Sailing Through The Trees – a start

The curved deck and angular presence hints mysteriously as it sails through the trees. I have walked all angles, from the expanse of lawn, to ground zero, where the building towers steep above me. After musing over several possibilities, I settle on this view.  There are curves of arbutus held tightly among the straight firs, all cradled by a high shore path. And of course, there is the sea. This is the view that intrigues and keeps me coming back for a second, third and even fifth time.

House In the trees beside the sea by Terrill Welch

Except there is one problem. I want the late afternoon light kissing the face of my subject and this is a painting problem that will require some resolve or speculation. Likely it will take both.  In January, the later afternoon light doesn’t reach this far. The sun slips behind a slight hill before it can make it around to this northwesterly cove. I am stuck. I am left waiting for the earth to turn itself into a longer day. What to do?

Well, I could just wait… but the canvas size has been decided… and I shall head to the city to pick the 30 x 40 inch surface tomorrow afternoon and I do so want to get started. I have ideas for this work! The brushes are splashing paint around so violently  in my head that a shipwreck might occur if I don’t begin. So then, a painter must start with what she has.

I had planned to dive right in, using only my 30 or so photography references from three different shoots, for this painting. But in light of the slowly-turning-earth towards longer days and a higher sun stretching farther westward, I decide a painting sketch to study composition and imagined light effects is in order after all.

painting alla prima study sketch by Terrill Welch

The work is raw, rough and full of exploration as I imagine where the light is going to be – eventually.  Yet, it is enough to hold my initial ideas – at least until I can get an underpainting on the large canvas anyway. The small study is my “notes to self” and the brushes are now temporarily quiet in their jars.  We have successfully avoided becoming marooned on a sandbar during the violent seas of my imagination. Hopefully, it is clear sailing, with just the right breeze of suggestion, from here to our destination.

House in the Trees Study – 8 x 10 inch acrylic sketch by Terrill Welch


It truly is not much of a reference but I believe it will be enough to contemplate while I work up an underpainting next week. Then I will go back each week and see how the sun is doing as it labors to set  a little farther west each day. I might be asking too much of myself to wait for it. We will see. Maybe by the time the work is blocked in, the sun will be ready? Here is hoping!

What might YOU be waiting and preparing for at the same time?

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My morning with an elegant Blue Heron

This morning #‎NatureIsCalling me earlier than usual. I packed my plein air painting gear, made coffee and headed out. I stopped at the bakery and grabbed an egg sandwich and sweet. But as I walk to the beach I glanced at my basket of painting supplies and sighed. I had everything but a surface to paint on. Rather dejectedly I turned around and took the basket back to the car and returned with only my camera, coffee and breakfast. So here I sit in the warm morning sun. The blackbirds made themselves known in the willows. A west coast reddish mink scurried across the sandstone bank towards the water. Clams spouted near the rocks revealed in the low tide. While a north-westerly wind rippled through the leaves of a rare patch of poplar trees behind me – I sat. I listened. I took in the scent of salt and seaweed. I watched the crows feeding on small morsels and the gulls circle on the farthest outcrop from shore.

“I guess I am not going to paint this morning” I mumble with noticeable deflated slouch.

“I guess I take photographs of that Blue Heron fishing and finish my own breakfast.”

Blue Heron Reef Bay Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_05_02 110

An Elegant Blue Heron fishing Reef Bay Mayne Island

Elegant Blue Heron fishing Reef Bay Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_05_02 121

Blue Heron seriously looking for breakfast…

Blue Heron seriously looking for breakfast Reef Bay Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_05_02 201

rushing it out off sea floor in the shallows.

Blue Heron scaring up breakfast Reef Bay Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_05_02 205

An hour later, I am ready to head for home having visited with an elegant Blue Heron and soaked up the morning sun and no longer feeling grumpy about forgetting my gessobord for painting.


Who in nature has graced your morning this fine day?

Note: #NatureIsCalling is the hashtag for the David Suzuki Foundation 30 minutes x 30 days in May Nature Challenge. I am outside more than 30 minutes in nature each day as a matter of work and life style but I committed to being particularly observant for the Month of May. As time allows, I will share these experiences with you here on Creative Potager.

© 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

Seven Brilliant Etiquette Tips from Charming Home Studio Art Guests

Summer is in full-swing and you love, love LOVE to visit artists in their home studios while on vacation. As an artist with a home studio, I am equally as thrilled to have you. However, if you want to be that special home studio guest who is cherished by the artists you visit, then these tips are for you! Here are seven brilliant etiquette tips from some of my most treasured, pleasant, feel-good and please-come-back-again home studio guests.

Tip one – book an appointment at least a day but preferably three days in advance.

Home studios are living/working spaces and  they can always benefit from a little organizing and prettying-up before guests arrive.

Terrill Welch Home Studio Visit 1 July 2014 by Terrill Welch 2014_07_27 006

Tip two – see if there are any of your friends that want to come with you and let the artist know how many are in your party.

A prepared home studio visit is almost always enhanced when there are a few more people enjoying it.

Terrill Welch Home Studio Visit 2 July 2014 by Terrill Welch 2014_07_27 007

Tip three – if it is not obvious, ask about taking your shoes off at the door. 

You are going into someone’s home as well as their studio – home protocol trumps studio.

Terrill Welch Home Studio Visit 4 July 2014  by Terrill Welch 2014_07_27 018

Tip four – do not be afraid to ask questions and to look closely at your favourites.

Most artists are happy to tell you about the background of a piece and show you the work in different light. I frequently move work around for guests as the light is always changing. Seeing work at its best in a home environment isn’t as easy as when there is gallery lighting. Even taking it out into natural light is no trouble at all and can be a lot of fun.

Terrill Welch Home Studio Visit 4 July 2014 by Terrill Welch 2014_07_27 023

Tip five – Look as closely as you like and do not feel any pressure to buy just because you made an appointment to view.

We make appointments to view houses, test drive cars and to hold puppies without feeling obligated to purchase. We can do the same when view art in a home studio environment.

Terrill Welch Home Studio Visit 5 July 2014 by Terrill Welch 2014_07_27 021

Tip Six – If you are enamored by the artist’s work feel free to come back for more than one visit.

I have new work in my studio all the time and welcome repeat visitors. This allows home studio guests to become more familiar with the depth of an artist’s work and to develop a deeper understanding of what goes into the creative process. These factors I believe contribute to the enjoyment of the art that you may purchase now or at a later date.

Terrill Welchy Home Studio 6 Visit July 2014 by Terrill Welch 2014_07_27 027

Tip seven – Charming studio guests find a way to communicate a meaningful thank you for the artist’s time.

Studio visits do take time. There is no way around it. The most obvious show of appreciation is when a home studio guest goes home with an original piece of art. But there are so many other ways to acknowledge the artist who has hosted you in their home studio. Some of my favourite “thank you gestures” have been:

1. buying a small handful of greeting cards of your favourite art for those special occasions,

2. bringing a small gift like a jar of homemade jam or cookies or fresh-cut flowers from the market,

3. taking the artist’s photograph with her work and sharing it with your friends along with the artist’s business card,

4. taking a photograph of your favourite work to post on your fridge as a reminder for the day you are ready to purchase,

5. sending a quick email “thank you” and telling the artist what you enjoyed most about your visit,

6. signing up to receive the artist’s blog and then send the link to all your social media “friends” telling them about your home studio visit, and

7. taking the artist out to lunch and telling everyone you see how much you loved her art and wish that you could purchase it all. Yes, this has happened, more than once actually 🙂

Terrill Welch Home Studio Visit 7 July 2014 by Terrill Welch 2014_07_27 008

Let your imagination be your guide but a meaningful thank you goes a long-long way on the charming scale of being an unforgettable and cherished home studio guest.

Why bother? Or more bluntly – what is in it for you?

Most importantly, these are just a nice things to do and you will feel good about doing them – I promise. And you will get invited back. Beyond this, when an artist remembers a charming home studio guest then there are those special invitations to private viewings of yet-to-be-released work – either in person or online. The charming guest may also be given perks and consideration that are not openly shared publicly – a book, tote, throw pillow or small study of the artists work may be tucked in with a large purchase. You may receive a personal note when a work has come available that you mentioned you were interested in considering.  After all, artists are no different from everyone else – we love, love, LOVE considerate and charming guests.


What is the most brilliant and charming etiquette of any guest you have received – ever!?


Postscript infomercial (you had to know it was coming): Terrill Welch welcomes guest to her Mayne Island, British Columbia,  home studio by appointment. Feel free to send an email to her at tawelch AT shaw DOT ca to set up a time to drop in and be one of her charming home studio guests. Also, most of Terrill Welch’s original paintings can be viewed in detail and purchased in her online Artsy Home Gallery HERE. With almost 50 works finding homes in private collections during the past three years it is a good idea not to dally.

Okay, that is a wrap! Now back to painting, la, la, la…… see you soon 😉


© 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

Canada Day winner of the FOUND IT painting draw

With entries from all over North America and beyond, the winner of the FOUND IT PAINTING draw for SEASIDE MAYNE ISLAND STUDY  is from my birthplace. Image that! An email has been sent to the winner and I am awaiting a mailing address. Though this painting had the possibility of going to many excellent homes, this one will be perfect. I  am sure it will be well-loved and very happy there.

Seaside Mayne Island study 10 x 8 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_08_02 021

Also, EARLY NOVEMBER SEA 14 x 18 inch oil on canvas has sold.


Thank you everyone who participated in my Canada Day Special event. Finding homes for paintings is not always an easy task and you have made it an enjoyable, fun and rewarding exercise.

As always it is a pleasure to share my work with you.

Other work currently available can be viewed in my Artsy Home online gallery at:


All the best of today to you!


© 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

Three paintings showing in a new venue and other blessings

Way last fall I started posting on Mondays in response to a suggestion by Kathy Drue over at her blog Lake Superior Spirit. Kathy encouraged/challenged a Monday morning blessing post every Monday until the end of 2013. I accepted the invitation and found that it was such a pleasant routine I have kept it up… for now anyway 🙂

So here we are on another Monday morning as I count my creative blessings over the past few days.

On Friday, Anita of Camassia Café and Astrid of Astrid’s Kitchen assisted me in choosing three paintings to hang in an ongoing group show at their shared but separate new venue in the Fernhill Centre on Mayne Island.

These two could easily have been my poster women for International Women’s Day celebrated on Saturday, March 8th. They have created a seamless collaborative business model for a venue that is quickly becoming integrated into the fabric of the Mayne Island community. Their warmth and enthusiasm is contagious! Currently the Cafe is open Friday – Sunday from 10 – 4 and if you haven’t been, then make it a date!

For so many of you that visit here on my blog but are far, far away from Mayne Island.

LONG BEACH VANCOUVER ISLAND JUNE 2013 48 x 24 inch oil on canvas (this painting is also being reviewed by Sandi White this Wednesday on the Art of Terrill Welch Facebook Page)

Long Beach Vancouver Island 48 x 24 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_08_23 027

CHASING OCTOBER SUN BY THE SEA 12 x 16 inch oil on canvas plein air painting

Chasing October Sun by the Sea  12 x 16 oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_10_18 176

And then there is STORM WATCHING 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas

Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_11 003

All three of these paintings can be viewed in detail along with purchase information at my profile in the Artsy Home online gallery.

I was so pleased that Anita and Astrid were able to accommodate an early hanging of this work due to my pending travel plans at the beginning of April.

Also, just in case you are in need, there are 30 new greeting cards now available next door at the Farm Gate Store. The card rack is to the left just as you come inside the door. If you pass the wood stove and fresh coffee, you have gone to far.

New Greeting Cards at the Farm Gate Store by Terrill Welch 2014_03_09 014

Don’t worry, if you are in New York, or Toronto or even Dijon France  these same cards are available in my Redbubble storefront. Hint if you order a good handful of greeting cards there starts to be some nice discounts. The quality of these cards are excellent. Often fans purchase these as affordable small prints to frame and hang on the wall.

These kinds of local collaborations and sharing are part of what makes our little island a magical and special place to be. But collaboration and shared inspiration is not limited to face-time. Yesterday I had a wonderful unexpected surprise. My work and process were used by Californian writer, Deborah Brasket,  to demonstrate Deborah’s thoughts on art and mystery in her Living on the Edge of The Wild post “Art and the Mystery in the Midst of Things.” If you haven’t already been by due to my reblog of this post late yesterday, I encourage you to drop by and enjoy the read.

So there we have it! Another Monday morning filled with blessings of appreciation, connection, acknowledgement and sharing.

What connection or sharing would you like to notice on this fine Monday that promises spring in the northern hemisphere? 

© 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

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

Storm Watching and its progress on a large canvas

At 10:00 am today the morning light was not strong enough to work without the studio lamp. It is heavily overcast and last I checked there is a wee bit of snow expected. However, I was able to put the finishing brushstrokes on this large 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas painting this morning. It may be weeks before I can get a decent photograph of it so we will take a look now at the shiny-wet resting point of STORM WATCHING. Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas still on easel by Terrill Welch 2013_12_09 034

We may think that this painting began with this quick painting sketch on the canvas. Not really the beginning of Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 001

But we would be wrong. It all started on Friday December 6, 2013 at about this same time of day when the power went out. I was surprised as there was little wind at la casa de inspiracion. But then the email notifications started coming in with Ferry boat cancellation and they were for the Inside Passage which is not common at all. So I knew then that there had to be wind somewhere and took a guess that it was on the east side of the island. Sea View Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2013_12_06 024

Sure enough it was blowing a bit out there. But this isn’t the spot we need to be. We have to walk out to Campbell Point in the Gulf Island Park Reserve because the waves are break on the rocks in a big way. Let’s go and have a look. Dress warm and still expect to the wind to go right into a person’s bones and starts sawing away with an ice-cube. Rough Sea  by Terrill Welch 2013_12_06 142

Scrambling out onto a rock ledge the wind whips my big lens and me around with the same ferociousness as the sea. But I am determined. I hunker down low and steady myself against the roar. WILD SEAS WITH MOUNT BAKER IN THE DISTANCE

(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) There was no chance of using a tripod in these conditions. It was all up to my stabilizers and years of practice of framing and shooting waves. There wasn’t much time because I would get to cold to be able to work the camera and it was no place to be getting stiff and wobbly when I stood back up from where I was crouching. So steady does it. FULL STOP

(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) BREAKING OVER TWICE

(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) Sunday as in yesterday I pulled out the large canvas and placed it on the easel. I wanted the immediacy of this moment while it was still fresh to me on a cellular level. Choosing the overall colour of the filtered air with seaspray by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 004

The continuous motion of the winds and the sea stir sea-spray high up onto the cliffs above. I want that. I want that feeling of stirring and motion. I decided no underpainting so that spray would have the advantage of the white underneath. I had noticed the spray shadow in one of my reference images and took advantage of this to create additional depth. I worked on getting the painting down with as few brushstrokes as possible. Building up the movement in paint Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 007

I want us to be slightly queasy from it as we are swayed in the waters and crash against the rocks within our viewing of this painting.

Storm Watching resting 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 021

At the core there is a knowing and a thimble-size of silence which makes it bearable. This too shall pass. This is the stage that the painting rested overnight. This is where I started earlier this morning and finished at the first photograph which will not be its final of course. For this we must wait for better light.

UPDATE OCTOBER 13, 2014: Link to detailed viewing of the completed painting with purchase information and a link a short (less than six minutes) video where I talk about this painting can be found on the Terrill Welch Artist website HERE.

In conclusion, my Monday morning blessing is patience, admiration and determination. If we are willing to try we can most often do more than we believe we can. A large wave from a large canvas as you forge through the week ahead.

What are you determined to accomplish this week even if the winds of doubt are fierce?

© 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

Sunshine and Rainbows in Pink Skies

We could focus on the larger threats to our coastline such as the potential for earthquakes, rising sea levels from global warming or oil spills from large tankers or the imminent risks of a task of extraordinary delicacy and danger that is about to begin at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power station. These are all real threats and possibly inevitable outcomes – at some point. I don’t ignore them. We do keep in mind what we need for emergency preparedness in case of an earthquake. I do sign petition, share information and swear sometimes about oil and gas tanker traffic and global warming risks to our coastline, and I worry about the extraction of the fuel rods and contaminated water storage at Fukushima nuclear power station. But once I have done what I can do, then it is time to get on with my day because there are a whole host of other possibilities that could give rise to it being my last. We just never know do we? I am practicing the lesson from many elders of opening my eyes and giving thanks that I am alive and well. It is a good practice – one that serves us  in both easy and hard times.

This then, in a wee patch of west coast winter sunshine and in remembrance of yesterday’s rainbow , is my Monday morning blessing to you and to me.

Rainbow in Pink Sky by Terrill Welch 2013_12_01 362

I give praise for this life, thanks for this body world, and remember our great universe of love. With compassion, we start another day in our week, our month and our year.

Now I am off to see if I can make a painting out of this.

Late November Great Room Studio sepia  by Terrill Welch 2013_11_30 033

(Quality prints available HERE.)


What Monday morning blessing might you give for today?


© 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

Wabi Sabi Feng Shui Nature and Photography

Sometimes the grand seascapes of the west coast winter are just too gray and flat to hold my attention.

Break in storm Strait of Georgia bnw by Terrill Welch 2013_02_25 074

When this happens I look elsewhere to see what I can feel and see by the sea. This is when I am most often consciously drawn to beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” or the wabi-sabi nature of our natural environment.

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. Andrew Juniper in Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence describes wabi-sabi this way: “if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi.” Reference:

Feng Shui on the other hand comes from the discipline of Kan Yu or the Tao of heaven and earth. The term feng shui literally translates as “wind-water” in English. Reference:

In both wabi-sabi and feng shui there is an element of human use or organization to replicate and appreciate our natural world. So, when the view on the horizon is less than inspiring, I sometimes seek to photograph these natural relationships between feng shui elements with their full embodiment of characteristics of wabi-sabi at sources – without human use or organization.

These wabi-sabi, feng shui nature photographs seldom make it to my blogs or my online galleries for purchase. They are a meditation or spiritual practice rather than an end result. However, today I am going to share a few of these images with you.

In the trees…

Arbutus Splendor

Looking into the deep woods on Henderson Hill gives way to the splendor of the the arbutus trees. Their tangle of light-seeking branches reach elegantly under and around in search of the sky.

Arbutus Splendor by Terrill Welch 2013_02_08 096

A new conversation

Though it is just the end of February there are many signs that a new spring season is beginning here on Mayne Island. One of these is the shedding of the bark on the arbutus trees and the revealing of the fresh new skin on of these sensual trees. It is such a tactile sensory visual experience that I walk along running my hands over their smooth exposed trunks.

a new conversation by Terrill Welch 2013_02_25 114

Arbutus Bark Natural Design

The pealing and curling captures natural the movement of time in its everyday way of being.

Arbutus bark natural design by Terrill Welch 2013_02_25 147

Out on a limb

Trees seem to have invented the strength of the spiral. In our occasional high winds I am often amazed that so few trees are blown to the ground. This spiraling is I believe part of the mystery.

Out on a Limb by Terrill Welch 2013_02_08 165

On the forest floor…

While, when the big landscapes fail to impress on a heavy overcast west coast afternoon, the little things sometimes become more beautiful than ever. This is fresh new moss growing on the rocks. So very soft and lovely on the eyes and to the touch.

Take time to notice the little things by Terrill Welch 2013_02_08 233

By the Sea…

A Dance through Time

Over and over they tango the sea and the shore until they are shaped as one. I am squished between the land and sea begging the sky to intervene. Have you been there?

A dance through time by Terrill Welch 2013_02_25 185

Shell Sand Sea – a love story

The tide is going out. As the water leaves in a wave of salty tears, the shell of a varnish clam remains, embracing the sand.

shell sand sea a love story by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 365

Butter Clam 1

The round butter clam brings vitality to the gray and the stones by the sea.

butter clam 1 by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 297

Mussels and Seaweed

The connected and passage of relationships crush and sweep away any sense of isolation. Yet, the inner scream of longing cries out to be heard, noticed and cherished.

mussels and seaweed by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 248

Plump Oyster

What belly can grumble with such nourishing abundance for the taking?

plump oyster by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 246

Another Layer

There is yet another layer of temporary impermanence. We know in this continuation we are but a moment of moments lost to infinity.

another layer by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 444


Our live bits drifting with the dead, the dying and such shall we become.

Drifting by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 452

Such is the nature of wab-sabi feng shui in my natural world of photography. May this imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete Tao of heaven and earth bring you a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing.


What wabi-sabi feng shui nature influences your life?


© 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