Mountain Stands Alone

It was a good weekend for art sales here at Creative Potager but I will tell you more about that later. Right now I am going to share with you how I use photography as study for future painting. When I tell people I sometimes take up to 150 reference images for one painting and that I use them in place of sketches, I can see the confusion slip into the corners of their eyes as they try and understand what I am talking about. Let’s use my fascination with Mount Baker for an example.

In fact, Mount Baker may be the single most motivating factor for me to buy a 70 – 300 mm lens with an image stabilizer. I do alright with my 17-85 mm lens which also has an image stabilizer for most things. But that mountain is too far away from Mayne Island and I don’t think it is going to get any closer anytime soon – at least I hope not.

A photo study of a subject for a future painting is not about standing fixed in one spot taking one shot after another. It is about getting to know the subject in its context. It is about feeling my way into the frame. It is intuitive observation. This is what I call discovering a realism of subject rather than of object. There is a difference and I will expand on this in a future post.

Most times I go back to the same places at different times of day, during different seasons. Each time these memories and images get stockpiled as internal references for the work that will come later with paint on canvas.

I am finding that these studies seem to offer more in-depth of understanding of my subject  than en plein air painting which I had assumed would be the ultimate in painting my subject in its context. This is a surprise to me. Maybe it is that I haven’t done enough en plein air painting recently. I would love to hear from other painters about what their experience as been.

Of this particular photo engagement with Mount Baker, this is my personal favourite frame.

(image available for purchase here.)

I like the soft focused foreground drawing our attention to Mount Baker yet somehow still reminding us that a pile of rocks – is still just a pile of rocks.

So there you have it. A few images from my latest study of Mount Baker and the mountain stands alone.

Oh I didn’t forget – you want to know about the art sales over the weekend.

The first of the large original oil paintings KEEPING WATCH in the STUDY of BLUE solo exhbition has sold to a collector inVictoriaB.C.Canada. This means six of the fifteen paintings in this show are now sold.

Also, large canvas print of the photograph of GOING, a medium canvas print of FOGGED IN and eight cards of photographs and paintings sold to an unknown buyer on redbubble. Thank you whoever you are. Your support and interest in my work is most appreciated.

And thank you to all of you who are part of my creative journey.

Sprout question: What mountain in your creativity stands alone?

STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition open until Wednesday July 27, 2011.

© 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.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com