Arbutus Tree as a Figurative Painting

There is a new painting on the easel. I love the curvy strength and elegance of Arbutus trees and I have my favourites. For now, this Arbutus tree rests on a larger canvas in the middle of my Mayne Island home studio. The last evening’s sun is stretching across the valley outside the window as the weariness of having stood at the easel for the past few days catches up with me. It is a good feeling.

The work may require a brushstroke here and there but mostly it is as it will be. At least, this is how I feel at the moment.

resting “Arbutus on Saint John Point” by Terrill welch, 40 x 36 inch oil on canvas

There are certain details that I particularly enjoyed painting.

There was a quiet, loose and easy flow of moving paint from the palette to the canvas as I was leaving marks softly behind in their purest form. This is an unhurried painting with lots of movement and freedom. I don’t think I need to say that this raw intuitive approach is one of my favourite ways to paint.

Artist notes: The portrait Arbutus tree seems to be saying “see, here we are. Just follow the trail and enjoy.” And I shall, after a long pause knowing this favourite Arbutus right at the tip of the point won’t be with us for many more years.

I have studied this tree since 2018 in all the season and various times of day. Only now has it had its first portrait painted. Painting Arbutus trees remind me of painting figures. The painter wants an interesting angle and intriguing light to work with. There is a sense of getting the tree weighted accurately so appears both supple and elegant. Then there are those sensual curves that should almost make us blush and wish the tree had more clothes on… or maybe that we were viewing them in private space as our eyes caress their length and limbs. When I walk amongst them, there is usually one hand or the other running across a nearby smooth cool surface of their trunk. Arbutus trees are just like that.

Let’s put this painting in a digital room view to give us just a bit more distance and scale as we take a longer look.

The painting isn’t ready for release yet. However, inquires are always welcome. I will look at the painting out of the corner of my eye for the next few days. Then I will make some final decisions on whether it needs anything more. For now, the painting needs to separate from the painting process and be seen for its own merit. This is the benefit of the “resting” period.

Next, I am preparing another 20 x 24 inch canvas for a commission received while art collectors were travelling in the English Cotswolds. It is one of those extremely rare times that I will combine my own experience of being in England with a reference starting point from the art collectors. This painting will be part concrete reference, part memory and part imagination. We have agreed on the elements of the painting and the general imaginative composition. Now, I just need to work my magic and create the painting.

I hope you have enjoyed this latest painting adventure and I shall catch up with you again very soon.


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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

Art Studio Gossip

Gossip overheard in the artist’s studio this afternoon…

Standing on end and shouldering themselves into a rough order along the curved hallway, these landscape paintings whisper loudly to each other.

Gossip overheard in the the artist's studio by Terrill Welch

“What are we doing here? I don’t even have my edges painted yet!”

“Me either but I hear that is happening tomorrow. Apparently, we have a big gig coming up for September and October.”

“Yeah, I heard eight of us large ones will be showing in Victoria, BC ” says Seaside Mayne Island, as he heaves himself to a slightly better angle to be heard, without actually shouting, from the great room.

Then Evening And The Arbutus Tree leans over the railing from the loft.

“She told me that she wants to call the show ‘Above The Stacks’ because we are going to be in a new library and most of us will be way up high above the books. I said she had to add ‘Land and Sea’ to the title or no one will know that it is going to be us.”

Long Beach Vancouver Island sighs as the tide recedes farther up her midriff.

“You know” she comments patiently while stretching out one long sandy leg, and then the other “it is way too soon to be getting excited. There are still a couple of weeks to wait. No use wearing out all our shine in the studio.”

Then she winks and the light sparkles off of her sea “I do believe Emily Carr is somehow involved again.”

All the paintings in the studio start whispering at once. In fact one little fellow gets so excited that he falls over flat on his face in the magazine article he had been trying to read upside down.

Sea and Sun Cox Bay Tofino BC grumbles “You had to go and wake the little ones didn’t you!? You know they are too small to go in this show.”

“There will be other shows” Long Beach Vancouver Island replies. “After all, there are not many place that can handle the eight of us.”

The late summer afternoon warmth starts to make all the paintings drowsy – large ones, middle-sized ones and small ones. Sssshhhh!

The studio is quiet.


What are you whispering about today?


© 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

Today is a Wash Right up to its Painted Edges

Oh no! Is that the weight of the other being moving to the edge of bed? Fog-filled blinking tells me it is so – and is it daylight? How did that happen? My day is a wash right up to its painted edges. I am done for! Grasping for my glasses on the windowsill, I leap, hobble and half-run and then stumble past the surprised being still sitting slumped on his side of our shared nightly nest.

“Hey!” He bellows. “I was up first.” But I am already up the four steps and rounding the last corner of the curved hallway to the second most important room in our dwelling.

“No matter” I silently grumble and push the lock into place on the bathroom door. Mine first.

Returning to the kitchen the mighty he is thinking about putting the water on for coffee. I swoop in grabbing the kettle just as his fingers are about to curl around the handle. I don’t look his way. In fact, I pretend that he has vanished into the mist. Filling the kettle I slide or possibly slam it back onto the stove.

I lament “I hate it when you get up at the same time as me. It ruins my whole day!”

To his credit, this other being knows when to retreat. He also knows when not to take things too personally. He grins and goes to his study until I give the “all clear” call. My coffee is in the thermos and I am existing past the counter. It is not really okay to brush my shoulder on your way by yet but I won’t bite as you pass.

We both know it is not his fault that I have slept until the leisurely hour of 9:00 am. We both know that it was not his idea to book a solo exhibit, design a catalog to go with it and plan a three-week trip to California and returning only two weeks before the show opens. Nope. This ill-conceived planning debacle belongs to me – the artist who has no problem imagining what is possible beyond our wildest dreams.  So help me, do my rational, conservative, though underdeveloped, personality traits have no spine at all? Don’t they know we are in this together? If one part of us is set adrift – well there goes the rest of us – castaway with the next high tide and headed for The Great Pacific Trash Vortex. And the Creative Potager blog post isn’t even written!!!! It all sucks! The whole thing sucks! For tree frogs and garden worms I have no idea how to float this boat back to my west coast shore!

Okay-okay, let’s calm down and do it by the trusted “to do list” review. It isn’t really completely a loss – yet! The twenty-two paintings for the exhibit are all done. There are only two more to set up to paint their edges like the three that I just finished.

Today is a wash right up to its painted edges - artist's lament by Terrill Welch 2015_02_10 011

If we don’t think about the fact that these last two will require an extension in the to the kitchen table and leave us eating off the coffee table, it isn’t really all that bad. The postcard announcements are printed.

West Coast Landscape as Home

The venue menu at Camassia Cafe for opening night April 4th is set. The posters and local ads have been contracted out and are on schedule. The catalog is 80% complete – even though we all know that the last 20% takes 80% of the time.

If only he had slept in later than me! If only I had those three extra hours I usual have in the morning. If only I had a separate much larger studio space so there was room for my assistant to work and me at the same time. If only my mother was a fairy godmother and I had inherited her wand. Sigh.

Welcome to my artist’s morning. Now back to work….

What is your first strategy to escape bobbing in the water of unreasonable blame when panic sets in?


© 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

Nuzzling into Seasonal Art Studio Quiet Time

November and December and even sometimes the first two weeks of January are my quiet time of year in my art studio. Part of this is that after the Open Studio event I kind of turn off my marketing and sales efforts. Yes there is still the new 2014 Calendar available (click on the image to check it out further)

and new photographs and paintings continue to be released. But it is more a time of enjoying friends and family. It is a time of gathering and having a good visit. I love this time of year. These are Monday morning blessing in the largest grandest sense.

It is also a time of year when I reflect on what has worked and not worked and plan for the year ahead. These include my donations of both work and money because this is how the energy of receiving and giving is revitalized – at least for me. This weekend I received two requests I am happy to consider. One is for a commissioned work for auction to a wood recycling association and the other is for a donation to a private school fundraising auction. These are the touch-stones of balance in a material world that has gone somewhat mad in its need for acquisition of property – original art included. As much as I live a life of simple abundance, just by the sheer reality of being a painter and photographer, I create stuff that is purchased and contributes to this global material addition plaguing the current human condition. My only defense seems to be to ensure that the work is expensive enough that it will be well-cared-for once purchased. Odd isn’t it? But it is the only a few strategies I have come up with so far. Another is to donate my time, work and sometimes cash to others that are seeking and need support. Sometimes, I find this tension between materialism and simple abundance excruciating, particularly if there is a run of sales on my paintings where they are selling as fast as I can paint them. I think – oh know! Now what!? So, these quieter times in November and December of sales and my ongoing practice of giving provide a balance and resilience to this inner panic.  These are my acknowledgements when considering my blessings this Monday morning.

In other studio news, part 2 and the core of the interview that writer and author Charles van Heck did with me and is published today in Life as Human online magazine. The painting featured in the first part of the article is a newer painting:

ARBUTUS ON MT. PARK 12 x 16 inch oil on canvas

Arbutus on Mt. Park  12 x 16 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_10_26 059

(click on the image for more information)

There is also a new smaller painting that I did last week while the studio assistant was painting edges and putting work into the inventory program. I am waiting for it to dry in order to get a proper photograph but here is a sneak-peek and I will let you know when it is released over at Terrill Welch Artist (where there is currently a new post about another painting I released last week).

ARBUTUS BY THE TRAIL 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas

Arbutus by the Trail 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_11_16 007

The Art of Terrill Welch facebook Page continues to grow and is now has over 200 “likes” as you can see there on your right. The Art Review comments by writers that are posted every Wednesday seems to be going well. This week is a review of the painting EARLY NOVEMBER SEA by Sandi White. I know she would be most delighted if you had a moment to drop in and leave a few words.

As you can see, though the surface of my studio life seems quiet and it feels this way to me as well, there is an undercurrent of activity that somehow is happening with little energy or attention on my part. I am in a time of dormancy and rest but the roots of my work are still being well nourished. Thank you universe for these ongoing blessing during a time in the world that seems to be in warp-speed chaos.


What is nourishing your roots this time of year?


© 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


Artist Studio in real time

Today my art studio is feeling and looking like a real mess.

Artist's studio table by Terrill Welch 2013_02_03 005

I can see I have paint that has now dried onto my enamel table top. Not very pleasing at all. Nor is the unfinished applications for our expired passport renewals and neither are the stacks of receipts to be sorted for my 2012 tax returns either. However, there are ten completed paintings in my 2013 folder with six still to release. Three paintings have sold already this year and there are enough supplies in the studio to keep going for another few months.

But darn! Every time I think about those pesky administrative tasks, well I just squeeze more paint onto the palette, put another canvas on the easel and turn my back on it for another day. So this week I have made myself a promise. I either do passport applications, sort receipts for the bookkeeper or paint the edges on my big paintings. It is a toss-up which of these three tasks I dislike the most. The outcome is sure to be the ideal result because completing any three of these tasks this week will be a win.

Now, how might I set up the last of my large 60 x 36 inch canvases to do that fir tree painting I have been thinking about? Oh! Yeah. Hum. Must wait until edges, passport and tax files are completed….

The artist’s  slumps a few inches closer to the studio floor her face longer than the gray winter day outside the window.  Then, squaring her shoulders, she begins cleaning the studio. It is Sunday after all. No one does paper work or painting of edges on Sunday. Do they?

What is your least favourite “must do” task and how do you get it done?

And an ever so slightly more cheerful note, here is one of the newest paintings that is yet to be released.

At Dusk 10 x 12 oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_02_03 019

AT DUSK 10 x 12 inch oil on canvas will be released over at Terrill Welch Artist later this week along with at least a couple more that are also in the completed folder. All paintings that are currently available can be viewed in the Artsy Home online gallery HERE.

© 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