Mystery of the Ordinary in the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island

If you know only one aspect of my creative intention, I would like it to be my gift of the ordinary in our everyday. Yes, there are grand moments, brilliant moments and even tragic moments in our lives. But it is the everyday, the ordinary which holds the greatest mystery. On this day, Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I feel compelled to take you with me on a quiet walk of thankfulness in our local Mayne Island Japanese Garden. This garden is a work of volunteer love and healing in recognition of the Japanese Canadians who lost their homes and lands on Mayne Island during their interment during the second world war.

Through the trees in the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 036

Looking through the trees and standing in between I am thankful for all that is.

Standing in between in the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 031

Standing still and quiet as the winter birds shuffle the last of the fall colour on the ground, I breathe easy.

Last of the fall colour in the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 020

Have a seat and we shall stay a while longer.

Have a Seat by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 012

Then, when you are ready, we shall walk across the bridge and out onto the small inner island of the Japanese garden.

Bridge in Japanese Garden on Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2015_11_26 022

There is evidence that the seasonal Christmas lights are being strung. Today though, it is just the natural warmth of winter light and the last bits of gold in contrast to a thin layer of ice on the pond.

What is your own most powerful mystery in the ordinary of your everyday today?

© 2015 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

February Flight at Sunrise over Strait of Georgia

Everyone once in a while my heart seems to stop as I focus an image into the frame. I usually must click the shutter release at the same moment as this happens if I am going to capture it for us. Such is the case with this image of the sun rising over the Strait of Georgia…


(image is available for purchase HERE)

It is dawn on the west coast in February with a bit of fog for added mystery.  Yes, it was taken shortly after yesterday’s image of “Queen of Cumberland Ferry on a Morning in February” Having just three seagulls fly up like that and being able to click the release for the shutter to get them in that perfect position is nothing short of a miracle. I know highly skilled photoshop users would put as many birds as they wanted wherever they wanted in an image. But this is not me. I have to do it the old fashion way.


SPROUT: What mysteries have you been able to capture lately? 


© 2012 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

Emily Carr Mystery Solved

View and purchase full resolution image here.

Yesterday’s “Can you Guess?” post was so much fun. Yes?

It is indeed Emily Carr.

The statue is located in the Victoria, British Columbia harbour near the Empress Hotel which you can see in the back ground. The specific location is on the corner of Government and Belleville Street diagonal to the legislative buildings.

Looking up is Emily’s dog Billie. He is looking at Woo Emily’s monkey who is sitting on her shoulder.

The artist/sculptor who was commissioned to create the Emily Carr statue is Barbara Paterson.

I took these photographs the day after the unveiling of the oversized Carr statue. People were still frowning at it as they passed on their way to work in the morning. I didn’t take their pictures as they were so unguarded in there peering at this statue of a strange woman with a monkey on her shoulder. I didn’t want to embarrass anyone. I believe it is safe to say that most of them couldn’t have guessed who the statue represented either and they live in Emily’s home town.

The evening before we had seen a screening of a new documentary film Winds of Heaven: Emily Carr, Carvers and the Spirits of the Forest by Michael Ostroff which I reviewed on the “Emily Carr My Kindred Spirit” post in October. I was in full Emily Carr remembering when I took these photographs. I have read her diaries, her stories and viewed her art work for much of my life. I regard her as a mentor.

Why did I wait so long to post the photographs of the statue? It is because my heart sank when I saw the statue. I was filled with a deep sadness – not because of the statue itself. The statue is beautiful, thoughtful and skillfully created. I was sad because the location chose for the statue presented a mystery for me. Emily would hate it. I just know she would. Stuck in the buzz of city traffic and tourists, with people peering at her while she is left sketching one miserly branch of the great forest she loved would have been torture.

Why would anyone choose to put a statue of Emily Carr in such a counter position to her whole being? I thought and mused as I invited Emily to walk with me out of the noise and commotion down a path along the harbour shore. I am sure her feelings were hurt as much as she was angry.

I know because as we stopped to look up at the totem pole along the path, she seemed to be saying:

“Why couldn’t they have just tucked me a little ways into the peace of the rose garden where at least the birds visit?”

“Why didn’t they put me in Beacon Hill Park where it is quiet and the glorious big pines still stand?”

“Oh bother! Why didn’t they just forget about this old fool?”

I feel compelled to tell her that she is important to art history in Canada and especial in British Columbia. Though people may have not chosen the best spot for her statue in relation to her love of the woods, their hearts were in the right place. They loved her. She sagged a bit under the weight of it all and seemed to weary to fight the mistake… for surely it had to be a mistake, wasn’t it?

After weeks of considering, my conclusion is no, it is not a mistake. It was the right decision even as heartbreaking as it is to think of Emily sitting there stuck so far from the peace of her woods. It is the right decision because the statue isn’t for Emily Carr. She lived her life, created her art, wrote her stories and her spirit is free to be where it chooses – which is not on the corner of Government and Belleville Street I can assure you. The statue is for those of us who have yet to discover Emily Carr. For those that do not know of her great art and her books. The statue is a clue to a mystery that waits to be discovered by tourists, workers going to work and the three year old on a walk with her dad who draws him into the world of Emily as the child pets Billie and they both smile up at Woo. Maybe then they will seek out Carr’s paintings and wander into the great forest to see the trees as she saw them. I hope so because this is where they will find her spirit joins them as they sit on a log in wonder at one of the greatest mystery of all – the forest.

The statue is only a clue to solving a great mystery. Maybe someday the world will know Emily Carr and her woods well enough that this clue can be removed deep into the forest where we can sit together with her as kindred spirits around a small fire discussing other creative mysteries.

Sprout question: How do you resolve creative sadness and disappointment?

Or an even better sprout question offered to us by Leanne Dyck: What artist of the past would you like others to discover today?

Thank you Leanne:)

© 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