Storm Watching and its progress on a large canvas

At 10:00 am today the morning light was not strong enough to work without the studio lamp. It is heavily overcast and last I checked there is a wee bit of snow expected. However, I was able to put the finishing brushstrokes on this large 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas painting this morning. It may be weeks before I can get a decent photograph of it so we will take a look now at the shiny-wet resting point of STORM WATCHING. Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas still on easel by Terrill Welch 2013_12_09 034

We may think that this painting began with this quick painting sketch on the canvas. Not really the beginning of Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 001

But we would be wrong. It all started on Friday December 6, 2013 at about this same time of day when the power went out. I was surprised as there was little wind at la casa de inspiracion. But then the email notifications started coming in with Ferry boat cancellation and they were for the Inside Passage which is not common at all. So I knew then that there had to be wind somewhere and took a guess that it was on the east side of the island. Sea View Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2013_12_06 024

Sure enough it was blowing a bit out there. But this isn’t the spot we need to be. We have to walk out to Campbell Point in the Gulf Island Park Reserve because the waves are break on the rocks in a big way. Let’s go and have a look. Dress warm and still expect to the wind to go right into a person’s bones and starts sawing away with an ice-cube. Rough Sea  by Terrill Welch 2013_12_06 142

Scrambling out onto a rock ledge the wind whips my big lens and me around with the same ferociousness as the sea. But I am determined. I hunker down low and steady myself against the roar. WILD SEAS WITH MOUNT BAKER IN THE DISTANCE

(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) There was no chance of using a tripod in these conditions. It was all up to my stabilizers and years of practice of framing and shooting waves. There wasn’t much time because I would get to cold to be able to work the camera and it was no place to be getting stiff and wobbly when I stood back up from where I was crouching. So steady does it. FULL STOP

(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) BREAKING OVER TWICE

(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) Sunday as in yesterday I pulled out the large canvas and placed it on the easel. I wanted the immediacy of this moment while it was still fresh to me on a cellular level. Choosing the overall colour of the filtered air with seaspray by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 004

The continuous motion of the winds and the sea stir sea-spray high up onto the cliffs above. I want that. I want that feeling of stirring and motion. I decided no underpainting so that spray would have the advantage of the white underneath. I had noticed the spray shadow in one of my reference images and took advantage of this to create additional depth. I worked on getting the painting down with as few brushstrokes as possible. Building up the movement in paint Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 007

I want us to be slightly queasy from it as we are swayed in the waters and crash against the rocks within our viewing of this painting.

Storm Watching resting 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 021

At the core there is a knowing and a thimble-size of silence which makes it bearable. This too shall pass. This is the stage that the painting rested overnight. This is where I started earlier this morning and finished at the first photograph which will not be its final of course. For this we must wait for better light.

UPDATE OCTOBER 13, 2014: Link to detailed viewing of the completed painting with purchase information and a link a short (less than six minutes) video where I talk about this painting can be found on the Terrill Welch Artist website HERE.

In conclusion, my Monday morning blessing is patience, admiration and determination. If we are willing to try we can most often do more than we believe we can. A large wave from a large canvas as you forge through the week ahead.

What are you determined to accomplish this week even if the winds of doubt are fierce?

© 2013 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission.

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New west coast winter Canadian landscape painting FOG INSIDE PASSAGE released today…


Canadian Contemporary Terrill Welch Gallery

Winter fog in the southern gulf islands is often dense and close to the sea. Islands appear and disappear as the ferries take passengers through the inside passage. The mysterious landscape has a beauty that is hard to know unless one lives with it for the long winter months of off-season quiet. This 12 x 24 inch oil on canvas is my rendering of this tactile west coast Canadian landscape experience.


Fog inside passage 12 x 24 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_02_03 064


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© 2013 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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Head in the Clouds

Usually if someone says “oh, she has her head in the clouds” it is a sign that the commenter believes the person is being unrealistic.  As a naturally optimistic creative human-being, these sentiments are something that I have often endured . I easily shrug them off. A life of joy is simply too much fun to allow such sour grapes to over-ride the obvious. So here are fourteen photographic good reasons for having your head in the clouds.

It all started with these wild and wonderful mares tails that I spotted at Village Bay as we left for Victoria yesterday.

Wouldn’t you just like to swing on these wisps for awhile? Which do you prefer – portrait

(Yes, I left that little bit of tree and hill in on purpose.)

Or landscape…

with just clouds?

But these are nothing compared to what is to come. On our return trip, the sky at the Swartz Bay terminal really starts to dance.

Who is trying to peek at us?

It is getting late and a bit of colour is breaking through.

The Mayne Queen is loading. Let me get Miss Prissy aboard so we can head up on the top deck and see what we can see. Are you ready to do a twirl or seven?

Again, landscape?

or portrait?

I want you to remind you that I am taking these on a small moving passenger ship in very low light. A tripod, even if I had one with me, would be useless because of the vibration from the diesel engine and the ship’s rippling movement over the sea. So enjoy the soft focus and relax.

Can you feel the swish of calm?

Only to have the energy build and expanse one last time…

It is getting cool. I head back to my old pick-up truck and grab my shawl to enjoy the last of the light as night settles in…

Sprout question: When was the last time you were accused of having your head in the clouds?

p.s. I do have new grandson Isaac photos too. That post will be up for Friday.

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

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