Soft light

Today heavy clouds filter the sun into a perpetual dawn. With rain tapping the roof now and again, I sleep late. No harm done – at least none that I have noticed. I remember our walk yesterday afternoon with its scattered clouds and soft light.

Walking a coastal trail…

Often looking towards the view but not going out to admire. We are smoked in. It seems as if someone is burning brush.

It is so pleasant under the trees. The air is heavy and still as we walk quietly through the soft light.

(image may be purchased here.)

 

Sprout question: How are you embracing what the day has to offer?

 

© 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

 

field of daffodils

Field of daffodils on Mayne Island

During the past few days on Creative Potager we have been talking about shadows and the power of darkness in our creativity. When I saw this field of daffodils, its brilliance was only enhanced by the shadows. In fact, this naturalized field of bright yellow flowers comes from a dark shadow in Mayne Island’s past. I was told that the land was once owned and farmed by a Japanese family who grew the daffodils along with tomatoes that were shipped and sold in Vancouver, British Columbia. During World War II the Japanese on Mayne Island were gathered up and taken from their land to war camps in the interior of British Columbia for fear of espionage. Their land was later given to soldiers returning from the war. The daffodils stayed and bloom every spring – reminding us.

Mr. Lenard Cohen’s “Anthem” comes to mind with the line “There is a crack in everything… that’s how the light gets in…

Sprout Question: Do you have a piece of work exists because that is how the light comes in? (links to your work are welcome)

Note: This field of daffodils is private property. No trespassing allowed. These photos were taken from the public roadway. The community has built a Japanese Garden in commemoration of early Japanese settlers.

Addition: After fielding several questions, I am adding the following historical references….

“On Tuesday, April 21, 1942, the CPR steamship Princess Mary came for the fifty Japanese men, women and children who waited on the Miners Bay wharf. Most of the Mayne Island residents were in attendance to shake hands and wish them well. It was a sad time for all… A week after evacuation, the first tomatoes of the season, so optimistically planted by the Japanese, were picked by their Mayne Island friends and sent off to market…. [between 1942 and 1943 growing season] In all, between 150,000 and 200,000 pounds of tomatoes were harvested. The school lost seventeen Japanese school children. Classes limped along until June and then the school closed until September 1944 for lack of pupils.” p.69-70 in Mayne Island & The Outer Gulf Islands A History by Marie Elliott (1984)

A Japanese Canadian Timeline by John Endo Greenaway

© 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

Cheating

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 http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Afternoon Delight painting

View image in full resolution here.

In keeping with Creative Everyday’s 2010 challenge theme for January of “body,” I have chosen to revisit this 1993 water-colour painting Afternoon Delight.

The image of the original water-colour painting  is now rendered in oils for printed on canvas. The original painting has had three standing offers on it for years but I have been unwilling to part with it. Now I can offer a print of the image that I am sure will please those desiring to purchase the original… not the same but close.

My first paintings were in oils. I switched to water colours when my children were small because the medium was less toxic and had a faster drying time. I am thinking of going back to using oils or maybe one of the newer acrylic brands. Revisiting this image and using new technologies has again inspired me to venture into other painting mediums.

Sprout Question: Of your creative work, what can you revisit to inspire your current 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.