SEA AND CLOUDS original oil painting by Terrill Welch

About a month ago I set a day aside to paint a new work SEA AND CLOUDS. I had completed the underpainting already and it was simply sitting there in its 36 X 36 inch glory tempting me to pick up the brushes.

It was a big canvas and the day was pleasant so I decided to work on the side deck. I have a rather odd approach I guess to setting up my palette. I start fresh each time and choose all the colours I am going to use before I start painting. In this case I used one of my photographs as a reference point. From there it is a matter of mixing which I often do on the canvas as much as I do on my palette.  So here is what the paints look like as I start painting.

Next it is a matter of getting some paint on the canvas.

And a bit more I think…

and some more paint!

Three hours later I start to build up the image.

I work without thinking – breath after breath I move the paint with brush and palette knife over the canvas. I move the canvas to avoid shadows. But at last I must stop. I am out of light.

I move the wet canvas to another deck and capture a late-in-the-day image of the painting in progress.

For the past month I have mused and walked by this painting almost everyday. What is it that I need to do? What will pull these pieces together into a completed work? Oh I grumbled and I worked on photographs. I thought and then one day it came to me. I knew exactly what had to happen. I set aside the morning and finished the painting.

SEA AND CLOUDS 36 X 36 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 

Update October 6, 2012 : This painting is now SOLD.  Other paintings currently available can be viewed in the Artwork Archives online Gallery HERE.

Sprout Question: How long have you waited for the right combination of information to finish a creative work?

 

© 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

Good Morning En Plein Air

What does an artist do on the morning after $2.5 trillion evaporates from global stock markets? Paint of course and not just any painting but en plein air by the sea.

It is 8:30 am. The morning is as gray unsettled as the global economy. It really didn’t hold much promise and looked like the bottom was going to fall out of the sky any second.

The only bright spot are these pink roses at the side of the lighthouse building.

The rocks down below me catch my interest but I have come to paint the sea.

Hopeful that the sun will recover its golden glow before noon. I set to work.

I stop infrequently. There will be no process photographs but I do catch a sailboat heading across Georgia Strait.

(this image may be purchased here.)

You can still see it in the distance as I leave aside the first 12 X 12 inch canvas to rest.

(this image may be purchased here.)

The sky starts to clear as I set up for the next 10 X 10 inch canvas. I wonder what time it is? Hum, ten o’clock. Let’s see what we can do.

Again I work steadily as the light and colours change faster than my brush can make a mark on the canvas. The sun is so bright I have a hard time seeing my work and have an even harder time capturing a photograph for you.

It is not finished but it has the energy of the moment and can be completed once this first work has dried.

I am getting tired but I want to do one more painting on my small 8 X 8 inch canvas. It is now just after 11:00 am.

(this image may be purchased here.)

The strokes seem to slip onto the small canvas effortlessly.

Oh my! It is now 12:30 am and I am ravenous! Time to pack up three very wet unfinished oil paintings and head for home.

This past week’s financial upheaval is not a surprise. In fact it has been a long time coming for those of us paying attention. More than ever we need to build on our resiliency, our connection to community and set a course directed by what is essential in our lives at this moment. A morning painting was my perfect answer. This is how I fortify my strength and clarity for whatever may be next.

 

Sprout question: How are you creatively going to weather our global financial storm?

 

© 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

Mountain Stands Alone

It was a good weekend for art sales here at Creative Potager but I will tell you more about that later. Right now I am going to share with you how I use photography as study for future painting. When I tell people I sometimes take up to 150 reference images for one painting and that I use them in place of sketches, I can see the confusion slip into the corners of their eyes as they try and understand what I am talking about. Let’s use my fascination with Mount Baker for an example.

In fact, Mount Baker may be the single most motivating factor for me to buy a 70 – 300 mm lens with an image stabilizer. I do alright with my 17-85 mm lens which also has an image stabilizer for most things. But that mountain is too far away from Mayne Island and I don’t think it is going to get any closer anytime soon – at least I hope not.

A photo study of a subject for a future painting is not about standing fixed in one spot taking one shot after another. It is about getting to know the subject in its context. It is about feeling my way into the frame. It is intuitive observation. This is what I call discovering a realism of subject rather than of object. There is a difference and I will expand on this in a future post.

Most times I go back to the same places at different times of day, during different seasons. Each time these memories and images get stockpiled as internal references for the work that will come later with paint on canvas.

I am finding that these studies seem to offer more in-depth of understanding of my subject  than en plein air painting which I had assumed would be the ultimate in painting my subject in its context. This is a surprise to me. Maybe it is that I haven’t done enough en plein air painting recently. I would love to hear from other painters about what their experience as been.

Of this particular photo engagement with Mount Baker, this is my personal favourite frame.

(image available for purchase here.)

I like the soft focused foreground drawing our attention to Mount Baker yet somehow still reminding us that a pile of rocks – is still just a pile of rocks.

So there you have it. A few images from my latest study of Mount Baker and the mountain stands alone.

Oh I didn’t forget – you want to know about the art sales over the weekend.

The first of the large original oil paintings KEEPING WATCH in the STUDY of BLUE solo exhbition has sold to a collector inVictoriaB.C.Canada. This means six of the fifteen paintings in this show are now sold.

Also, large canvas print of the photograph of GOING, a medium canvas print of FOGGED IN and eight cards of photographs and paintings sold to an unknown buyer on redbubble. Thank you whoever you are. Your support and interest in my work is most appreciated.

And thank you to all of you who are part of my creative journey.

Sprout question: What mountain in your creativity stands alone?

STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition open until Wednesday July 27, 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.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

AUTUMN BOUNTY and COURTNEY IN THE MOONLIGHT by Sue Wiebe

As promised here are two more original oil paintings on canvas by artist Sue Wiebe.

Learning and practicing how to create depth and shadow is an ongoing process for most of us that apply paint to canvas or paper. COURTNEY IN THE MOONLIGHT provides a direct work out for this artistic muscle.

COURTNEY IN THE MOONLIGHT, 12 X 16 inch original oil painting, by Sue Wiebe

Well done Sue! Exquisite!

Sue painted this next oil painting, AUTUMN BOUNTY, during the time that she was working on WATCHING, the painting of the cougar.  There are only so many hours an artist can paint fur before there is an unrelenting desire to break free. This painting certainly does this in spades.

AUTUMN BOUNTY, 11 by 14 inch original oil painting on canvas, by Sue Wiebe.

I have AUTUMN BOUNTY as my laptop background at the moment and smile every time I sit down to do some work.

Sue, thank you for being our feature artist this week. It is always a pleasure to have you here at Creative Potager. I look forward to seeing your work in person in a week from now. There is nothing like a studio walk and a face-to-face viewing.

Sprout question: What creative muscle are you exercising at the moment?

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.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

FIR TREE original oil paintings by Terrill Welch

This week my hard drive crashed and it is not recoverable. Fortunately, most things were backed up and my photographs were on an external hard drive and most of them are backed up again on flash drives. I lost a few images but not many. Lucky! However, I did lose all my newer email addresses so if you have exchanged emails with me in the past year, and would like to continue to be in touch, drop a line and I will add you to my address book.  Somehow this all seems to be less of an issue now that we have facebook, twitter and such. I might even be persuaded to pick up the phone 🙂

I plan to write a more about this experience on Monday in a post called “impermanence.”

Now, let’s have a look at this week’s painting. I started out just going to paint a few edges but these two small canvases had a ground on them and were sitting beside the easel. Well I looked at the edges of another painting and I looked back at the two canvases. The 8 X 8 inch pair just had to be done.

I knew what I wanted to paint. We have been getting a lot of evening sun here with glorious gold light hitting the trees just before it leaves us for dusk.

Starting from “ground.”

A ground is different from a underpainting even though it may be the same colour. With a ground there is just a layer of paint that is put down with no intended painting blocked in or even in mind. Yes, I dislike wasting paint so these canvases were just too close to the last underpainting I was doing and they were grounded 😉

The painting took shape quickly.

I didn’t stop again until close to finishing.

When hung, the two paintings would be separated by a couple inches – I think, maybe more. Or they could be hung like this ….

This side by side is possibly my favourite.

Here they are trimmed up pretty with no distractions.

FIR TREE SKY original oil painting by Terrill Welch

FIR TREE POND original oil painting by Terrill Welch

I haven’t had a chance to decide if I will sell them separately or only as a pair. What do you think? Should they be kept together or be allowed to go into the world separately and be a surprise to some unsuspecting buyer that there is another half to their painting?

These paintings will be part of my upcoming solo show “Study of Blue” opening June 30, 2011 at the Oceanwood Resort here on Mayne Island.

UPDATE: FIR TREE SKY has been SOLD at the opening on June 30, 2011. FIR TREE POND has been SOLD to a separate buyer at the close of the show on July 27, 2011.

Sprout question: What keeps you rolling through unexpected events with ease?

© 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

When the Sun Comes Out

First, thank you everyone who zipped, shone light, sent energy and prayers to Josie this week. I believed she has turned the corner and is on the mend. Whaaaahoooo!

The week started out with much reorganizing to make room to paint my 24 X 48 inch cotton canvas.

The composition has been adjusted somewhat but the reference photograph you see of  “stones throw” with the canvas is the one I am using for this next painting. There will be much less sky for sure. It will be challenge because the movement is from the far outer top left moving forward across the canvas to the near bottom right – towards the viewer. I am excited to see if I can make it work.

Then something happened. There was this unusual yellow glow in the sky on Tuesday morning. I was pretty sure it was the sun but I couldn’t be positive because that brilliant addition overhead hadn’t been seen in these parts for quite some time. Well, nothing would do but we had to go down to the beach and check it out. On the way we stopped to check out the field of daffodils.

They were almost open but if we check back to last year on March 11th they were already in full flower long before this time last year. However, they are coming along just the same. This sun will certainly help.

Now let’s go to the beach. Wow! The tide is way out.

David went to stroll along the shore while I clambered over the sandstone reef. I found some beautiful barnacles, mussels and snails.

(the image “BARNACLES, MUSSELS AND SNAILS” may be purchased here.)

I liked this image so much it is my desktop background right now. There were lots of oysters too but I didn’t photograph them – muddy gray looking critters.

I can never get enough of the contrast of sandstone and blue sky. Sigh!

But this is show stopper for me. I was just sitting on the rocks relaxing before heading home when I turned my head back to the sea and this is what I saw…

(the image “VESSEL” may be purchased here.)

The natural abstract beauty had me exclaiming “Yes!” before I could even get my camera out of its case. Martha Marshall this one was captured because of you and your consistent influence on my understanding of abstract design. Thank you!

I did finally get back to my canvas and the underpainting is now ready for a good run of painting next week.

Have a great weekend and I hope you find some sun!

Sprout question: What is the most outrageous creative adventure you have ever blamed on the sun?

© 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

Impression of an Artist

Week after week I visit myself on the canvas of a painting, through the frame of an image or between the words of a paragraph. Do these impressions provide any further insight into my being and my interpretation of my world?

I like to think they do. I like to believe that these creative endeavors cast at least a shadow of truth on what I often think of as my core essence – that part of me that isn’t body or earth-bound in this life time. But is this really a possible truth?

As the paint is chosen, mixed and applied without thought, I like to believe there is a subconscious part of me that knows what it is doing. But maybe it is all accidental fragments of my conscious mind colliding with the paint, the canvas and the movement of my brush.

I am doing a study of blue – a series on the shades of blue. What I am discovering is that blue is more than a colour. Blue is a spiritual void for reflection… as I paint the sea… the shadows of the trees… or the sky. If I had known how wide this void would open up, would I have committed to the series?

Ah, no point in musing about what might have been.

This week I have one 10 X 12 inch cotton canvas underpainting ready for completion. In my imagination the heavy clouds press down with formidable force over the dark seas. May I be able to hold this moment long enough to reach in and pull out something that is the essence of me, of you and of the very world itself.

Sprout question: What impression best describes your creative self?

© 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

A Week Painting

Following my intentions on a sunny Monday morning, I have my inspiration image set up and I am ready to squeeze out a few colours.

But the shadows! Gurrr!

I usually can move a smaller canvas around to avoid such things. This large 36 X 48 inch canvas has no room to move in my small studio space. Well, nothing to do but get started. I will see if I can work with it at least to get the underpainting done.

There is something absolutely exhilarating about putting those first strokes of paint on a canvas. The fact that this is a $72.00 canvas only has me swallow hard twice and mutter “be BOLD!” I work away fighting the shadows every step of the way until I have the painting roughed in.

This is about as much as I can do between holding a portable light that has a yellow glare and the shadows. I have come to the end of what I can do in the studio with natural light.

Note the bottom right hand corner and how heavily it is in shadowed. Not good I tell you. It is not good. What to do? I sleep on it – for two sleeps while the underpainting sets up.

It is cool outside on Wednesday but above freezing. I decide to move outdoors to the covered deck overlooking the valley.

It is a lovely place to work. No shadows here.

But it is rather cool and the water miscible oil paints are stiffer than I would like. I decide to keep working.

Here you can see the results from working in the studio with the heavy shadow on the bottom right hand corner. But it is only paint and fixable. I am now starting to lose my light. Where did the day go?

I am pleased. There are lots of problems still to resolve – like my cold fingers. But it is a good start.

Thursday I wake to heavy rains. I wait hoping it will brighten up. At 10:30 am I go upstairs to the studio thinking I will write instead of paint. But you see, the brushes and paint and painting are right there. I start dabbing away. Pretty soon I have the painting hauled back out on the deck. Four hours later I stop.

It is not finished but needs to rest for awhile. I will work on another painting next week and look at it out of the corner of my eye – with satisfaction.

Sprout question: What is encouraging you to smile with satisfaction?

Oh! We have a party invitation for Monday January 10, 2011 over on Leanne Dyck’s Blog at http://sweatercursed.blogspot.com Leanne is throwing a virtual bash to celebrate the e-book publication of her thriller The Sweater Curse. Please drop over leave a comment, share your favourite party food or punch recipe and a link to a great tune. Congratulations Leanne!

© 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

Beginning the Big One

Yes it is time. My intention for this first week of January 2011 is to complete the under-painting on my 3 X 4 foot canvas. It will be the largest oil painting on canvas I have ever done. I have painted wall murals before but that is a completely different artistic expression than a large canvas. What they have in common is the need for lot of paint.  I think I have enough. The second challenge is how to set up the canvas so I can work on it. I am thinking that these two chairs should work if I can move things around in my small studio to accommodate them.

I will tie the cross-bar support to the chair with gardening twist tie to keep the canvas in place.

Then I will make the final decision on the image I want to paint. This remains unknown for the moment.

Before I wander off to get to work on this new project I thought you might like to see the first light on shore for 2011.

(image may be purchased here.)

I look forward to checking in with you on Friday and reporting on my results.

Sprout question: What creative problems are you resolving this week?

© 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

Home becomes Gallery

The transition is just about complete. For Saturday November 13th and Sunday November 14th our home will become a studio gallery for my:

* oil paintings

*large photography canvas prints

*2011 Sea, Land and Time Mayne Island calendars

*and, lots and lots of cards.

Would you like to tip toe through and have a wee peek? I thought you might. Leave your shoes at the door. The floors are heated and so cozy to walk on. Go on down the curved hall into the great room.

Feel free to stop and look on your way.

The sunroom area is not quite finished yet. The bed will be covered in cards by tonight, with a large canvas print resting on the headboard after I remove the pillows.

Now come up into “the private area” which is where we will have our breakfast…

and opposite of where my working studio is located.

Let’s look over the loft railing.

Well this is it. The cards are not out yet and there are still a few more pieces to hang but this gives you the general idea.

For those of you that are too far away to get any closer than this blog to these open studio days, you don’t need to miss out. Remember? Redbubble has a 15% sale on all my work in their online storefront. You can only get this deal if you order online. So there you go. Something for everyone.

Sprout question: When are you next presenting your creative work?

Have a wonderful weekend.

© 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