Port of call – Mayne Island

Near Mayne Island while traversing the inside passage from either direction, the Gulf Islands B.C. Ferry vessel loudspeaker will crackle. The captain then announces variations of “We are approaching Villiage-Bay-Mayne-sland. This is also the transfer point for passengers going to…..”  This last part of the announcement changes depending on what ferry you are traveling.

It is pretty hard to miss your stop. But knowing if you even want to come or how to get this far in your trip can be a little tricky. Fortunately, our Mayne Island Community Chamber of Commerce makes it easier.

Regular Creative Potager readers may recognize the photographs on the front panel and the inside of this four-fold brochure. Yes, they are mine.

Earlier this year I was asked by a chamber member if I would consider submitting some photographs for use in the brochure. There had been a community-wide call for submission. I hummed and hawed feeling that my images are not really marketing sunshine and fun. They are often quiet, subdued, reflective and moodily dramatic. Since most of my photographs are taken in low-light during fall/winter or during the bookends of a spring or summer day, I wasn’t sure what I had to offer. But I agreed to let the committee have a look at my redbubble portfolio. To my delight they chose these two images. This is the second time this year that my images have been requested for promotional purposes – a pleasant addition to my artistically aimed photography.

But you might be saying “where is Mayne Island anyway?” The Chamber brochure has a pictorial answer on the back panel. Off the west coast of North America, snuggled into a cluster of Canadian Gulf Islands and the United States San Juan Islands, that darkly coloured island is home.

Now I bet you want to know exactly where Creative Potager is on Mayne Island – right? If you open up the brochure there is a map of the island. I love the crunchy tactile unfolding of maps. This brochure has a particularly satisfying soft and earthy feeling to the touch.

Creative Potager is marked by a white-squared number 35. See it there, just below the Mt Parke Park signage near the centre of the island.

The white-squared number 35 Creative Potager home studio is open by appointment.

The best way to get a home studio tour of our timberframed strawbale la casa de inspiracion is to email me at tawelch@shaw.ca .

You will need a brochure, or wait for the chamber website to be updated, to know exactly what else is marked on the map. I can tell you that yellow-squared numbers are accommodation, green are farms, orange real estate, red services, and white shops and galleries. If you would like your own brochure it will be on the ferry or drop me a line and I can mail you one.

My STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition of 15 original oil paintings, opening Thursday June 30, 2011, will be held at the yellow-squared number 9 and blue-squared number 17 which is the two listings for the Oceanwood. One is for accommodation and one for the restaurant.

Fly into Vancouver or Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, rent a car, catch a ferry and you are here. It is just that easy. During the busy summer season it is recommended to make reservations for the ferry from Vancouver to Mayne Island and for accommodation while you are here. I look forward to seeing you sometime soon.

Best of the weekend to you!

Sprout question: What is your creative port of call?

STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition opens Thursday June 30, 2011.

© 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

At Dusk

Some weeks just seem to have a life of their own. I am going fess up first thing and let you know – not one print or painting was properly cataloged into my inventory. There. I have said.

What I did do was get an awesome chance to go “Hunting Waves” which, if you haven’t seen the photographs yet, you may enjoy. I picked up a couple of tubes of paint for my study of blues and two new brushes.

I took some shots at dusk that I am happy with. I fear they may too personal to have wide appeal but I thought I would share them with you anyway.

Mountains above the clouds.

Ferry Wake at Dusk.

Going Home.

(image may be purchased here)

Homeward Bound

(image may be purchased here)

Sailing Home

Passing Pender Island

These images are the exact tone and feel I have been working to get through my new learning with Kat Sloma in her photography e-course “Finding Your Eye.” I wanted to capture just the right amount of light to feel the dusk and still be able to make out some of the detail. I wanted the viewer to feel that lull – the hush before darkness overtakes the day.

I didn’t paint this week but it was still amazingly creative.

Sprout question: What new learning did you apply to your creativity this week?

Best of the weekend to you! Oh, just in case you didn’t notice we went over 30,000 views here on Creative Potager. Thank you for the pleasure of your visits.

© 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

Gulf Islands in Fog

View and purchase full resolution image here.

Ferry whistles wake me this morning as they navigate through the thick fog. The haunting sound is like that of a moving a fog horn being answered by another a little further on.

When we were out for our walk yesterday, I took this image of rolling fog in Active Pass. This morning we are still above it here at la casa de inspiracion but it is creeping towards the valley next to Heck Hill as it moves in off the water. We are only about a third of the way up the cliff side or 81 really large steps on the stairway to heaven but it is enough to escape the fog – for now.

I hope to have more images for us tomorrow of the fog in the trees. It was amazing.

Sprout question: What is your favourite experience of fog?

 

© 2010 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

 

Whisper


(prints of this painting may be purchased HERE)

I’m calling all sages to the edge of the sea. Rest your weary mind and nurture your soul as these rollers roll towards shore. Softly the whisper breaks your inner silence. Softly it calls and becomes the only sound that is heard – outside and inside. Softly… softly… softly… softly….

A 12 X 12 inch gessobord with two-inch birch cradle water miscible oil painting. More background about this oil painting can be found at Beginnings of a Whisper.

UPDATED MARCH 3, 2011: This painting is now SOLD

Sprout question: What softly calls your creativity?

Last day for….

SEA, LAND AND TIME MAYNE ISLAND calendars . For a week at redbubble, until 11:00 pm Thursday, October 14th London time, there is a promotional sale. Get three calendars for 15% off or six for 25% off. Retailers can contact me directly to order at wholesale price for more than six calendars.

 

© 2010 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

Going to the Birds

Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend on Mayne Island was beautiful. So I thought you might like to come with me to one of Creative Potager’s favourite beaches at Reef Bay. Wear your sneakers. It can be slippery. The tide is coming in fast. We might get wet.

There it is. Still here even though we have been away for weeks.

Look way out to the end. See where those seagulls and other shorebirds are? That is where we are going. Make sure your hands are free so you can balance. And watch your step… there are some big cracks between the rocks – wouldn’t want to lose you in one.

Remember the tide is coming in so keep your eyes open to ensure we can get back to shore… without swimming.

Ahhhhh, so beautiful. Water reflecting the world around it.

Oh, look! There is a family enjoying the beach too.

Now where were we. Yes, the birds. Let’s see if we can get just a bit closer.

I don’t know much about shorebirds other than there are all sorts of different kinds of seagulls and those black fellows in the foreground with the long bright red beaks are black oystercatchers.

If we crouch down maybe we can get just a wee bit closer and have a good look around. Oops! Be careful. Here comes a gull in for a landing.

This gull in front is such a show off. It is like he is saying “look at me.”

The little birds behind him sitting with the other gulls are black turnstones which are unmistakable when they fly. I call the zebra birds. They are fast and hard to capture.

Here goes a lovely gull overhead.

I am fascinated by the repeating shape of the bird and the neck of land. It is like seeing an echo. Away it goes… wait a minute what do we have here?

Seven eight lay them straight. ..

View full resolution and purchase image here.

Oh No! One mighty squawk is all it took!

Look at them go!

Well, I guess we better start pecking our way back to shore. Should only take a short while. Ah yes, dry land ahead.

Are your shoes still dry? No skinned knees? Good! You were lucky.

Sprout question: Have you ever let your creativity go to the birds?

SEA, LAND AND TIME MAYNE ISLAND calendars . For a week at redbubble, until 11:00 pm Thursday, October 14th London time, there is a promotional sale. Get three calendars for 15% off or six for 25% off. Retailers can contact me directly to order at wholesale price for more than ten calendars.

© 2010 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

A Fall Day on Mayne Island

It occurred to us as we were eating lunch that it might be sinful not to take a long leisurely walk in the warmth of this most glorious fall day.

I am always fascinated by the ribbons of blues that stack up like exotic candy layers as I look out to the meeting of sea and sky. I drift and dream on the waves as the seagulls squawk and fish from the rocks.  Mount Baker is almost visible in the haze of the far shore – if you know it is there. I sense that it is time to move on.

I flatten body-to-earth on a sunny knoll next to the deep cool shadows of maple trees as they undress, dropping one crunchy brown leaf after another. We do not get much colour here on Mayne Island in the fall.

Mostly things turn brown and drift downward, sometimes holding themselves up as if to say “no, not yet! I’m not quite ready yet.” But the rains will come, silencing their whispers. These large brown leaves will be mulched into the earth to feed the first sprouts of spring.

Sprout Question: What are you letting go of to sprout new creativity?

Important: If you want gift cards, calendars, photographic prints before Christmas, October is the time to place your order at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch. Original oil paintings can be purchased directly from me by sending an emailing to tawelch@shaw.ca .

© 2010 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

Schooner Sails back to Mayne Island from White Rock

A schooner sails back to Mayne Island from White Rock but not under its own steam. The photographic print was transported by Marg Milan on B.C. Ferries. Marg called me a few weeks ago to say that she was coming over to Mayne Island as part of a tour. She wanted to meet me let me see how lovely her print of “Sailing Ship Navy Channel” looked once it was framed. Didn’t she do a great job of choosing the right matting and frame? I coaxed her into letting me take her photograph with the work. We had never met before but I can sense we shall meet again. We connected when she inquired about this image after it had been published on page 12 in the May 27, 2010 issue of the Island Tides regional newspaper.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Marg talk about why she like the image and tell me things I hadn’t notice such as the lush green of the seaweed in the foreground. Thank you so much Marg for sharing your pleasure with the framed piece of art that now hangs on your wall.

Sprout Question: Who has recently shown you aspects about your work that you haven’t notice before?

Dear readers my image Reef Bay in September has also been published on page 13 of the most recent September 30, 2010 issue of the regional Island Tides newspaper. This paper publishes over 18,000 copies every other Thursday and covers many of the west coast island communities. The half-page photo is tagged with “Mayne Island’s Reef Bay—September morning mist drifts in from the Strait of Georgia. Terrill’s one-woman show of photos and paintings ran till September 22 at the Mayne
Island Library.”

Important: If you want gift cards, calendars, photographic prints before Christmas, October is the time to place your order at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch. Original oil paintings can be purchased directly from me by sending an emailing to tawelch@shaw.ca .

© 2010 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

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: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Ferries+Ropes+tangling+props+caused+ferry+dock+hard/3354052/story.html#ixzz0vfG5tFE5

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 http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada