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


One Year Ago Today

One year ago today I posted the first Creative Potager post – A Gown Remembered: Beginning.  With one quick comment and my reply and eleven views it was a quiet beginning.

Today is post 205 and it starts the day with 26,600 views while building on 3,440 comments. It is a good solid beginning. Thank you everyone for your part in making this a great Creative Potager year.

Going forward, we will see a shift in posting in order accommodate my intentions for the 2011 year. Creative Potager will have a Monday morning post that will include my intention for the week. Friday morning will conclude the week with a report on the results of the intention set at the beginning of the week. With these book-end-posts there will be occasional but not predictable post in between. Each post will continue to have a Sprout Question for your musing and comment.

My intention for 2011: I will be focusing more on oil painting en plein air than photography. The purpose of my work remains the same – to ground the viewer to their physical earthly environment – in nature. Zen impressionism. Quiet abundance. Joy.

This painting “Winter Sun” and a few of my other 2010 oil paintings are for sale go to ART of DAY, at the ART of DAY store. More of my work will become available at this location in the near feature.

With an intention to be painting more and also to be painting outdoors I hope you can see why there is a shift in this years posting structure. The nice thing about blogging, if something doesn’t work we can wake up in the morning and change it. This new schedule will begin on Monday, January 3, 2011. You can expect to see Creative Potager posts today through to Friday, December 31, 2010.

Sprout question: What intentions are you setting for 2011?

© 2010 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


Bravely going off in another direction

Does it ever happen to you where you set an intention to do something only to find that you have done something else? That is what happened to me yesterday. I was all set to start writing up some story cards from the source material for Mona’s Work. As I turned around to pick up the material, I locked attention on my oil painting in progress.

(18″ X24″ 1.5″ canvas)

That was it. Next thing I know my creative energy was thrumming at a low hum and hours had disappeared as follows…

I paint the sandstone cliffs with their heavy underbelly colours. The sea rushes towards my brush – pushing and pulling. I witness the internal tension.

Exactness is not the same as expressing the exact emotion in your work.

I knew I needed the cadmium underpainting to hold the seascape together – I did not know it would also hold me together as I painted.

I remind my self to breathe through my nose as the sea air catches me – yet the only sound is the swish, swish, swish of my brush on the canvas. Stretched tight under my enthusiasm every now and again there is throng drum before the swish. Linseed oil seeps through where there had been the smell of the salt from the sea.

I haven’t forgotten, I know the spring of the canvas, I know that sandstone needs a hint of crimson in its tan mix, I know – yes I know. Ohhhhh! I know nothing! What is this tangle paint scrapping it out on the canvas? Time to stop.

Will it make a painting? Yes, it already is a painting. Will it make a gallery painting? This is never my painterly question.

Swish, swish, swish – brush on canvas – a sound as soothing as the surf coming ashore.

Mona’s Work is pushed forward into tomorrow, March 2, 2010 (the painting will take a few days to get tacky enough to work on again anyway).

Sprout Question: Have you ever felt like you cheated on your creative intention?

Oil painting is very different from my usual medium of water colour painting. With water colours I go from light to my darkest colours at the very end. I still block in my composition with underpainting but I have to be able to “live with” what shows through. With oil painting, I start with a contrasting underpainting colour to block in the composition. Because of the strong divergence of colour that will be in this finished painting, I stayed with one range of colour in the underpainting. In both mediums, I build the painting up over a series of sittings. However, it has been over 30 years since I have painted with oils. My brain feels the stretch from working the colours from dark to light, as I had been taught by an Australian trained artist, Sheila Timmins, when I was about fourteen years old. The water miscible oils paints I’m using now are a little different but I’m not sure exactly how yet.

Bonus: Here is a photo of a finished oil painting “The Cow” by my sister Sue Wiebe whose work some of you had asked to see. Excellent control of shadow and light.

And here is a close up of Sue Wiebe’s “Water Lilies” that shows the layering of paint which allows the water to flatten on the canvas and the lily pads to float on top.

Thank you sis for sending me these images to share. Artist Sue Wiebe lives in Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada. With an undergraduate degree in English, she has also completed a year at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Every once in a long while she finds a free moment to sprout on Creative Potager.

© 2010 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