The Arbutus Tree and an Ordinary Life

I am about to share how discovering the arbutus tree is a great metaphor for living an ordinary life in a series of photographs from a recent walk. But before I do, I have an update for us on “The Moon Is No Longer There” series of work.

My extended leave to travel is drawing to a close. My purpose has been to bring you “the moon” in a way you will remember and notice for all time. In order to do this, I am living my best life. I am traveling deeper and even more focused than ever before. My intention remains clarified. My inner compass set. My resources and research materials are in full use. I continue my journey to capture something unforgettable, rare and valuable – our ordinary, everyday, natural world.  When I started in January, I didn’t know if this new series of work “The Moon Is No Longer There” would take a year or a life time. Only one thing was absolutely clear – my spiritual, emotional and physical bags were packed. I was ready.

The Moon Is No Longer There” series has led me to some of my best work like the “Storytelling Arbutus Tree Bennett Bay Mayne Island BC.”

In addition, this intention has also set me on a path that has allowed me to share paintings from as far back as 2012 in my brand new Terrill Welch Gallery. In just two weekends, for 5 hours each day, I have confirmed a most compelling personal discovery.

The moon is always visible in my work and most viewers can see it even if they wish not to do so – like the “Last View Chesterman Beach Tofino Tsunami” painting.

What has changed since last January you might ask? Well, since the international art fair in Vancouver in late May and opening the gallery on Mayne Island a couple of weeks ago, I have had the pleasure of watching viewers respond to my work before they can edit their body language or even realize I have seen them. These observations are not just at a brief opening that is hectic and I occupied with hosting. These observations have taken place over several hours on a specific day. It is a fascinating, almost voyeuristic, observation practice I do not get from sharing my work online. I know, you do tell me how you experience my work. This is true but it is not the same as seeing your unedited responses for my own self. This has given me confidence, not just in the work but also in the viewer. The essence of the moon is always there for those that are present and to my profound delight – you are all, for the most, part present! A deep relishing pleasure in an ordinary day in nature is a common desire and a treasured experience. Painter and viewer are most often one and the same in front of the finished work. We understand each other’s language as presented on the canvas. Oh, I will always keep striving to go deeper, to refine the engagement to its purest most intense form but I shall never again doubt my ability to render its significance – nor the viewer’s ability to receive its strength. I have discovered that moon is always there for those that wish to see it and we do!

Now, my latest engagement with arbutus trees.

At first, there is just a massive tangle of branches that confront the sensory apparatus with its confusion.

Eventually, a branch comes into focus but it is not clear yet what is of importance.

I walk on and sink close to the ground observing a whole arbutus tree beside the path.

I look way up at another, naked to the waist, in the cool August evening shadows.

Another juts out into a swiftly moving patch of sun. By now my brain can quickly categories and name even a partial branch of an arbutus tree. The unorganized tangle and variation of each tree is recognizable.

Then I come upon the perfect specimen!

My search is complete. I continue along the path in the fading light, knowing I will never be finished with these special trees… but it is enough for today.

 

How do you learn a subject that gets under your skin and refuses to let go of your attention?

 

© 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

Mayne Island Christmas Arbutus Tree Visit

I have a large wonderful family.  At the same time, Christmas day is often about taking a long walk and visiting with the arbutus trees. Like my family,  they are quirky, intelligent, talented, fun and precious to me. Early in January and the first part of February I expect to be focusing my attention, canvas and brushes on these beauty. So today I set about doing a few photography sketches.

Notice how they have found enough support to secure themselves over the bare sandstone rocks.

Mayne Island Christmas Arbutus Tree visit 1 by Terrill Welch 2014_12_25 006

In this soft warm south exposure winter sunlight my eyes scale their length.

Mayne Island Christmas Arbutus Tree visit 2 by Terrill Welch 2014_12_25 010

I walk along the ridges on the backs of the large stone surfaces marveling at how they have made space for each other.

Mayne Island Christmas Arbutus Tree visit 3 by Terrill Welch 2014_12_25 016

The leaning and reaching for the sun is so pronounced in the character of an arbutus tree grove.

Mayne Island Christmas Arbutus Tree visit 4 by Terrill Welch 2014_12_25 029

I sense that these beautiful trees understand belonging in a most comfortable and companionable way.

These are my Christmas Trees, naturally decorated and lightly lit with sunshine.

 

What is putting a glow on your Christmas Day?

 

© 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

Early September Walk

How about a long walk? We haven’t been on one together for awhile. It is a warm afternoon and getting close to dinner time so it should be peaceful out on the point. Doesn’t that sound like a great idea?

I knew you would be game. Shall we?

(This image is available for purchase here.)

The arbutus trees are particularly intriguing this time of year….

as their bark splits and peels back to another layer of beauty underneath.

Then there are David’s trees.

“Oh look at this. Have you taken a photo of these yet?”

I hadn’t. So I did.

A quiet ledge. Now this seems to be perfectly designed for a Creative Potager moment. Ahhhhh.

(This image is available for purchase here.)

Then there is this particular arbutus tree! I don’t know how many times I have tried to get it just right in a photograph. Maybe this time. What do you think?

(This image is available for purchase here.)

Well that is it for the sunny west side of our late afternoon September walk. Time to cross over to the dark side. Can you hear the surf through the trees? It won’t take long.

  (This image is available for purchase here.)

The air is still humid and warm with hardly a whisper of relief off the water. The sky is clear. Yet the sea is dark and hugs the shadows along the shore.

(This image is available for purchase here.)

A bit of a puzzle isn’t it?

Time to head for home. We have been over an hour and a half. It is a good thing we brought our water bottles.

———–

As long fingers of fog are blown into our open windows this morning, I shiver and begin closing out the cool dampness. Then I remembered the sea from our walk on the weekend.

(This image is available for purchase here.)

Remember that the late afternoon was warm and humid with hardly a wisp of breeze off the water? Yet, the sea frothed and boiled as it slammed up against the sandstone shore? Now we know why. Fall is here.

Sprout question: What signs of fall are blowing in your direction?

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