Warm Sun with Cool Shadows

I have my sweater tide around my waist and my cheeks are facing the later morning sun. But there is no mistaking that it is fall. A cool breeze drifts gently through the trees and tickles up the length of my spine.

*Please note: Reader warning about challenging material and painting reference sketch for possibly my next large painting are included near the end of this post.  

I want to not much of anything on days like this. It is a good thing I got the edges on four large paintings done yesterday before heading down to sit beside the sea. 

Autumn crocuses are in full bloom. I always feel like they are playing a great hoax on us, as if wanting us to believe it is spring. 

But it was Saint John Point where I wandered yesterday. This place is intimately familiar. Yet, if I learn into that closeness and seek out something more, it always delivers. 

Again…

And again…

The Arbutus woods, the sea and the sky are never the same twice. So I keep seeking with fresh eyes and a willing spirit. 

Every twist is assessed and acknowledged, sometimes with sadness because the end of a life is so near. Maybe one more season. Hopefully. 

However, even in death Arbutus Trees seem to still have so much to offer with their elegant curves. 

I revel in the grand strength and endurance of the healthy giants. How do they do it when so many others are struggling?

At home the painting edges dry.

These three paintings have displaced us from our great room and dining table.

Not to worry, we have done this a few hundred times before. We have a temporary cozy and beautiful solution. The outside deck table is moved to the big windows in our bedroom. Now how fine is this!?

And in the evening if dinner is later, we slide everything over in front of the fireplace. One could hardly call this roughing it.

Today and tomorrow the Gallery Pod is closed. I have a friend and an art collector arriving for a day trip tomorrow though. I could start on a larger painting but I might wait. What I want to work on is dark and grim. I have a small study I did around five months ago about our tranquil place next to the Salish Sea with the devastation left behind by the Russians in the small village of Bucha village in Ukraine imposed in the foreground.

“One World, Two Places” by Terrill Welch is a small 8 x 10 inch acrylic sketch 

Artist notes: During mid April 2022 war photographers began releasing images of Bucha Ukraine following Russian retreat. The inhumane atrocities where nightmarishly haunting. I was overwhelmed by the graphic possibilities for sickly human behaviour. I went from our calm, warm, cozy home to the shores of the Salish Sea on the southwest coast of Canada where Mount Baker loomed across the waters in the United States. What if our neighbouring unit were to attack us in this way? What would we do? These lands too have witnessed atrocities by European settlers towards Indigenous communities. There is no place of virtue for how despicable humans can be to one another. The miracle might be that we have even moments of peace, compassion and caring at all. Yet, the seascape of my island home is tranquil and takes the edge off of my inner turmoil. I return home and paint “One World, Two Places” using several reference but with a specific image quote to Den Kazansky who risks his physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being to document the crimes in Bucha and the war in Ukraine. Kazansky’s tag line on Twitter is “For only in the grip of darkness we will shine amidst the brightest stars” This too could be the title of this painting sketch.


The subject deserves a large canvas. I am just not sure I have the stomach and the courage to paint it. I have a biting, teeth grinding and nightmare kind of concern for those civilians who are on the front lines of the war in Ukraine. I can hike the trails to take the edge off but this doesn’t change the situation. Somehow painting these experiences offers a concrete place outside of my head to record these horrors that contrast so starkly with our daily island life here on the Southwest Coast of Canada.

For now, I am going to make my coffee and see what I decide after that.

ONLINE GALLERIES include –

ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available

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Website: TerrillWelchArtist.com 

Weaving Together A Weekend Through to Monday

After collecting our basket from the Farmers Market yesterday and spending most of the day putting up the harvest for winter while guests self browsed in person and online, today with the Gallery Pod open from 11-4, I am smiling. 

I am smiling AND painting edges. I would say this is almost a miracle. 😉

I think it is the second batch of oven roasted eggplant, tomatoes and peppers with herbs in olive oil.

Or maybe it is the third batch of rustic basil pesto?

But it is likely the labeled serving sizes in the freezer that is doing it. This and the fall air. Either way, you are most welcome to come self browse in the Terrill Welch Gallery Pod and stop in and see the new show in ISLAND TIME ART both today and tomorrow. I shall be around between painting edges and strolling in the early autumn sun. Plus, there are fresh flowers in the Gallery Pod to welcome you.

If you are only able to visit and browse online this works well too.

Terrill Welch Gallery Pod Private Viewing Room is available HERE.

ISLAND TIME ART “Late Summer Gold” group show can be viewed in a collection HERE

ONLINE GALLERIES include –

ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available

Redbubble painting and photography prints and merchandise

Website: TerrillWelchArtist.com 

Latest Progress on Arbutus and Salish Sea

“Arbutus and Salish Sea” is the latest painting completed in my Red Line Series. Since its beginnings during the last week of August, I knew this work was going it be part of this red line body of work. I started the painting in the usual manner with a yellow ground with a few pencil marks on the canvas to guide the composition and design.

From there, I started painting the background first because it was going to be the strongest visual balance to the rest of the composition.

Adjustments were made to simply the design of the painting even more as I completed the blocking in stage and moved on to building up the paint. Now let’s step down into the home studio and have a look at the resting painting…

This work has happened during the opening days of the new gallery pod while we have also had the home studio open to walk in visitors. It has been a bit tricky to work between guests but I managed. I was able to get it to this stage and added the red line yesterday.

Now it is resting and the painting still needs the edges painted and a final photograph. However, I have popped it into a digital room view to take away the busyness of the home studio and so I can better decide if it needs anything else. I thought you might like to see as well.

“resting” Arbutus and Salish Sea by Terrill Welch (not yet released though inquires are still welcome) 20 x 36 inch walnut oil on canvas

Artist notes: Recent years of drought and an over population of deer eating the seedlings has been challenging for Mayne Island Arbutus Trees. The red line in this painting is there to remind us of the impacts of climate change even as the natural beauty of these trees next to the sea persists.

The painting will be set aside as I believe it is complete and another canvas will be placed on the easel.

This is how it goes in the art studio and I am so looking forward to more painting time this fall.

May our Autumn be filled with quiet abundance!

ONLINE GALLERIES include –

ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available

Redbubble painting and photography prints and merchandise

Website: TerrillWelchArtist.com 

September is About to Arrive

I can feel fall nipping at my heals even as the nights remain warm and the drought conditions continue likely for at least another two weeks. It is a rambling eclectic time of year with my birthday acknowledged while aggressive wasps crowd around the outside water tap for a drink. I have the road signs up for the official Gallery Pod opening 11-4 each day starting tomorrow through to Tuesday September 6th.

The show is hung and people have been slipping for an early viewing for the last few days.

There will need to be new flowers for the desk today I think but these ones have sure been lovely.

The newsletter is written and will come out as usual on Friday. Never Miss the Good bits! Sign Up Now for “A Brush with Life” the curated editorial Terrill Welch Gallery newsletter published every second Friday. (You will receive a confirmation email. Check your spam folder if you sign up and it isn’t in your inbox. If you do not reply to confirm you are not subscribed yet). 

No painting is happening at the moment. A strong individual is coming to dig a trench for the extension cord to the gallery pod today so that it is not an eyesore. My most treasured team member is coming to clean and polish our home and the home studio. I have so much gratitude for those in my life who step up when needed!

End of summer meals are wholesome but simple. Breakfast of garden fresh local tomatoes on wood fired rye toast with mayo for breakfast.

Spanish omelettes with tomato sauce and cheese with local salad greens for supper thanks to Raven Vale Farm.

I managed a sunrise this week along with an impromptu visit with a friend who arrived for the same beach just a little earlier than me.

Life is good as I get up early and go to bed late while noticing the shorter days and that distinct scent of autumn just around the corner. I tell myself, just get through to the end of the Gallery Pod opening and it will easy up. But not likely all at once I am afraid. It is now time to get everything ready for the winter months. There are off island eye and dentist appointments to get out of the way for both of us and regular twice yearly blood work to do for my partner, along with his prescriptions that will need to be renewed. All the batteries for flashlights and emergency lamps will need to be checked. And the propane tank for the fireplace that provides emergency heat if we have a longer power outage. There! A list has been started.

How is your September shaping up?

ONLINE GALLERIES include –

ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available

Redbubble painting and photography prints and merchandise

Website: TerrillWelchArtist.com 

Pulling Canvases Off The Easel

Done and done! Ta-da! For weeks these two very different paintings had been languishing on two of my easels. Neither needed much but I still procrastinated and refused to stand in front of them and finish up. So, in a moment of clarity and gumption yesterday, I picked up my brushes and did the necessary work. Then, without ceremony, I yanked them from the easel and rested them on the stairs for one last peruse before taking final photographs and setting them aside to dry. Upon reflection, they are both early morning paintings. They do have this in common.

The first painting is part of a Red Line Series I am working on to depict the challenges of climate change on our treasured landscapes. If we look at the painting by itself, it is easier to discover.

Red Line Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park by Terrill Welch, 20 x 30 inch, walnut oil on canvas.

For more details and my artists notes click HERE.

Or we could place it in a room view with a floating frame just to give us an idea…

The second painting is primarily a memory that is revisited every year or so when I go home to spend time with my parents. This is a landscape of my childhood and the first that I drew and then started painting in oils when I was fourteen years old.

Early Morning Mist by Terrill Welch 16 x 20 inch, oil on canvas.

For more details and my artists notes click HERE.

And this one really does appreciate a little distance. Breakfast anyone?

Normally, I will place posts about new releases on my website. I was just so pleased to finally get these two completed and into the inventory that it seemed they should be posted with the art practice records. I also worked on a third painting but it was too late in the day for photographs. Another time. Now I can start on something new! Grounds are dry and waiting but I might have changed my mind about what O want to put on them. They had been prepared for a few more mountain Red Line paintings. However, the one I just did could possible have said all I want to say. We shall see.

I do not expect to be writing a post here everyday even though it will happen at times. I thought about setting a specific schedule and decided it wasn’t necessary. I am fairly good about documenting my work process which includes hikes, walks, reading about art and art history, watching art videos as well as painting. I have been doing it for years now. Some thoughts and activities are gathered into “A Brush with Life” newsletters and some will only be shared here. Creative Potager is my everything-out-on-the-tables-and-counters kind of working space. Thoughts and musings are mixed in with my commentary and missteps. I tend to need to document my process to some degree so that I can let go and have room for new ideas and new learning. It is just my way of being in the world. I suspect at times that my ramblings will make little sense at all and at other times, you will be comfortably nodding at my shoulder. Either way, this missives will be a touch point for starting to understand the paintings that come off of my easel.

Do you also tend to find that writing things out or saying them to a friend is useful?

Thanks for listening! 😉

ONLINE GALLERIES include –

ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available

Redbubble painting and photography prints and merchandise

Website: TerrillWelchArtist.com 

Sea and Shore – a beginning

The soft grey of morning is still settling out of my physical being as I lift the large 36 X 48 inch canvas onto the easel. Cascading light and colour roll with the waves over the shapes gathering across my inner landscape. The endless beating of sea and shore vibrates through the heartwood of an old hanging arbutus swinging above the sculptured shore. But alas, there is only whiteness reflection back at me…

I only have an hour before I must be down in the village. Can I do something with this?

“Only if you promise to remember to go open the gallery on time!” I mutter, as I squeeze the cadmium yellow and red oil paint onto a clean palette.

Those lines!  This light!

I remember my smallness…

as I looked up into the tangle of trunks.

The quick painterly notes start to multiply on the canvas…

Sweeping curves round above seal-shaped forms below.

Light and shadow intertwine in a symphonic melody.

Waves and ferry wake are fierce dance partners, bending the spine of the sandstone in its embrace.

I am standing.

I have stood painting this small 11 x 14 inch study below…

And now, on the big canvas, I am 25 steps further to the right, closer to sea. I must start again. I must hunch down and grasp all-that-was and all-that-will-be, swing it high over my head then spiral it down, until it is rooted deep into the earth, with confidence, in each brushstroke.

But this is yet to come. For now, I must wash the one-inch flat hog hair brush, take off my weathered carmine paint-splattered apron, remove any wild run-away cadmium red or yellow streaks on my face and head to the gallery.

Oh but there is more! So much more!

I must wait. We must wait. And remember, it is only paint and a canvas. 😉

What, may I ask, are YOU waiting for?

PART 2 “Sea and Shore – Building Up Paint” is now posted HERE.

Part 3 “Sea and Shore – Strong Finish” can be viewed HERE.

© 2018 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 http://terrillwelchartist.com

Summer Art Oil Painting Masterclass To Go

Yahoo my friends! Are fine weather has finally arrived 🙂 And of course, I have an idea…

Summer Art Oil Painting Masterclass To Go!

“I’ll have three colour mixing tips, two reference gathering methods and a handful of composition considerations please!”

“Would you like a side of perspective and underpainting suggestions to go with that as well today?”

Yes! I am considering piloting my Beauty of Oils Skill Building Masterclass so you can take it with you this summer as an independent online study course. It is all the same great material and more packaged for access anywhere you have an Internet connection. You can work at your own pace, review lessons and do the painting activities as many times as you like… and be invited join a bonus Painters Group monthly live painting problem-solving chat for extra support.

Sounds good? Let me know by comment, private message or whatever works for you! If there is enough interest, I will make it happen in the next couple of weeks.

I know! I am always up to something and this I think is going to be really, really good 😉

What do you think?

UPDATE: You thought “yes” and the independent study class in oil painting is now available. More information is available HERE.

 

© 2018 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 http://terrillwelchartist.com

Winter Solstice Reflections

Still congested with a winter cold, I rest against the soft light of the shortest day of the year. Having canceled any interruptions, I am free to climb under the warmth of the down duvet on the day bed in the loft studio – to think about not much at all. Ideas and thoughts drift, rollover and crumble into yet smaller fragments. An older small painting surfaces and clings to the edges of fickle concentration.

And then the end of a poem by Mary Oliver…

thank you
old daintiest,
dark wreckage,
coins of the sea
in my pockets
and plenty for the gulls
and the wind still pounding
and the sea still streaming in like a mother wild with gifts –
in this world I am as rich
as I need to be.

~ from “Winter” p. 52-53 in New And Selected Poems Volume One, 1992, Beacon Press.

The oil painting is “Receding Tide Reef Bay” 9 X 12 inches and is one of a very few small oil on canvas I have left.

Happy Winter Solstice! May we embrace the quiet light of the shortest day of year for the gift that it is.

What are your reflections about winter solstice today?

 

© 2017 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 http://terrillwelchartist.com

Red Poppy Serenity Oil Painting

The red poppy oil painting “Serenity by the Sea”

is from a specific day at the end of May in the year 2017 on the island of Galiano off the Southwest coast of British Columbia, Canada.

The mist turns to a light drizzle as I sit on a low chair looking out past the cedars to yet other islands across the sea. What can possibly cut through these west coast greys? Then I remembered.

Earlier in the day I had seen large red poppies growing in the garden near the water.

“I wonder!?” I said to myself.

Slipping on a raincoat and garden clogs I stuffed my way-too-large iphone in my hip pocket and my big camera with its rain cover over my shoulder. It is about 5:00 am and the sun is still high enough in the west to push its way through the low clouds, providing a noticeable filtered light. But it is not enough to keep the warm greys using the big camera. Those gorgeous greys were running into the blues. But the iPhone 7 plus seems to get the idea. I gather several references images with both devices and find one that I particularly like.

Six days later, I am back in the studio and have mulled the idea over long enough to pull out a canvas and get started. The method is straightforward.

Start with a ground that will pull on those muted tones and make a few modest marks to guide the composition.

Establish the relationship between the sky and the light reflecting off the water.

Drop the darks unceremoniously into place.

Leave the red ones for last and keep the brushstrokes simple, clean and decisive.

Work in the highlights, stems and texture of the lower foliage, using a painting knife as needed. Then stand back, one last time, and ensure there is a humming kind harmony of emotion and aliveness to the work.

Yes, I think we are there!

Serenity by the Sea “resting” 18 x 14 oil on canvas

As usual, the painting needs to rest and dry before it is considered finished. I intended this work to be a composition study for a larger painting. However, I may have said all I need to say in this one. Painting the subject larger won’t make for a better painting. It will just be bigger. Yet, I am not completely sure if I want to give up on splashing large amounts of red around on huge surface though. I shall think about it for a while and see. In the mean time…

What bright spots have cut through your grey moments of late?

© 2017 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 http://terrillwelchartist.com

Work Life In Progress

A great big sign at the entrance of the driveway may accurately read: PROCEED WITH CAUTION WORK LIFE IN PROGRESS. Not that this is a bad thing. The alternative is much less appealing.

It is just means that the question usually asked about how are things going will be answered by –  “Oh, round and round!”

Or – “Busier than a painter with three brushes in her hand.”

Neither of which tell us much at all.

So a better question might be – “Terrill can you tell us one thing that pleases you today?”

Yes I can. I have a new painting roughed in on the easel that I am going to muse about while I drink my morning coffee. Let me show you….

The canvas is 12 x 24 inches and started with a yellow ground and a few marks to guide the scale of the composition.

The spring morning sky brightens all in its path including the green firs on the hill across the way. Song birds sing, grass grows and an eagle cries somewhere in the distance across Active Pass.

First leaves are soft and translucent in the warm light as the blues of sea catch my breath and swing it skyward and back again. How many mornings has the Springwater Lodge, the oldest continuously operating hotel in British Columbia, seen like this one?

There is the scent of fresh coffee filling the loft with a hint of linseed oil underneath. I decide to leave the studio lamps off for just a little longer. But I will sort out the angles of lines, the relationships between objects and the spaces in between later today – one brushstroke at a time.

Update: Now as the end of the day nears and the work has come to “resting” all shiny and wet on the canvas…

Early Spring Morning at Miners Bay “resting” 12 x 24 inch oil on canvas

How about you? Can you tell us one thing that pleases you today?

Note: “The Beauty of Oils Class of 2017 Art Show” was a wonderful success. All the pieces are falling into place for the Art! Vancouver Fair at the end of May and the background material for advertising has been sent in for the six week solo show opening June 30th 3-5 pm in the afternoon. Next will be a focus on getting the last of the edges painted on the selected work for the solo show.

© 2017 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 http://terrillwelchartist.com