnants of winter.

After the woman walked on, David turns to me and comments “you have 32 new friends and you haven’t even been in Charlottetown 24 hours!”

He may be over-estimating, slightly, the number of people we have spoken with since arriving but not by much. Everyone we meet seems to take their role as a city ambassador seriously. They are proud of their island and their city. When we ask, many people tell us they have lived here their whole lives.

As a way of explanation, people give a soft shrug and say something like “it is a good place with good people, no need to really go any place else.”

There is only one other place we have visited in recent years that can match PEI for warmth and friendliness. This a small community on the outskirts of Florence in Italy. This kind of generosity of spirit and kindness is not something one should ever take lightly. We crawl into bed that night already feeling settled and at home. Tomorrow will be another day and what a day it is….

The bright sun and light-sweater-wearing of the day before are lost behind drifting snowflakes and just below freezing temperatures.

snow covered boardwalk Charlottetown late April PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3107

There is a white blanket on the boardwalk and the harbour is slow to wake.

Harbour morning late April Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3099

The air is crisp and refreshing and the crocuses look to me as crocuses should, their beauty always most accentuated when wrapped in snow.

crocuses dusted with late snowfall Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3102

I see a break in the cloud cover to the north.

light dusting of snow April 28th Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3114

I am thinking the snow flurries won’t last as I admire the conte-red of the sandstone lining the Charlottetown harbour.

conte red sandstone lines harbour Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3109

But I am wrong. It is snowing again as I head back down our street and it continues off and on for the rest of the day.

Water Street early morning April 28th by Terrill Welch IMG_3122

Like any seasoned traveling artist, I know a window of opportunity when I see one. We gather ourselves up to go and get groceries for the next couple of days. I always love organizing a kitchen with the things we appreciate.

shopping day Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3125

There are little black-cap birds using the bird house outside the window and neither they nor us really mind the snow at all. I make chicken stew with PEI potatoes for supper, along with a side of salad greens smothered in delicious olive oil and balsamic vinegar from “Liquid Gold – tasting bar and all things olive” and artisan buns from Breadworks, difficult to find but so worth it! I served a Prince Edward Island medium dry Gamay Noir from Matos Winery & Distillery for a perfect pairing – a beautifully light-bodied red that should satisfy right into warmer weather.

By just before sunset the skies clear and I meander off to Victoria Park for a stroll. The grand ladies along the shore are looking extra fine this evening.

Last Light April 28 3016 Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3163

Tomorrow will be Friday and I promise myself that I will sleep late and I do.

I rise at 8:45 am to make coffee, a cheese sandwich, apple slices and carrots. My paints arrived yesterday afternoon and it is going to be a painting day! I check the temperature and it is plus six with sunshine. I head back to the harbour close to home. Then I run back and get my heavy wool sweater. The wind is picking up to a brisk clip. I decide it is still doable but need to use my big camera as a weight hung from the bottom of the easel to keep it from blowing over. I persevere. There are only a few other people out this morning in a city that seems to walk almost as much as drive. It is cold. My hands become stiff. I must focus hard to work the brushes and keep my teeth from chattering. Then I drift into that space that painters do and the quick sketch seemed to complete itself.

Plein Air painting Confederation Landing Charlottetown by Terrill Welch iphone

I am happy with it. The light here has a sharp edge that bites with harsh contempt for the camera long before midday. This is only our third day in Charlottetown. There are new colour harmonies to rendered and I am pleased to be back at work after taking time out for the actual travel and to get orientated in our new surroundings. I am looking forward to the weeks ahead as our second spring of this year unfolds before us. Welcome to Prince Edward Island, Canada dear readers!

 

What are you looking forward to this spring?

 

© 2016 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

Intention, Composition and Underpainting are Tools of the Trade used by the Artist

Today’s work set aside to dry ….

Beginning with underpainting of Westerly Winds Victoria BC 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas

Beginning with underpainting of Westerly Winds Victoria BC 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2016-01-14 IMG_7555

Sometimes I am asked why do I use this tool of a flowing, rather shapeless underpainting? Wouldn’t a ground colour do? Why not just begin the painting and start with a pencil or charcoal sketch to mark the forms?

The answers to these questions are interrelated and to some extent personal and subjective to my intent. So lets start with my intent with this painting – I want my viewer to be standing along this specific shore on this specific day and be able to feel their presence within the landscape. Admittedly not a small task considering that 80% of the North American population lives in urban centres and has limited ability and time to spend watching how a specific landscape looks at different times of day and at different times in the year. Still, I believe part of my job is to provide this experience which then becomes more familiar to the viewer in the face of the actual physical environment. I make no assumption at all that the viewer is familiar with what it is I am about to paint. If we keep this in mind, it helps to understand the task I must complete with a rather simplistic landscape in order to convey the power of the universe through the sun, sea, and land.

First, in this case I began with a quick 20 minute plein air sketch yesterday.

Westerly Winds coming Ashore on the Sea 8 x 10 inch acrylic plein air sketch on panel board by Terrill Welch 206-01-13 IMG_7543

I wanted and needed that time on the shore to gather as many sensory notes as possible so that I can retrieve them for this work. So let’s unpack this underpainting process.

To proceed with a loose flowing “sketch” if you will for the underpainting is preferred in this case because the simplicity of the landscape makes it all the more difficult to render the movement and tension between the elements in the scene. This style of underpainting is preferred to a ground in this situation because the process provides a first check on the “rightness” of the composition for the intended purpose. The reds, yellows and oranges are simply a tool to bring the most movement and brilliance to the greys, blues, browns, yellows and whites of the finished landscape. Through trial and error I have found these pigments for underpaintings the most effective for capturing the significant range of lively blues in our west coast landscape. Therefore, the underpainting adds a strength to the end result that is near to impossible to replicate by beginning with the specific colours of the finished painting.

Do I always do an underpainting? No. Its use depends on my subject and my intention for the finished work. I sometimes do a quick painting sketch and work with the white canvas. I sometimes use a ground colour only. I sometimes work with wet grounds too. But this kind of underpainting, used for this work, is a favourite and there are reasons for this that go beyond any visual result and more to an intuitive remembering.

When I work a canvas up with this kind of underpainting, I begin to physically learn the window of space and the painting language that will be translated onto the canvas from my sensory information which I have gathered up to this point. My physical reference material will often include both photography and painting sketches.The sensory information is much more than what I see. It includes what I heard, smelled, tasted, and felt. There was the rolling of the stones on the shore beside me and the steps of people walking past. I could feel wind pushing cold air into my back and brushing my hair across my face. I could smell the cold dampness of snow, rain and salt. My eyelashes were cool. My hands were stiff with cold. But there was a warmth in the gray, the blue-green and the a brightness in the sky that was punctuated by the sturdy cliffs and the jut of land. It is all of this that I must translate into brushstrokes. The movement of the brushstrokes for the underpainting are like rough notes for the beginning of this painting conversation. I am intimately aware of the forcefulness between the elements of this seascape. I want this on the canvas from the very beginning.

iphone capture plein air painting Victoria BC by Terrill Welch 2016-01-13

I hope this helps to explain why I sometimes find this particular process of underpainting necessary to the rendering of my final work. Thanks for joining me and all the best of today.

Here is the finished painting:

Westerly Winter Winds Victoria BC – 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas

Details and purchase information are available HERE.

© 2016 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

A Narrow Artistic Perspective on a Mayne Island Morning

Let’s count them. There are eighteen photography sketches taken within 45 minutes of each other and no further apart than fifty steps along a chunk of the Mayne Island shoreline. It is a painter’s morning for gathering reference material. Why bother you might ask? Well, it is about seeing and mostly about how we see and choose to construct our world using sensory information.

I woke just before daylight. After blinking several times and making coffee I decide to go and see how the sun is making out.

Mayne Island late August morning 1 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 001

She is getting a little slower to rise on this late August morning but still beat to the shore.

Mayne Island late August morning 2 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 016

It is a gentle rising with a soft elegance that never fails to release the last bit of tension between my shoulder blades.

Mayne Island late August morning 3 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 033

I gather myself together and glance narrow and long… searching.

Mayne Island late August morning 4 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 039

And searching again.

Mayne Island late August morning 5 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 046

Low clouds play with the light as I look south.

Mayne Island late August morning 6 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 057

Back around I turn and venture deeper into exploring just this one aspect of the shoreline.

Mayne Island late August morning 7  by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 060

Which composition is most satisfying?

Mayne Island late August morning 8  by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 065

Which elements do we see most clearly?

Mayne Island late August morning 9  by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 073

Is it the sea or the land we most sympathize with?

Mayne Island late August morning 10 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 094

I want to reach into the camera and pluck out my own secrets!

Mayne Island late August morning 11 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 097

But I cannot.

Mayne Island late August morning 12 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 100

Like the blue heron I can only keep fishing using my past experience and best guesses. Maybe this one!?

Mayne Island late August morning 13 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 106

No not that one replies the heron.

Mayne Island late August morning 14 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 112

The sandstone chortles and then hefts a sigh, as if in commiseration, about this endless seeking.

Mayne Island late August morning 15 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 133

Calm but slightly dejected I turn around yet again. I haven’t unraveled this dawn yet.

Mayne Island late August morning 16 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 148

After a few steps, I turn slowly and then crouch low… there…

Mayne Island late August morning 17 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 155

and then again here….

Mayne Island late August morning 18 by Terrill Welch 2015_08_25 157

Morning has broken and the landscape is shattered by my viewer’s eye! I must leave now with my quick photography sketches. I must take these fragments and make something of them just as we do with every image we created in our mind’s eye. these are my few soft gestures of contemplation before picking up my brushes and rushing them over a canvas with heaps of expectation and too much substance to do any of it justice.

 

What has your morning brought to you?

 

© 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

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

Profit and Losses of Peonies and Poppies Still Life in the Art Studio

Notes from my artist’s journal:

Saturday’s flowers for $12.00 from the Hardscrabble Farm stall at the Farmers Market resulted in “Peonies and Poppies Still Life” 12 x 16 inch acrylic painting sketch shown here just as itwas completed in the studio. Thegessobord was $5.20 and the paints used maybe $2.80 bringing the total investment for materials to around $20.00 dollars. Then there is my hard-earned skills, creative genius and of course my time.

Peonies and Poppies Still Life 12 x 16 acrylic painting sketch just completed  in the studio by Terrill Welch 2015_06_07 305

I took it off easel and set it next to the flowers for a moment.

A June Sunday morning in the studio by Terrill Welch 2015_06_07 379

This was my June Sunday morning in the studio and a good morning it was!

I usually do not sell these sketches as they remain in my private collection for reference. But I felt for now I had done all that I wanted to do with this subject. I was quite pleased with the sketch and decided it could stand on its own as a finished work.

On Monday morning I posted the quick acrylic sketch on social media for the purchase price of $400 including shipping.

Late Monday evening the painting sketch SOLD!

Peonies and Poppies still life 12 x 16 inch acrylic painting sketch on gessobord by Terrill Welch 2015_06_07 477

Prints of this work are still available and can be purchased by clicking the image or HERE.

On Wednesday morning the e-transfer of funds was deposited and I had finished packaging and shipping the painting sketch to the new collector. I went to the small town of Sidney B.C. and purchased ink for my big printer, canvases and paints. The total was $368 dollars. I heaved a bit of a frustrated sigh as all of my profits from the sale, after supplies, taxes and shipping, were immediately reinvested back into the studio. Then I chided myself with the reminder that at least I had profits to reinvest.

Now it is Thursday morning. The flowers have faded. The peonies remind me of soiled pink toilet paper and poppy petals lay scattered onto the table.

Maybe, I will feel inspired to paint peonies and poppies again next year.

Don’t get me wrong I am THRILLED to have this work with a collector who I KNOW will treasure this painting sketch! I am always thankful and humbly grateful to ALL the art collectors who purchase my work. It is just that, well…. It’s all good right?

So goes the profits and losses of painting a peonies and poppies still life sketch in my art studio.

 

What are you adding up today?

 

© 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

Art and Landscape connecting one brushstroke at a time

Some days simply overflowing with humble gratitude. An unexpected belly laugh from your partner, child or a friend. The dampness of morning air on your cheek. Maybe it is the sounds of the tree frogs nearby that does it for you? Or an eagle hanging on a branch with a robust sea coming to shore?

detail of WEST COAST EARLY EVENING WINTER SEA 16 x 20 inch by Terrill Welch 2015_01_01 253

What are those everyday experiences that remind you of your humanness and connection to nature?

Today my Art of Terrill Welch Facebook Page has 837 followers or “Likes.” Just so you know, when it reaches 1,000 I am going to auction off an 8 x 10 inch landscape painting sketch. It will be a new adventure for me though I have seen it done many times before. The bidding is done in the comments on the post and there is a small reserved bid to start. In order to comment one must have “Liked” the page. Do be careful though as it is easy to “unlike” a page you have already liked by accident

P.s. This is a snippet from WEST COAST EARLY EVENING WINTER SEA 16 x 20 inch which will be unveiled at my solo exhibition “West Coast Landscape as Home” April 3, 2015 at Camassia Café on Mayne Island, British Columbia Canada. If you are considering traveling to come to this opening, now is the time to make plans as it is the Saturday of Easter Weekend.

All the best of a fine Sunday to you!

 

© 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

April morning in Dijon France

We made it from London England to Dijon France yesterday but arrived a little later than planned after missing our first connection in Paris and ended up on a later train. What an adventure! I don’t think I have been so confused in a very long time. Lesson number one – Ask. Lesson number two -Ask again. Lesson number three – keep asking.

Good people to ask in the Paris metro and train stations are the people at the small snack shops. They were the most skilled at giving clear directions. Better than the information centre. Who would have thought it? My assessment of RER Transit across Paris is mixed. I believe it  is only for the brave foreign traveler or those that play video games and who are willing to keep trying to get through the doors and passages which appear to be hidden. I took us on a wrong turn someplace getting off the RER and after about half an hour of asking and searching I popped up like a gopher halfway down the loading area for the trains. This would have been fine if our two month continuous train pass had been activated but wasn’t and this is where we lost any hope of catching our first possible connection to Dijon. Since we didn’t come in the main entrance and we didn’t know the layout of the Gare de Lyon train station, we had no idea where the ticket office was located. I tried information and received some rough idea which didn’t seem to lead to anything resembling a ticket office. Then I asked someone else who worked in another part of the building but she didn’t know either.

After waving us off the same direction as the information counter David said  “You poor darling. You have no idea where to go and I can’t keep following you.”

This experience and the five minutes to catch our train later when transferring in Sens almost finished him. When I didn’t see Dijon Ville on the list of destinations after we disembarked, I went and checked with the ticket counter. The service person had little English and of course I had about the same amount of French. But I had written out the train number, time and our destination in a little black pocket note book. This enabled her read my notes and not be distracted with my feeble attempts at speaking her beautiful language. She checked the schedule and let me know that we had five minutest to get to Platform one (voice raised hands making appropriate references to be sure I understood as she spoke her English words perfectly). This required quickly zipping across to a middle platform in the underground stairs with our luggage. I gathered David up and pointed him down a steep set of stairs and grabbed the end of our bag so we could  go quickly. We then went about 20 feet and I pointed for him to go up an equally steep set of stairs.

“What!”

Yes, I do believe he shouted in dismay. But we made our way up the stairs with a whole two minutes to spare.
As we whisk across the French countryside he is deciding what in the suitcase he is going to send home. But the yellow rapeseed fields are stunning and the regional train is quiet like the ferry home from Victoria. He is recovering. I hope anyway. Looking out the window I see trees with doctor Zeus like balls on them that must be a vine growing up the tree and forming these shapes. Dusk is falling and, even if I have almost no idea what the conductor is saying, the stillness of the end of the day is comforting.

But that was yesterday. This morning we woke early in our old walk up apartment with its French balcony and many tastefully added modern touches. The task was to find the Les Halles market.

early morning Les Halles Market by Terrill Welch 2014_04_08 Dijon France 003

Many streets in Dijon are pedestrian and bicycle only making it a pleasant city to walk both day and night. The market starts early and Tuesday is the local shopping day. As we slipped along the quiet streets with locals going to work it was easy to think we are just part of another ordinary day in Dijon.

morning in Dijon by Terrill Welch 2014_04_08 Dijon France 013

The salt cod or morue caught my eye but only for its natural display beauty.

salt cod or morue in Les Halles market Dijon France by Terrill Welch 2014_04_08 Dijon France 007

I would have taken more photographs to show you but I found an amazing food blog post by the Food Gypsy last evening when I was searching for where we could get groceries nearby. It is worth the read and the food photographs are stunning.

Instead, we went for coffee and croissants at the small cafe next to the market. We had taken a browse and wanted to carefully consider what we would purchase. This task needed a wee bit of fortification so as not to get more than we could eat in a couple days. After, we picked up a few items and started back to our apartment. The day was starting to pick up and the local shops were getting prepared for business.

April morning in Dijon France by Terrill Welch 2014_04_08 Dijon France 019

The day tours were just arriving from Paris as strolled home and unpacked our provisions.

a few Les Halles market provision by Terrill Welch 2014_04_08 Dijon France 042

David turned on the French radio and we served up a late breakfast of strawberries drizzled with creme fraiche, parsley ham, sweet pears, ripened goat cheese and a chunk off a wood oven baked baguette.

I then went off to paint a block away in Park Darcy while David took a nap.

plein air sketching Park Darcy in April Dijon France by Terrill Welch 2014_04_08 Dijon France 058

I chose the park because I wasn’t sure how people would react to my painting on the streets. However, I quickly discovered that painting is considered serious work in Dijon and many people stopped to comment, visit, ask questions and give their thumbs up of approval. My French is improving by the hour out of the pure delight and pleasure of warm conversation. The only slightly awkward moment was when a couple of oriental tourists stage-set a photograph with me. I should have seen it coming but only had enough time to look up and smile as the woman laughed and put her arm around my shoulders and her husband’s face disappeared behind his iPad to frame the shot. I am not sure if one short night’s sleep can even remotely qualify me as the local Dijon artist painting in Park Darcy.

But here we have it – APRIL MORNING PARK DARCY 8 x 10 inch acrylic sketch on tempered hardboard.

Park Darcy in April Dijon France 8 x 10 acrylic plein air sketch gessobord  by Terrill Welch 2014_04_08 Dijon France 063

Getting tangled in the unknown and unfamiliar yesterday was worth it for the sweet welcome of the April streets of Dijon this morning. There is something extremely humbling about being at the mercy of others to find our way. It is only equaled by the release of finding we have succeeded and all do to the kind and open hearts and minds of others.

 

As an adult, what is a time you most needed to rely on the help of others to find your way?

 

© 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

How To Paint Europe While Traveling Without An Art Studio

One of my major puzzles to solve has been – how shall I continue to paint for the three months we are traveling in Europe starting in April? Photography, no problem, even if my camera bag weighs sixteen pounds with out my toothbrush and two pairs of socks, underwear and a clean t-shirt. The limit is 22 lbs. for carry on luggage. I think I can do it. But painting, how can we make THAT light weight and practical at the same time? Here is my solution….

French Resistance Pochade by Terrill Welch 2014_02_14 092

This is a “French Resistance” Pochade box. It is 10 x 13 x 3 inches and weighs only 3 lbs. The palette is a wee lightweight one I rounded up from another source. I have already purchased Golden Heavy acrylic paints for their drying power over my water-mixable oils and I also picked up a dozen 8 x 10 inch primed panels to get me started. The panels and the little water jar are another find along with the pochade box that I discovered at Judsons Art Outfitters. The pochade box mounts onto my camera tripod but will also sit on a table. The packaging has a little note that says “kiss your French Easel goodbye and start a whole new relationship.” I did giggle. Though wee beauty it NOT likely to lessen my love for my French Box Easel. I am however open to a wild, passionate European fling with this little “French Resistance” pochade 😉 The acrylic paints clean up easily and dry quickly. The acrylics are the best substitute for my oils I could find and though not as rich and flexible, they will do the trick for painting sketches. And their other attributes make them a necessity. This light weight and compact set up means many a painting sketch while we are on the go. I will be able to pick up larger panels up to 16 x 20 inches to use with this pochade though a larger panel will likely mean adding weights to the tripod to keep it upright if it is windy. But to start, I am going to keep it quick and small. These will be painting sketches for reference in painting larger oil paintings when I get back to our home on the southwest coast of Canada. Many of these sketches will likely be en plein air because, well, why not!

Wishing you all a fine week ahead!

What is YOUR major puzzle to solve this week?

p.s. In other news, FOUR photography prints of Mayne Island SOLD to a new collector yesterday and will take up residence in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Yippee! Please feel free to have a browse your self at my Redbubble Storefront.

© 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