End of Summer

I begin my day by arranging a huge bundle of fresh-cut flowers I received as a thank you for a photo shoot I did earlier in the week. I thought I was going to take photographs of the finished results. Which I did. But the most stunning image was on the cutting table where the morning sun had edged its way in. A reminder to always take the photograph that is there to be taken.

(this image may be purchased here.) 

I am grateful today that hurricane Irene was less than anticipated. I am grateful for so much love from my family and friends. I am grateful to celebrate one more year on this planet.

 

Sprout question: What are you grateful for today?

 

© 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

http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch/art/7681425-end-of-summer

Mayne Island Japanese Garden Dressed in Winter

This morning is -4 Celsius or 24.8 degrees Fahrenheit here on Mayne Island. On the west coast this is chilly. We have a damp cold that seeps right into your bones without stopping to slow down much even for your woolies. There are still a couple of inches of snow left in the yard and the winter birds are thankful for the full bird feeder. Our hot water in-floor heating has a hard time keeping up when it gets below freezing outside. The Floors are beautifully warm but not much heat is rising to the loft. I have turned on the oven with the door open for a bit to circulate some heat up to the studio. A few more flakes of white stuff are expected over the next couple of days.

Now that we have dispensed with the weather report let’s have a look at some of the photographs of the Japanese Garden dressed in winter.

You may remember this image from “A Search for Colour…

Winter has its grace with this beauty caught still dressed in her fall finery.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

The garden pond is partly frozen obscuring some to the reflections.

There is a peace which settles deeply when we drink in this snow-covered garden’s quiet.

The bridge seems to beautiful to disturb by walking across its whiteness.

Now stepping back and having a gaze at the whole picture… I hope you are smiling.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

May you be warm.

Sprout question: What makes you feel warmest when you get really cold?

© 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 Search for Colour ends in the Japanese Garden

With the slate gray of winter loping around cavorting with my finer spirits, tempting them into the gloom, I went in search of colour.

There is this leaf amongst the twigs with the sun soaking through it.

An orange calendula is there to greet me in its last rain-soaked days before predicted weekend frost will pluck its brilliance.

These yellow calendulas will fair no better.

Then I go to the Japanese Garden. At last I feel satisfied. I take this image home and render it in a painterly fashion.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

I prefer the simplicity of this version rather than just a photograph… but I do have that way as well.

Sprout question: What keeps your spirits up when the sun fails to find you?

© 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

Stuffed Ambercup Squash with Champagne

The last day of September has arrived. Golden afternoon sun moves into the long shadows of the fir trees outside her window. Leaving the bed with its crumpled woolen throw and Barbara Kingsolver’s Orange Prize The Lacuna, she climbs the shallow steps up to the kitchen and looks at the orange Ambercup squash on the counter. She hadn’t planned to cook this harvest poster vegetable yet but there are shallots in the wicker basket beside it. She muses about the great handfuls of parsley in her kitchen garden. Then there is that beautiful plump sage over by the fence. Of course it will need some thyme and just a bit of rosemary. By now she has put on her oversized apron and garden clogs and is out in the potager gathering the herbs.

“We are having stuffed squash with shallots, apples and pumpkin seeds” she shouts up to where her husband is working on securing another deer fence at the back of the yard.

He straightens up with a grin that reaches right to the back of his soft brown eyes. He knows that she knows that squash is his favourite food. She grins back.

With a fist full of herbs she is back at the kitchen counter. There is only one way to safely take the head off of a squash. It is with a large heavy cleaver. If hitting the cleaver with the back of her hand doesn’t slice the tough hide of the squash, she resorts to using the rubber mallet from the tool shed to pound it through. This method has never failed her. Today no rubber mallet is necessary.

With the insides of the squash composted, she is ready to make the house smell like savory heaven. She is sure there is a garlic clove over in the garlic holder. Yes, there it is. Butter, lots of butter – well, first a little olive oil is drizzled into the well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. The garlic, shallots and herbs are chopped and ready. A few slices of that heavy multi-grain bread filled with seeds cubed will do nicely. Two small this-year Macintosh apples are sliced and added unpeeled. She eats three pieces of their tart flesh before they make it into the mix. Fresh ground nutmeg and some of that fresh ground allspice too.  Now let’s see… a few pumpkin seeds, maybe a handful. Finally some sea salt and pepper ground with wrist snapping vigor.

“That about does it,” she mutters to the kitchen wall.

Hanging up her apron she remembers wine. She has forgotten to buy wine.

Well, there are a couple of small bottles of champagne chilled that she was given by a friend in August for her birthday. Squash with champagne it will be.

Stuffed and the lid pinned on with large tooth picks, she places the squash on an old pie plate with a bit of water in the bottom and a piece of tinfoil loosely over top. The oven has been warmed to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer is set for an hour even though she knows it will likely take a bit longer.

She thinks that maybe she should write out the recipe but what would she say? Seize a medium sized winter squash and a few shallots. Then keep adding ingredients until you find that you have closed the oven door. Done!

Sprout Question: Can you share your creative recipe?

Best of the weekend to you!

© 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

Baby O

We have, as many of you know, many children. We also had a few weddings this past summer. One of these weddings has resulted in what used to be a common place event – the arrival of a bump.

With only a simple request, I was able to talk this lovely young woman into a photo shoot to capture these early days of the development of baby O.

In silhouette.

By the water.

Next the rocks with her natural blonde streak more pronounced than usual.

And just hanging out at the beach.

These photos were then sent to the soon-t0-be dad’s parents who are far away.  The due date for baby O is March 4th but we all know babies are born when they are ready.

There are many reasons why I might hesitate to post this time of wonder and celebration. However, I feel compelled to push forward anyway. I am happy to share with you, that I am looking forward to being a grandmother again.

Sprout Question: What sprouts new life into your creativity?

© 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

Good Neighbour Gate

We have all likely heard of good neighbour fences where you make sure the fence is agreeable to both parties and looks nice on both sides. What about a good neighbour gate? I love the idea that you can do more than visit over the fence with a neighbour. Imagine having a chat and opening the gate so they can come in and get a closer look at your prize pink dahlias.

Sprout Question: Where are your good neighbour creativity gates located?

© 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

Please Do Not Take This Pumpkin

Cities on the west coast are changing. I visited a friend in Victoria yesterday. After walking through her garden and behind the outdoor studio, I admired a hen through the fence in the neighbour’s yard.  But even before I got to the house, I stopped on the street to see how the pumpkin was doing.

Imagine my delight when “the son” answered the doorbell a few minutes later  and agreed to get his picture taken with this large beast growing between the sidewalk and the street.

Just to help ensure you can tell how big this pumpkin is, Simon is eleven. The pumpkin gets so many visitors that my friend is thinking of putting out a guest book.

Congratulations Simon on your giant pumpkin. Thank you to your neighbours for not picking it.

Sprout Question: What part of your creative experience is larger than usual?

© 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

Everything from Soup to Nuts

We are not to the bottom of the barrel quite yet but we are definitely down to everything from soup to nuts. It looks like we are in for a stretch of rain. I am going away for the weekend and need to deliver a package of art inventory to our local décor story and catch the noon ferry to Victoria. I still need to post and pack. So I have a choice between an image of a water-logged log or this awesome spicy eggplant soup served with heavy spelt bread and almond hazelnut butter. I thought you would prefer the soup.

Spicy Eggplant Soup

5-7 cups organic vegetable stock

2 carrots, diced

1 small onion diced

2 small locally grown organic eggplants or one normal size cubed

2 tablespoons grated gingerroot (I used homemade blackberry ginger chutney because I had no gingerroot)

1 clove of garlic (can use two… we are just light on garlic)

1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes just pick from the garden (or organic canned if out of season)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (up to 1/2 cup if you like cilantro)

1 teaspoon cumin

pepper and kosher sea salt

In large pot saute carrots onion, eggplant, ginger and garlic over medium heat in a few tablespoons of vegetable stock adding more stock if needed until onions are done. Stir in remaining stock, tomatoes, cumin and pepper; cover and bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until it is done. Add cilantro and sea salt to taste. Let sit while preparing heavy toasted spelt bread smeared with almond hazelnut butter.

This recipe has been adapted from p. 122 of Cooking Vegetarian: Healthy,Delicious and Easy Vegetarian Cuisine by Vesanto Melina, R.D. and Joseph Forest (published 1996 MacMullan Canada). The original recipe has two potatoes diced in as well and offers the option of saute with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetabel stock.

It has been the most fabulous week here on Creative Potager. I thank you for your comments, for sharing this creativity site with others and even for taking the time to drop by and lurk in the corners. I shall be back with a new post again on Monday. Best of the weekend to you!

Sprout Question: When is your next day off from your regular creative practice?

p.s. I also chose the related links special for us as well so you might want to take a look.

© 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

The ART of Home


Early this morning sitting on the sheepskin in our window seat, looking out at nothing in particular, I think “I have nothing planned for my post today.”

I observe the lived-in comforts of “home” in la casa de inspiracion musing over possibilities.

Then I remember a stunning book in my bookshelf by Lloyd Kahn, Builders of the Pacific Coast published in 2008.

Here are a few pages to inspire you to think about “the ART of Home.”

work of Michael McNamara

work of Jan Jensen

There are 250 pages of stories and photographs of some of the most stunning aesthetically warm, natural or salvaged material homes I have ever had the pleasure to become acquainted. The morning slips away as I browse through the pages…

With only a little effort I find Lloyd’s Blog with a list of a few more of his books as well as an interesting article on the future of publishing.

Sprout Question: Is there a connection between your home and your creativity?

© 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

Sandstone

There is nothing more intriguing to my imagination than southern gulf island sandstone. The wearing and washing of the sea along island shorelines creates a beauty that is hard to replicate. With its abundance and ease to work with, sandstone is used for everything from walkways, front step, garden beds, to cob wall foundations. Our home, along with many others on the west coast, make practical use of this local natural material.

Yet, it is the sea that has the most talent in sculpturing this soft stone as shown in these photographs from East Point on Saturna Island.

View and purchase full resolution images here.

View and purchase full resolution images here.

View and purchase full resolution images here.

View and purchase full resolution images here.

Sprout Question: What natural substance has draped you with creative possibilities?

© 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