private studio visit and art sales at la ca de inspiracion on Mayne Island

Artists often do open studio days but the real gem for art collectors and artists is the private and personalized studio visit. I do a few of these each year and I treasure every one. How it works is an interested art buyer or small group of collectors emails or phones me to set up a private studio visit to our home and my studio space. I ask a few questions about what they are interested in viewing and set up our space to accentuate these interests. This weekend my visitor was interested in my paintings and in particular in finding one for a new art space that was created as part of a recent renovation of her home.

In a moment of clarity I thought that readers and collectors from afar may also enjoy coming by as part of this private and personalized studio visit. So after everything was ready I took the time to do this home-style youtube art studio visit with my iPad. Here it is if you care to join me…

As a result of this visit, a painting that was released just last week will be going to live with this new collector in British Columbia, Canada.

WINTER SUN II  –  18 x 24 inch oil on canvas

Winter Sun II 18 x 24 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_05_28 279

This painting is going to go to a place where it will be loved and appreciated for many years into the future. The new owner tells me how she can see already how much this painting will change as the light changes. She is imagining how her family will watch the painting and notice different aspects at different times of day – a practice that is not really any different that watching the sea itself.

Feeling a sense of peace and being in alignment with my purpose in the world, my husband and I went out for a late lunch to celebrate at the Bennett Bay Bistro. The deck overlooking the bay is divine mid-afternoon.

Upon returning home the phone rang. A breathless request zipped through the lines from a collector in Alberta, Canada. She wanting to know if the painting ISLAND WITH THE LIGHTHOUSE was still available and if so,  could she to buy it. I had just posted the painting for sale the previous day in the Artsy Home gallery and I hadn’t even had a chance to put it up on my  Terrill Welch Artist website.

ISLAND WITH THE LIGHTHOUSE 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas.

Island with the Lighthouse 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_05_28 272

I said it was and yes she could buy it. Full of emotion she explains how every Sunday she goes to the Artsy Home online gallery to see what new work I have posted. When she saw this small painting of the Mayne Island lighthouse as it is seen from the ferry, the experience brought tears to her eyes. Her husband noticing her reaction and said he would buy the painting for her for her birthday. At this point I had a lump in MY throat and tears in my eyes. To think that such a small painting could have such a significant impact on others!

My inspiration for this painting comes from describing where we live to others. The southern gulf islands are not always easy to name individually if you are unfamiliar with how they relate to one another. Mayne Island is often described as the island with the lighthouse as it is viewed from the ferry traveling from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. This small window to the sea is what you might view on a fine day from that ferry as you near the entrance to Active Pass.

What is YOUR most treasured way to share your creative results with others?

Thank you dear readers as always for your ongoing support and comments here on Creative Potager. It is an honour and a pleasure to visit with you from my art studio and home on Mayne Island on the southwest coast of Canada.

© 2013 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

Springwater Lodge en Plein Air

There is a  seductive pleasure about painting out in the open or en plein air. The weather forecast is rather a mixed bag of cloud and sun. I wonder if we should chance it? What it doesn’t say is that it is heavy breaking cloud which is delicious light.

Active Pass breaking cloud cover by Terrill Welch 2013_04_14 023

Oh, why not. The worst that will happen is we get a little wet. I trundle my French Box easel, camera bag which also has my iPad inside and another bag of painting gear down to the beach in Miners Bay. Let’s see if we can get a wee bit of a shared experience here…

At least there is sun on the far shore of Galiano Island.

Galiano Island in the sun with storm clouds behind by Terrill Welch 2013_04_14 048

But I am still leaning towards painting the Springwater Lodge as my subject.

It is only about 6 degrees Celsius . or 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit. My fingers and the paint are both stiff. As the birds sing and the waves keep me company that brush starts to work its magic.

Beginning of Spring at the Springwater Lodge plein air by Terrill Welch 2013_04_14 076

This is it for images of works-in-progress on site for this painting. Darn if that big old cloud behind me didn’t get stuck on the cliff as it came over. Big fat drops have me running with the painting, my camera and iPad for cover. Good thing the painting was mostly done! Here is a shot of the more-or-less finished painting taken back at the studio.

SPRING AT THE SPRINGWATER LODGE MAYNE ISLAND 11 x 14 inch oil on canvas plein air

Update April 19, 2013: This painting has SOLD to an art collector in Alberta, Canada.

Spring at the Springwater Lodge Mayne Island resting 11 x 14 inch oil on canvas plein air by Terrill Welch 2013_04_14 154

Established in 1892 the Springwater Lodge is situated above Miners Bay in Active Pass, on Mayne Island. The Springwater Lodge is the oldest continuously operated hotel in British Columbia. During the Fraser River and the Caribou gold rush, the lodge was a favourite stopover for miners.


Keeping your responses family-friendly, what is your favourite Sunday seductive creative pleasure?

© 2013 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

Savouring the Blues

Yesterday was a fantastic Sunday for a stroll and to a poke about at the light house on Mayne Island. What really grabbed my attention was a clump of maples against the blues of the water and sky.

I also like this perspective and can’t decide which I like best. Because they are so similar I should probably only post one on my redbubble storefront.

Do you have a preference?

However, it is almost always the sea that pulls me into sublime bliss. This Sunday was no exception.

This brings me to some Monday morning news from Creative Potager. Do you remember the small 8 X 8 inch oil on canvas painting A SUMMER DAY that was the third I did during a plein air session this summer?

Well, it SOLD this weekend and is going to a lovely home here on Mayne island where it will be treasured.


The second good piece of news is that PRECIOUS SECONDS – Mayne Island in paintings and photographs


is now available as an ibook for $9.99 for those who have ipads or iphones. Isn’t this exciting? It can be purchased at the same place as the hardcopy on BLURB HERE.

Since I do not have an iphone or ipad I put in a request to a tweet-friend and iphone artist Sandra Lock in Liverpool England. Sandra reviewed the ibook for me and left the following comment on BLURB…

“I can wholeheartedly recommend the iBook. It looks fabulous on my iPad, there’s nothing quite like a backlit screen for making images really pop…” 

If you get a chance, I suggest you check out Sandra’s COLOUR YOUR WORLD Art Blog. And thank you Sandra for taking the time to review my first ibook 🙂


I have one more piece of news but I am going to wait until Friday to share it. I will give you a hint though – I made the cover or rather my painting did.



Sprout Question: Where are you finding sublime bless today?



© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at




Hunting Waves

Every once in a long while, on the inside passage of the southwest coast, high winds and sunshine meet, bring in high waves to our sandstone shores. Yesterday was one of those ideal days. About 2:30 in the afternoon I went hunting for waves. Enjoy!

The warmth of the sandstone against the blue of the sea with the waves rolling in. I took another photograph.

And then another…

Until I got this…

(image may be purchased here)

Draped in sun, the sea spray settles as the water rolls over the edge of the rocks.

For my study of blues, the day couldn’t have been better.

The seagulls were plentiful hovering over the churning waters.

(image may be purchased here)

My heart soared and sang to the rhythm of the sea. This is an image of Active Pass looking from Mayne Island to Galiano Island at the lighthouse.

But it is this next image I went hunting for. It happened early on in my shoot. As you know, Reef Bay is incredible most days. I crossed my fingers that it would be even more so today. The tides are low. Long stretches of the reef are bare. I need to leave shore to get the shot I want. I walk out on the reef with waves thundering beside me. It was safe but loud when the breakers hit. My heart pounds.

I get my shot.

(image may be purchased here)

And so did you.

Sprout question: What are the ideal conditions for one of your creative inspirations?

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

BC Ferries share the Salish Sea sometimes to its own peril

Yesterday’s post introduces the first blog clip about a series I am compelled to paint about the newly named Salish Sea. Today I am going to take us on a photo journey where BC Ferries share these busy waters, sometimes to its own peril.

The main thoroughfare between Vancouver, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island is Active Pass and it is as busy as the name implies. BC Ferries share these waters with fishing boats, freighters, kayakers, pleasure boats, sail boats, whale watching boats, tug boats and float planes… in addition to whales, seals, salmon, sea lions, sea otters, eagles, cormorants and seagulls.

Often, whether on the one of BC Ferries vessels or on shore, the three blasts of the ferry horn can be heard warning another sea traveler to get out of its path. But an accident like yesterday morning where rope tangled around the propeller of the Queen of Nanaimo preventing her from slowing adequately as she came into the Village Bay berth at Mayne Island is, thankfully, a rare occurrence.

Four passengers and one or possibly two crew members were injured as a result of the accident. The vessel is reported to have sustained damage to the rubbing strake and bow door frame. The terminal sustained damage to the wingwalls, which are part of the berthing structure, as well as to the ramp apron. Village Bay has two berths, so the terminal remains operational.

On Friday July 30, 2010, I left Mayne Island for a long weekend visit to Oroville Washington high desert. The ferry terminal was waking with stunning beauty as BC Ferries vessels and fishing boats appeared and disappeared in the drifting fog.

The Mayne Queen departs after dropping off passengers and vehicles from Saturna Island who join us in the wait for the Queen of Nanaimo. Blasts from the ship’s whistle can be heard as she navigates through the thick mist

I slip into the back of my pickup truck “Miss Prissy” to get a better view as the vessel that left Salt Spring Island and then Pender Island approach the Village Bay terminal. I am on my way to Vancouver. The Queen of Nanaimo is the ferry that will take me there after another stop on Galiano Island.

In minutes we are on board and I move around the outer decks taking photos…

Morning coffee aboard the Queen of Nanaimo

fishing boat and BC Ferries

View and purchase full resolution image here.

and the mist hanging on Galiano Island as we enter Active Pass.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

Yesterday, on my scheduled return trip, BC Ferries staff wait to reach me before I get to the Tsawwassen ticket booth. Do I have a reservation? I did. The Queen of Nanaimo has been in an accident. The ship can’t be moved. I am being rerouted to Victoria. I will be given priority on sailings going to Mayne Island at 3:00 pm and 4:25 pm. I won’t be charged any extra fare. I move forward in the line.

My mind begins to scramble with making all the necessary changes – make sure David has food for lunch, cancel my afternoon coaching sessions and all the other details that come to mind when our plans are set aside in the immediacy of the unexpected. I reach the ticket booth and hand over my credit card to verify my reservation.

Numbly I ask the ticket agent what happened. She gave me a brief rundown. The ferry hit the berth hard on its approach. The cause is under investigation. I ask if anyone was hurt. My heart sank as she confirmed that “yes, people had been hurt.” I line up in row 40 to wait for the large new Coastal Celebration ferry that will drop me at Swartz Bay around noon… just about the same time as I had expected to be home. I start making phone calls sorting out the changes to my day. It is summer tourist season. Many people around me are from someplace else speaking a language I don’t understand. I look for familiar faces and find one. We recap the morning sharing bits of information as we try to create a new reality that is different than the one we had imagined.

The rest of morning and afternoon I continue to make ongoing adjustments. No I can’t go into Victoria. The scheduled runs are overloaded. We are told to proceed directly to the terminal area for the Gulf Islands. Extra trips are scheduled but by the time it is decided who will go on which ferries and extra staff are found we leave at the scheduled 3:00 pm time only stopping at Mayne Island first before the Mayne Queen continues on to Saturna Island.

By the time I arrive home and see the Queen of Nanaimo still sitting in the berth at Village Bay – the very vessel that was to bring me home five hours earlier – I was exhausted but pleased with my ability to ride with the changing currents with the sun at my back and the wind in my face.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

Injuries to the passengers ranged from a concussion to a possible broken ankle and possible cracked ribs.

Mike Corrigan, B.C. Ferries executive vice-president and chief operating officer, said the preliminary investigation points to “a significant amount of rope in the propellers, especially in the port propellers.”

He said the rope, likely from crab or prawn traps, made it impossible for the crew to adjust the propellers. “So when the captain tried to go astern to slow the vessel down, basically the propeller was stuck in a forward position and wouldn’t let him do that.”
Read more:

The Queen of Nanaimo will have to undergo sea trials before it is back in operation. A smaller vessel will try and do some of the regular schedule but it won’t nearly be enough at the height of the tourist season. This story won’t be news today. The world will have moved their attention on to other events. But if you live in the Southern Gulf Islands or were planning on coming to our beautiful part of the Salish Sea the waves of this incident will continue to ripple for days.

Sprout Question: When was the last time your day ran ahead of you while you skidded along behind hanging on to its tail?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada