When the Sun Comes Out

First, thank you everyone who zipped, shone light, sent energy and prayers to Josie this week. I believed she has turned the corner and is on the mend. Whaaaahoooo!

The week started out with much reorganizing to make room to paint my 24 X 48 inch cotton canvas.

The composition has been adjusted somewhat but the reference photograph you see of  “stones throw” with the canvas is the one I am using for this next painting. There will be much less sky for sure. It will be challenge because the movement is from the far outer top left moving forward across the canvas to the near bottom right – towards the viewer. I am excited to see if I can make it work.

Then something happened. There was this unusual yellow glow in the sky on Tuesday morning. I was pretty sure it was the sun but I couldn’t be positive because that brilliant addition overhead hadn’t been seen in these parts for quite some time. Well, nothing would do but we had to go down to the beach and check it out. On the way we stopped to check out the field of daffodils.

They were almost open but if we check back to last year on March 11th they were already in full flower long before this time last year. However, they are coming along just the same. This sun will certainly help.

Now let’s go to the beach. Wow! The tide is way out.

David went to stroll along the shore while I clambered over the sandstone reef. I found some beautiful barnacles, mussels and snails.

(the image “BARNACLES, MUSSELS AND SNAILS” may be purchased here.)

I liked this image so much it is my desktop background right now. There were lots of oysters too but I didn’t photograph them – muddy gray looking critters.

I can never get enough of the contrast of sandstone and blue sky. Sigh!

But this is show stopper for me. I was just sitting on the rocks relaxing before heading home when I turned my head back to the sea and this is what I saw…

(the image “VESSEL” may be purchased here.)

The natural abstract beauty had me exclaiming “Yes!” before I could even get my camera out of its case. Martha Marshall this one was captured because of you and your consistent influence on my understanding of abstract design. Thank you!

I did finally get back to my canvas and the underpainting is now ready for a good run of painting next week.

Have a great weekend and I hope you find some sun!

Sprout question: What is the most outrageous creative adventure you have ever blamed on the sun?

© 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

Painterly Challenge

I have been doing underpainting on two canvases. I like to paint on site but that is not always possible so I gather photographic reminders. I rarely sketch or draw on my canvas except to capture rudimentary placement of forms. I do however routinely start with an underpainting which gives me the beginnings of depth and positioning for the development of the painting. Underpaintings are kind of like looking at an ultrasound of a baby in the womb when you don’t know the parents… not very interesting. So if you find this post rather boring – I won’t be offended. Come back tomorrow. It will be something different.

You may wonder how I choose what to paint (besides the obvious of a theme for solo Exhibition Sea, Land and Time at the beginning of September). Long ago I decided that rarely would I paint something that I felt I had fully captured with photography. My painting in is an intuitive relationship with my subject. I want to give to the painting something beyond what is in the seeing. In addition to a compelling subject, I also decide what to paint by choosing a painterly challenge – something I want to explore or a skill I want to strengthen.

For “Sea” my challenge is to be able to create depth in the water while capturing the waves on the surface… I want the viewer to be able to look at the painting and feel as if the water is still moving, wave after wave. Starting with an almost blank canvas, I begin.

Stopping as the underpainting becomes too saturated to allow new colours and shapes to emerge without erasing earlier ones.

With paint still palette, I decide to begin a second underpainting for “rocks and mussels” to address the challenge of giving bulk to something that is dark on the top and light on the middle and bottom… the mussels are added in to keep me amused and give me a break when the rocks become tiresome and frustrating.

I am reminded of a passage in Emily Carr’s painting journal on July 27, 1933 where she writes:

“Oh, these mountains! They won’t bulk up. They are thin and papery. They won’t brood like great sitting hens, squatting immovable, unperturbed, staring, guarding their precious secrets till something happens. At ‘em again, old girl, they’re worth the big struggle.”

My rocks are only little sitting hens – but getting them to “sit” is still my end goal. We shall see over the weeks ahead what we can do with them.

Sprout Question: What specific creative challenges are you setting for yourself right now?

Bonus: An interview with me posted today by Stacey Curnow at Midwife For Your Life Blog “Walking in the Sunshine of My Soul: Special Shoes Not Required.” http://www.staceycurnow.com/blog/2010/03/walking-in-the-sunshine-of-my-soul-special-shoes-not-required

© 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