The Nurse’s Place Clinton B.C. – Plein Air painting

There is something extremely companionable about a painter with all her gear packed in the car, a partner who likes to sleep in and an overnight stop in the small village of 740 residents in Clinton, British Columbia.  As the darkness gathered tightly around a warm late-August evening, I scouted my morning plein air location. I wanted some place a little off the beaten path but not so far I couldn’t carry my french box easel and camera. This is what I found. I was standing here ready to set up to paint at just after 8:30 in the morning…

With a blank canvas on the easel

I had about an hour to capture all I was going to capture.

What was most important? What shall I leave out? How shall I begin? With a large brush, I start to answer these questions as I rough in the view.

Notice the top of the painting and how the clip is not holding the painting in place. When plein air painting the light and the weather often change quickly. About 45 minutes into my painting session this oversight of that loose top clip becomes a grave error.

Yes, you guessed it. A large gust of wind came teasing down the valley and, to my horror, flipped this small painting off the easel and smack on its face in the gravel bits on the road. I pick it up and do things a little more securely the next time.

While I was still assessing the damage and deciding what – if anything – I could do next, the neighbour from the place on the other side of the road behind me came up and asked if I minded if he had a look. This is when I learned that I was painting “The Nurse’s Place.” With a promise to give him a call when the painting was completed, I conceded that my time was up. I started to pack my gear up and with the painting tightly secured to the easel headed back to the Cariboo Lodge where my dear sweet husband proclaimed that he loved the painting gravel and all. I gave grim half smile while silently I saying a small prayer to the gods that look after plein air painters and their paintings to allow the gravel bits to roll off the canvas once it had dried.  Then we went for a late breakfast and I refused to look at the painting again until today.

To my delight, the small bits of gravel rolled off the painting and I was able to finish up the painting in the studio.

THE NURSE’S PLACE CLINTON B.C. 9 x 12 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch

Available at

I have now set an image of this painting up so it can be purchased as a print or card on redbubble at

Well, at least most of the gravel is gone. If a person looks very closely there is still a little Cariboo grit on that canvas. But I think that is only as it should be. I am calling it DONE! My next task is to place a call to the wonderful neighbour who dropped by to see how the painting was coming along.

SPROUT: When was the last time you courted disaster only to have it give you a good hard flip?

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