Fourth Year Creative Potager Blog Anniversary

Just three days ago, on December 27th, it was the fourth anniversary of Creative Potager. During this four years, the space has shifted and changed with the patterns and needs of my life. We have shared much haven’t we? Blogging is sometimes a little like a public journal. It captures more than we intend because of the comfortable conversational exchanges. It doesn’t capture all of course. An artist has to have a few secrets. But it does string together my intentions, my focus, the main events and the rhythms of my work. Much has happened in four years and much has remained the same.

I still take you on long walks where the winter afternoon light is fine.

Horton Bay Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2013_12_26 089

Quality photography prints available HERE.

Places where the Surfbirds entertain with flashes of white above the water.

Surfbirds by Terrill Welch 2013_12_27 025

Mallard ducks can surprise as I climb over large sandstone rocks along the shore.

Mallard Surprise by Terrill Welch 2013_12_27 067

Quality photography prints available HERE.

Places where trees embrace moments that we may not have noticed otherwise.

Maples in Winter by Terrill Welch 2013_12_27 415

Places on a small island off the southwest coast of Canada where the sea is ever-present.

ripple  with ink outline by Terrill Welch 2013_12_27 401

Thank you for walking with me this past four years.

Thank you for joining me in the studio to render these impressions from our walks.

Together, we have mixed paint.

Art of Terrill Welch by Allison Mullally _MG_5740

We have brushed it onto canvases and gessobord.

by Allison Mullally_MG_5755

We have pushed it around with a palette knife.

by Allison Mullally _MG_5886

In a effort to render those walks and those moments, where the heart and soul is most alive, I have worked hard both en plein air and in the studio. And you have been the most gracious, supportive and encouraging of company.

Terrill Welch working in her studio by Allison Mullally _MG_5726

Tomorrow, I shall post on the Terrill Welch Artist website my personal selection of the best thirteen of 2013 paintings. There were over fifty finished works to consider so it wasn’t an easy task to choose just thirteen. However, without hesitation I can say it was a good year and a year you were so much a part of making it so.

Thank you! You are one of the finest of Monday morning blessing.

This not the end of course, just a pause for acknowledgment before we proceed into 2014 which is shaping up to be a truly grand adventure. More about this next week.

I have no question today so I ask instead – What question do you most want to answer before the end of 2013?

Please note: The last four photographs were taken by photographer Allison Mullally at a recent studio photography shoot.


© 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

A painting starts with a humble beginning – reminding me of Séraphine

Darkness is settling heavily down on an already soggy afternoon. I have worked with my daylight lamp most of the day, finishing a painting and then touching up a new one and an older one. Now, I am roughing in a 30 X 40 inch oil on canvas tentatively called REACHING THE SEA. Each painting starts with a humble beginning, filled with hope and possibility. I love this stage. It is easy to put expectations aside. Later I will have to be firm about staying in the process but not now.

It doesn’t look like much yet and as I struggled to get quick shot of it to share with you, I wished for more light. For some reason, this reminded me of the French Artist Séraphine Louis, also know as “Séraphine de Senlis,” who would work during the day as domestic worker – and then she would paint by candle light late into the night. She also had to find and buy the ingredients to mix her own paints. At this moment, I hug my digital camera and give thanks for my daylight lamp, my prepared paints and canvas, and the luxury of being able to focus just on my art.

SEED: Who is Séraphine de Senlis? I first became acquainted with her through the 2008 French film Séraphine directed by Martin Provost. Sam Juliano from Wonders in the Dark was the first to bring the film to my attention. Yolande Moreau is brilliant as Séraphine and the film won seven French Cesars (Oscars). But who is Séraphine – the artist born in 1864 and who died in a mental institute in 1942? I am off to find out!

© 2012 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

Terrill Welch online Gallery at

Begin 2012 with what you have – oil painting in progress

I am hoping to get down to the seashore for dawn but the rain has arrived first. So, refusing to be left empty-handed on the first morning of the year, I have decided to share a detail from a painting in progress.

The over all painting is still not settled on the canvas yet but I like this part of it.

SPROUT: Do you find this sometimes too – where a detail may even become the finished work?

In this case, I think the complete 12 X 12 inch canvas will come together but we shall have to wait and see.

Wishing us all the most inspiring, imaginative, creative and successful 2012! 


© 2011 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

Terrill Welch online Gallery at

Twice Around

Today is twice around the calendar year for Creative Potager. As part of my seasonal rest period, I have not posted for 25 days. It has been almost a month since I entertained a sprout question or gathered together my thoughts for a submission to all you wonderful creative beings. Yet, I have been thinking about Creative Potager – about its purpose and how it provides a sustaining sense of direction and community for me and maybe even for you.

The year of 2011 has seen many paintings completed and photographs captured. There have been interviews and guest post on other blogs. We have entertained special Salish Sea Saving days, home studio tours and seen publications of work in brochures, newspapers and on the glossy front page of a regional magazine Island Gals.

There has been the release of my new book Precious Seconds – Mayne Island in painting and photographs which many of you now have in your possession.

There has been the successful STUDY OF BLUE solo exhibition with more than half of my original oil paintings sold and finding their way to new homes.

I have received recognition for my photography and won several website features. Paintings, books and photography and painting prints, calendars and cards have been sold to buyers around the world. The introduction of Google Plus has offered a whole new community of more than 10,000 artists, photographers and art lovers have “circled” my profile.

I have been invited by a new online Gallery ArtsyHome to show my paintings and my latest original paintings are now easily available for purchase by international buyers.

On all fronts, it has been a creatively successful fine art year for me, one where Creative Potager has been a central connection for sharing my adventures.

However, a question seems to be presenting itself without a satisfying or conclusive answer:


What is next for Creative Potager?


My Google plus has scooped up much of my Twitter community and its micro blogging with gorgeous image capacity makes separate blog posting less of a necessity and in many ways less of a hub for connecting with my much larger Google Plus community. My Facebook has always been about family and closer friends for but it is not really a place of deeper contemplation and creative connection. I link these readers to Creative Potager for this even if they reply on Facebook. Some of you are part of all of my various social platforms. Others connect only here on Creative Potager or in only one or two other networks. So there is always the risk of repeating posts for some of you and of missing out on opportunities for others. Each platform comes with its own time commitment which is starting to take away from, rather than enhance, my actual creative process. I know I must shift and change something.


What should I do?


Some ideas are taking root but nothing has grown large enough to be a distinguishable pattern of lines and shapes. So, though it is the second anniversary of our creative connection here in the blogosphere, we must be patient until such time as the flip-flopping musings inside my head settle into a discernible direction. In the meantime, I shall post more frequently in a micro blogging fashion that is dispersed across my various social networking platforms. As my readers, you can choose your favourite means of connection to engage in our conversations. It matters not really though I do like to see the comments directly on the blog post because they are more lasting here and it is easier to skip through to your own posts.


The “sprout question” will become more sparsely presented as simply “Sprout.”


I shall also add a “Seed” which is a seed for creativity, learning and discover. It is a study element that I am introducing into my upcoming year. I thought you might like to be privy to this “seed planting” as well. “Seeds” shall generally have links and will only share a snippet to entice further exploration.


Possibly, not all posts will have a “seed” or “sprout.” Some may only have a photograph, a paragraph or painting. We shall just have to wait and see. Posts will have no prescribed time of day or days of the week. By now I trust that I shall post regularly. I desire maximum flexibility to create and to connect with a spontaneity that keeps both fresh and engaging and exciting. This is built on my belief and trust that both shall happen without prescription because they do.


Intention: For me, according to the answer to my I Ching question, this is anticipated to be a year of modesty and moderation. It appears to be a time of balancing extremes and harmonizing interests and requires a modest and sincere attitude and the limiting of obvious excesses while exposing myself to new areas of experience.  This is also a time of conflict, external or internal, and one of spiritual maturing. It may lead to reconsidering my original premise. My intention is to be open, curious and unattached to what I know to be true so I can explore and honour what is yet unknown to me. Oh where might this take us? It promises to be a grand adventure.


As the sun comes close to setting on 2011, thank you so much for being and continuing to be part of my creative journey.

(image may be purchased HERE

As we shoot for the moon…

(image may be purchased HERE


with our arms full of flowers…

(image may be purchased HERE


Sprout: What is currently soft and undefined in your creativity?


Seed: What new might we learn about composition? Has it changed through time? Are their histories of creativity that have handled composition with different views? These are the questions I am musing about as I begin my next painting. Let’s start with a good grounding in the basics of composition that are available on wikipedia.



© 2011 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

Terrill Welch online Gallery at


Why I hung a $2,420 original oil painting for sale at our local Farm Gate grocery store.

Does it seem odd to you that I would accept an invitation to hang one of my large fine art original oil paintings in a grocery store? Well, let me explain. The Mayne Island Farm Gate store is not just any old place you go to get your fruit, vegetables, dairy meat, eggs and other delicious goods. Farm Gate has the finest of fine of everything that is local or just plain excellent.

Take the frozen meat cooler for instance stocked with local organic grass-fed beef, succulent lamb, decadent chicken and more.

A stew for Farm Gate with its delicate vegetables fresh from the garden is a stew to remember.

But the Farm Gate story is not just about what is good to buy. Farm Gate is about what is good about us. Most places on Mayne Island are friendly and helpful but Farm Gate takes community, friends and family to the very heart of our experience.

A coffee anyone?

Or maybe you would like to take a pound of this micro-roasted organic, fair-trade, shade-grown, bird-friendly black gold home instead?

How many of you actually know the person who makes the hummus in your local grocery store? How many of you would be delighted rather than surprised when that same person saw your vehicle in the parking lot and came in to say ‘hello” complete with an island-size hug?

Since we were both there it was a great photo opportunity. Just in from gardening here is Barbara at her working best.

Barbara McIntyre of Nomadic Routes Inc. is the same Barbara that is showing her photography at the Green House Restaurant with me. By the way, we are hanging a new show this afternoon if you want to drop in, have a bite and say hello. But back to hummus – Barbara’s organic Moroccan Hummus is a reason all by itself to stop by Farm Gate. Or you may prefer one of her kayak-travel-proof-decorated-wax-covered-chocolate-truffles. Delicious! Sssssppttt! There on the left end of the checkout counter – an easy reach. No one will say anything if you buy three.

In fact, some things at Farm Gate are so good they have to be shared with friends far away. On Laurie Buchanan’s Speaking from the Heart blog post today she tells about receiving a package from me in the mail. For those of you that know us both, it is no surprise that we have an equal passion for the precious cargo sent by air mail and arriving in a plain brown package.

When Don and Shanti, the owners of Farm Gate, asked if I would be interested in hanging some of my original oil paintings I hesitated for a second. Not because it was a grocery store but because it was such a fine grocery store. The walls are spacious with high ceiling and already well appointed with their own collection of fine art. So I thought about the work I had available at the close of the STUDY of BLUE solo exhibition which was showing at the Oceanwood Restaurant and Inn. I decided I had two pieces that were large enough and would fit well in the store. There was the painting ONE shown here and KEEPING WATCH a painting of the same size (and same price) – but it sold that same week. So when I brought ONE to hang in the spot we had agreed, even though it is 24 X 36 inches, it looked rather lost in the large space above the door next to the 25 pound bags of floor on the back wall.

Don came by as I was finishing up and said “I think you are going to need a bigger sign than that – something that actually says in big letters FOR SALE. You need to catch people’s attention.”

Don was right. The small gallery sign I had was not going to do it. So off I went to make a new sign. When I came back my painting had been upgraded. Yes, just like in a fine hotel, it now had the premium suite. They had moved one of their own collector pieces to the original location of my painting and placed ONE front and centre in the best light, with the best exposure. I was overwhelmed by the gesture. Imagine someone taking the time and creativity to think through what would work best to show my work.

That is the kind of place Farm Gate is. Besides fine groceries and fine art, the Farm Gate store is about being fine people –where your best interests are their best interests. Friendly and caring does not adequately describe this kind of lived intention. It is with great pleasure and equal honour that my original oil paint ONE hangs for sale at the Farm Gate Store.

I am sure that along with your freshly picked white cucumbers, basket of raspberries and lamb burgers for the BBQ, Erin would be happy to accept a cheque made out to Terrill Welch for the sum of $2,420 and help you package ONE for safe transport to your own fine Mayne Island retreat or other far away destination of equal fine taste. But those two little packages on the bottom far left. You can’t have those. That is David and mine’s lunch – grill zucchini, onion, and red pepper with goat cheese on a freshly baked organic croissant.  Huuuttt! I see you! Okay, you can have a bite.

There is a verse in one of Muriel Rukeyser poem’s “The Speed of Darkness” that comes to mind:

Time comes into it.

Say it.       Say it.

The universe is made of stories,

not of atoms.

I am so pleased to be part of the Farm Gate story.

Sprout question: What stories are you pleased to be part of?

© 2011 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

Terrill Welch online Gallery at