The Deeper Change Of Season

Under the heavy warmth of blankets, I can hear my alarm twittering loudly from across the room. It is 5:30 am and dark. Sleep has a stranglehold on all of my sensory facilities. I really don’t want to wake up and I certainly am not going to leap cheerfully to the floor to greet the day! Stiffly, I sit up and reach for my glasses. Somehow during the night I misplaced the exact location of my nose and ears and must fumble to sort out lenses, arms and facial parts. I suppose, I should go turn that little pest of a clock off. My half-awake brain reminds me that this early start is my choice. I am choosing to get up before daylight, just like I chose to buy a new jar of honey even though there is still a third left in the old jar and just like I chose to put two extra leaves in the kitchen table for six even though only David and I shall be eating at it. The quick, almost nonsensical, answer for these seasonal choices is that the evenings are shorter and the days are cooler.

The longer deeper answer is that there is still some part of me that gathers the equivalent of a squirrel’s nuts for the winter months. It is irrational behavior really. I tell myself that the honey will keep for years… but so will the dark brown sugar I already have. I do not need to start cooking dinner earlier and go to bed earlier but I do. So much so, that when the track lighting in the kitchen quit working six years ago we have neglected to replace it. Oh, we think about fixing it alright. We have even pick out new lights and talked to the electrician.  But mostly we hardly notice. Dinner is made and cleaned up before dark year round or we move a lamp over to the kitchen counter if we have guests and are eating later. Then we notice. But this doesn’t happen very often. So we forget again.

The thing is, we tend to live naturally in harmony with the way of the seasons – most days without even conscious reasoning. Let’s put the extra leaves in the table this week we say. We do not have a specific reason. But within a few hours books we are reading creep onto the surface and there is a notebook for writing down fragments of ideas. A sketchbook is then added and then a few drawing pencils. I think about the candles up in the loft and how nice they would look with the large table-cloth. They are idle thoughts. Nothing is rushed, orderly or precise. One minute I am considering whether we need more flashlight batteries and the next about picking up a bag of local apples to make crisp. There is seemingly no connection between these two fragments of seasonal activities. Yet, they linger, waiting for to respond. Like the low golden light that lasts thorough the autumn afternoon, there is comfort in their presence.

Other parts of my life are more rushed, scheduled and structured. There are new fall oil painting classes to teach, someone wants private painting lessons and another person schedules a personal visit to the gallery midweek before the latest show changes. These things squeeze up against my precious painting time – time that has to puff out its chest just to be able to reach the brushes between all the other demands.

But the painting still holds, still reaches and most weeks still happens. Two new works are ready to have their edges painted later this afternoon. One of them is this one….

Just Before Sunset Mayne Island BC “resting” 30 x 24 inch oil on canvas

This is the reason I am writing a blog post, the 616th blog post since late December 2009, before daylight. It is because this afternoon is reserved for painting! Painting edges, painting grounds and just painting…. and then maybe a long walk.

What natural rhythms of autumn seasonal changes do you notice in your own life?

P.S. Remind me to write early next week about a new group art show coming up with The Beauty of Oils Painters.

© 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

Randomness – a blogger’s truth

Feeling an unbending resistance through every joint in my body I slowly wake. What time is it? Hum, just before 7:00 am. I did sleep in. The slate tiles are warm in the middle of our kitchen. Routine sees me through the making of stovetop coffee with a couple of homemade cookies that I promise to follow with fruit, yogurt and hemp seeds in awhile.

I’ve been randomly thinking about Kathy’s post “The Secret Lives of Bloggers” since she put it out on April 9th. I haven’t responded. I just keep thinking. I am thinking as I check to make sure the heat is on in the studio building as I am coaching this afternoon. I am thinking as I watch a beautiful Varied Thrush in the garden, and as I hear the rooster crow and the sheep asking for breakfast at the farm in the valley. I am still thinking as I curl into our very old Morrison chair and snag the travel section of Saturday’s Globe and Mail from the coffee table.

Bonny Reichert is telling me how to be “at home in Paris.”  I read about dark French coffee as I sip a medium roast, single origin, organic, fair trade, artisan, Ethiopia Sidamo Co-Op Shanta Golba, from our local Salt Spring Coffee (we take our coffee seriously on the west coast of Canada). At that moment it tastes very dark – and very French. My two cookies made with half whole wheat flour, half the sugar (all brown) and a quarter of the chocolate chips with an added cup of chopped walnuts and pecans transform into Laduree Bonaparter macaroons and elegant tiny cakes that I have ordered decisively (because sweets are serious business in Paris – and I had already heard this before reading Bonny Reichert’s article). I am no longer sitting quietly in our strawbale, timberframe home cradled by various shades of spring verte and grande fir trees. Saint-Germain is bustling. Raspail farmers market smells soak past my nose into my sensitive taste buds.

I wonder again about Kathy’s post and how much we need to know about each other to share an experience. In fact, how much do we really know about someone even if we live with them daily? How well do we really know ourselves? Take for instance Laurie’s recent “University of Lifeposts. Attempting to know ourselves seems to me to be one of the greatest adventures of living…

So my dear friend and blogging colleague Kathy, at “Lake Superior Spirit,” what you share is just right and it is enough. I believe we only ever know fragments of others and a few more fragments about ourselves – even if it is our sole intention for each day we live. Yet those moments that slice our energy in pure connection to self, to another, or to a place; in this we know all we need to know. And Kathy, your blog does this with the expertise of a French chef choosing the day’s cuisine needs from local markets.

Sprout Question: How well do you know your creative self?

© 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