Lost in the Light Edith Point Mayne Island work in progress

The day delivered breadth and inspiring beauty as so often happens on my walks. I came home with a much clearer mind and a lighter heart than when I left. Just how I like it! 🙂

Now to render those same fingers of light and sea onto a canvas. This particular Sunday in the Terrill Welch Gallery was quieter than usual so I set up on the little patio to paint.

Just a few paint marks on the yellow ground should get us started.

Then the blocking in begins.

I keep painting but it is slow going and pretty soon the day is over and I need to bring the work into the gallery and close up shop.

The very next day, I move the wet painting to the home studio and continue working on it there. Finally! The blocking in process is complete. This might be it for today… the 24 x 30 inch walnut oil on canvas landscape painting is covered in wet paint indicating its major elements. Though things are still rather fluid, I have a fairly good idea where all bits are located. Now comes my favourite part of finding all the light and shadows. But this might be tomorrow’s work. I still have the brushes out though so anything is possible. 😉

Steady goes it as patches of light and shadow move across the landscape. There is still a ways to go before the first hints of light shift the forms into place. But for now a break.

Done! Well, maybe resting. Nope it is done!… I suppose you don’t need to listen to me arguing with myself 😉

Now for some distance so it is easier to see what we have here.

Ah well, it really was only resting. I have made a few minor changes to address a small visual tangent. If you know what such a thing is, see if you can find the change I made.

“Lost in the Light Edith Point Mayne Island” by Terrill Welch
24 x 30 inch walnut oil on canvas

The edges are now painted and drying. A hanging wire must still be added, a final photograph taken and the work added to the inventory program. But almost there!

When was the last time you had a tangent – visual or otherwise? 😉

ONLINE GALLERIES include –

ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available

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Website: TerrillWelchArtist.com 

To Return To My Trees

There is a Welsh phrase (not a “Welch” phrase) “dod yn ôl at fy nghoed”, meaning “to return to a balanced state of mind” or the literal translation is “to return to my trees“. This, as you know, is something that I do often. But sometimes, I even surprise myself with how powerful the pull of trees can be. Take this latest tree. I walked out onto this huge expanse of hard sand and then headed directly across to where there was this amazing old fir tree whose growth seems to have split the sandstone, its top is blown off, and its roots getting salted with every winter storm. I could not easily capture its grandness in one image so I pieced a few together and relied mostly on a short video for painting references. After all the little plein air paintings, this is my first studio painting from Hornby Island. Well, let’s see what we have shall we? 

I could have used a 60 x 40 inch canvas for this painting but I resisted and decided instead to see if a smaller 36 x 24 inch could communicate the power of this tree.

We have a start as I gather up the branches lost against the westerly afternoon light of sun and sky.

These will, at first, contrast hard against the expanses of the dark trunk… until I get the reflected light from the sea and sky to the east involved.

I can now sense where the tree is in space as we look way up from the beach floor under our feet. From here, the blocking in process continues until the canvas is covered in wet oil paint.

Now, the real work begins! I build up the paint from both the lightest lights to the darkest dark and everything in between. I desperately what to keep the strength, power and movement of time and space that is already on the canvas. This is essential. I seek the most minimalist of details that all lead towards this one intention and will guide every mark I make from here forward. (Don’t hold your breath though as it will take another few hours and we don’t need any readers passing out in anticipation 😉

I take a long break, plan what we will have for supper, feeling pleasantly pleased with myself that I remembered that we would need to eat. This phenomenon doesn’t always happen when I am in the middle of a larger painting. Sometimes, when I am holding several brushes and standing before a canvas I forget such domestic requirements… until the natural light fades in my painting space. I continue painting…

Now it is late. I have lost my light and I’m too tired to walk up the stairs to the loft studio and get the studio lamp. Besides, I see some rather tricky changes I want to make that will require scraping a bit of paint and starting over. I must stop. This is it for today.

In the morning, with my body stiff and slightly sore from the hours before the canvas the day before, I begin again. As usual, sleep seems to find solutions that a tired painter would struggle with if attempted without it. The last stretch goes easily and each mark of paint finds its proper place.

The painting has come to “resting”. It still needs a final photograph and the edges painted but the majority of work is done!

I am calling this 36 x 24 inch, walnut oil on canvas, painting “Standing Below the Old Fir at Tribune Bay” but it could just as easily be called “Lost Against the Light”.

Let’s step back so you can get a wee bit of distance from it…

The work is still drying and had its edges painted so it will be a bit before I release it. I am thinking, maybe for the show that opens in July at the gallery, unless someone lays claim to it before then.

Hopefully you have enjoyed this behind the scenes development of a new work. In addition, if you are interested, at about the 18 second mark in this next video from Hornby Island, there is a segment that shows this tree in its environment.

Well, that is about it I think.

What are you losing against the light?

ONLINE GALLERIES include –

ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available

Redbubble painting and photography prints and merchandise

Website: TerrillWelchArtist.com 

If a painter decides to paint a recognizable hill with a road then it best be drivable

I do think it is important that regardless of an approach that a painting is plausible or maybe it becomes plausible with time as we begin to experience the work as the artist did in its creation. This means if there is a recognizable hill in a painting that has a recognizable road then it is reasonable to expect that it would be drivable.

detail 1 Early Spring Muir Beach Overlook California 18 x 24 inch oil on wood with 1.5 inch cradle. by Terrill Welch 2015_04_27 057

Hence came about the resolution to a recent painting problem when I was working on EARLY SPRING MUIR BEACH OVERLOOK CALIFORNIA. I had about 20 reference images and I printed four before I started working.

I was nervous about my intuition for this painting. The landscape is hardly known to me. Though I stood there for a long time trying soak in all the information I could. Though I had my photography sketch type images, I still wasn’t really sure if I understood or if I knew this place in my bones. I had not witnessed year after year of subtle seasonal changes. But also I question my ability because the California landscape does not have the cool clear blues of its northern sisters. The haze and atmosphere are warm and rich – almost buttery, even in early spring. There is a constant taste of chalk with a hint of salt on the air in this drought-ridden geography. I must learn a new palette, possibly even a new approach. I do not know this landscape even as my rain forest hair registers a more waif-like wisp on the sea breeze. I want to know it though. I listen and peer as if learning a foreign language. I am hypersensitive a I prepare to paint All my sensory recorders on high alert. What I can not discern, I must guess. I am doubtful of my ability to read the body language of this landscape with my brush where words and understanding fail me. But I must try. I painted the ground a week ago and this morning I start.

1 outline for Early Spring Muir Beach Overlook California 18 x 24 oil on wood with cradle by Terrill Welch 2015_04_26 004

After a few quick lines to help guide me through the composition I start blocking the painting in. I knew there was a strong underlying difference between sky and sea. They were not the same family of blue though a slight reflective element on the sea connected them on the surface. So I started there.

2 beginning to block in Early Spring Muir Beach Overlook California 18 x 24 oil on wood with cradleby Terrill Welch 2015_04_26 010

For future reference there is a dirt road on the first hill above the beach. At this point, it is not so bad for being accurate. So far so good. I finish blocking in the landscape. That blob of white is just a reminder to put in a sea stack later on.  But look what happened to the road. In my mind’s eye I wanted the road to go to the beach. I am not aware of my mistake and continue on with this lively work which is already breathing on its own.

3 Blocked in Muir Beach Overlook California 18 x 24 oil on wood with cradle by Terrill Welch 2015_04_26 016

Several hours later, I am disappointed and frustrated but I must leave it to rest. I am physically tired from a full day of painting and unable to comprehend what needs to be done. Here is where the painting rested until after dinner.

4 Muir Beach Overlook California resting 18 x 24 oil on wood with cradle by Terrill Welch 2015_04_26 031

I sat and looked at it while my husband said  over and over “it was fine – just leave it alone.”

But something was very wrong. Something was bugging me. I sat on the stair steps and gave the painting that was resting on the windowsill across the room my full attention. Finally, I saw the problem. There were no switchbacks on the bottom of the hill. It was not navigable. I leaped up, scramble the stairs to the loft and my reference images. Sure enough I had moved the road! It need to go farther up the side of the hill as it didn’t lead to the beach at this point at all. With a few quick brushstrokes everything is made right in the wet paint. I can then see other work that needed to be done but I wait until the next morning.

After waiting for daylight, I turned my loose brushstrokes onto the canvas with clarity. The rocks on the foreground hill picked up their natural brightness above the trees. However the cottages remain missing by design.

detail 3 Early Spring Muir Beach Overlook California 18 x 24 inch oil on wood with 1.5 inch cradle. by Terrill Welch 2015_04_27 057

I added highlights to the sea and scaled back the far hills where San Francisco sits unnoticed in the distance.

detail 2 Early Spring Muir Beach Overlook California 18 x 24 inch oil on wood with 1.5 inch cradle. by Terrill Welch 2015_04_27 057

It is a private view for the viewer alone to savour. The road denotes a connection to civilization that does not intrude on the landscape. I feel I have been true to place and true in using all of lessons of those painters who have gone before me.  At the same time, I have registered  something of my own unique vision. This is not a small task to accomplish and one I may question both for its relevance and its success on another day. But for today, let’s enjoy the view shall we!

EARLY SPRING MUIR BEACH OVERLOOK CALIFORNIA 18 x 24 inch oil on wood with 1.5 inch cradle.

Early Spring Muir Beach Overlook California 18 x 24 inch oil on wood with 1.5 inch cradle. by Terrill Welch 2015_04_27 057

The work needs to dry and then have its final photograph but I am fairly confident that the painting is finished.

And do feel free to take a drive along that dirt road. I am sure you will find it quite satisfactory.

 

When was the last time you couldn’t see something that was right in front of you?

 

© 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 http://terrillwelchartist.com

Garry Oaks viewed from Brown Ridge – Canadian landscape painting

Today’s new painting release is Garry Oaks on Brown Ridge. Enjoy!

Canadian Contemporary Artist Terrill Welch

These muted hues have endurance and awe brushed into their presence. So often painters seem to feel the need to resist the gray and brown and heaviness of our southwest Canadian rainforest. This is a mistake because there is beauty to explore in these melancholy landscapes. There is fuel to feed our own inner strength. We need not brush it over with artificial colour. We need only to seeking deeply into the hues and hold this wonder on our canvas. These are this artist’s musings as Terrill Welch worked on this oil painting inspired by a resent hike when the mist was rolling along the ridge, the air damp on her skin and her body warm from her steps.

GARRY OAKS ON BROWN RIDGE 14 x 18 inch oil on canvas

Garry Oaks on Brown Ridge 14 x 18 inch oil on canvas contemporary Canadian landscape art by Terrill Welch 2014_09_15 025

Detailed view and purchase information available by clicking on the image or HERE.

Following the goat paths where…

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The Painter’s Horizon Is Seldom Visible

Most days I have little idea what direction my painting is taking me. I like to think I do. However, it is a myth. What I have are intentions. My intention is to explore how my specific historical experience impacts my work with more conscious awareness.

Setting Intentions  by Terrill Welch 2013_09_03

But right now, I have a long list of tasks that must be accomplished in preparation for three months travel in Europe beginning in April 2014. The round trip tickets are purchased. We are committed. I updated the most urgent items that must be accomplished to a separate list on Sunday morning. Then I set it aside.

You see, a request had come in from a fellow artist and friend for me to donate a postcard size work to Twitter Art Exhibit: Orlando. I usually do donate to this fundraiser and this was just the nudge I needed. The deadline is February 21, 2014 and I need 10 days travel time for the work to arrive in time. If I wanted to work in oil on canvas paper, the work needed to be completed now. Besides, the cause is compelling:

Twitter Art Exhibit: Orlando is an international exhibition of original postcard art benefiting The Center for Contemporary Dance, Special Needs Classes, a nonprofit (501)©3 organization dedicated to dance education and outreach. The Special Needs Classes include customized exercises that expand the student’s range of motion, creativity and social skills. Class work is further designed to enhance skills in memorization, problem solving and communication. Belinda Balleras, whose son takes classes every week, says: “He has a new sense of creative fulfillment and an additional pathway to productively express emotions.”

This is the fourth Twitter Art Exhibition, a concept founded by founder David Sandum, a Swedish-born artist living in Moss Norway, who conceived Twitter Art Exhibit as a vehicle for doing good through social media and online community-building. The idea is simple: artists around the globe receive a call through Twitter social media to create original postcard-sized art, which they mail to a local curator, who then exhibits and sells them to benefit a local charity.

Here is my 4 x 6 inch oil on canvas paper contribution set aside to rest and dry before submitting it to this event.

WALKING AN AUTUMN ROAD

Walking an Autumn Road 4 x 6 inch oil on canvas paper by Terrill Welch 2014_01_19 045

The postcard size works will be sold for $35 a piece and ones that do not sell on the opening night of the event will become available for online purchase. If you want to know more or would like to participate follow the hyperlink above or go HERE.

After this, I picked up my list of urgent tasks…. well, not exactly. What can I say? There was paint on my palette? The sun hadn’t come out? I just couldn’t leave the easel?

Choosing a 12 x 16 inch canvas with a dark purple ground I began to contemplate quiet despair, broken promises and how some moments are too sad for tears. Why this aspect of our human experience had surfaced was a blog post by Deborah Brasket “Some Tragic Falling off” into Difference and Desire. This post and our west coast weather.

A January west coast afternoon.

A January west coast afternoon  by Terrill Welch 2014_01_18 025

We haven’t seen much of the sun during the past few weeks. In fact, the fog has been hesitant to raise her skirts much above her knees on the island ridges. We can’t really blame her. After all, we have been gawking without shame, seeking even the tiniest glimpse of blue sky and sunlight between her cottony ruffles. Today though, within the deep winter quiet, we are given brief moments of reprieve from her dowdy grey garments. It was not a dazzling display but enough to leave us momentarily content, hopeful even.

So I set to work. I like to think that I know my approach to a canvas and I am reasonably sure of the outcome. But I mostly just fool myself. My stubborn, overbearing intuition regularly slips the brush and palette knife from between my conscious breath and finds its own way across the canvas.

PROMISE – resting

Promise resting 16 x 20 oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2014_01_20 004

The painting has a feeling all its own. My husband came in and said softly – oh, it is quiet. Then he smiled, satisfied, content even.

More about this painting and links to purchase information on my website Terrill Welch Artist HERE.

What might represent your idea of “some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light” as in Robert Robert Hass’s poem “Meditation at Lagunitas” posted by Deborah Brasket?

Now, before I dare pick up the brushes, that list. Where did I put that list?

© 2014 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

SPILLING OVER original oil painting by Terrill Welch

Do you remember back in early September when a following sea was making a grand entrance onto the shore? We had taken a long walk together admiring the arbutus trees and then the sea.

Well one of those photographs kept nudging at me to put it on canvas. So here we go.

From some very dark beginnings

I sketch in some guiding marks for the composition.

I begin to work in the primary forms.

If we look a little closer you can see these are easy and free strokes suggesting rather than predicting what is to come.

I build up the paint and enjoy the movement of water coming into the canvas.

At this point the canvas is getting too wet to do anymore.

Besides it had started to snow outside.

So I left the painting to rest and stuck it where I could keep an eye on it. Over the next week or so I would pick it up and work on it some more as it became clear what it was it was asking for. Finally, here is the finished piece.

SPILLING OVER 12 X 12 inch original oil on canvas painting by Terrill Welch

The painting is available for purchase in a new online gallery Artsy Home along with some of my other original paintings. Yes, you can now buy my work directly from this site using all sorts of means. Isn’t this grand? I will be adding more pieces very shortly.

Sprout Question: What is spilling over in your creativity?

Please note: It is December and I shall be on a vacation from regular blogging. You will still hear from me such a special holiday post and near the end of December I will be post a two year anniversary post for Creative Potager. Regular scheduled posts will then begin again the first week of January.

© 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

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

Art Opening

The large canvases are wrapped in sheets and plastic and stacked with even larger pieces of cardboard lying in between. We ceremonially carry each painting and place them into the back of my rather tired old ford pick up. The plywood dry box is already carefully stuffed with smaller canvas oil paintings. Now ready to drive the short distance to the exhibition venue I realize Miss Prissy’s cargo is worth many times more than she. But as usual, she doesn’t seem to mind. I am sure there isn’t a snobbish piece of metal in her paint-chipped body.  Tomorrow, STUDY of BLUE will open.

The Oceanwood Restaurant and Inn has done a fantastic job of creating gallery space.

We take our time, deciding on the best location for each piece of work.

The next evening, with toes sparkling new polish, finger nails buffed and decked out in a very fun balloon dress I open the show.

I handed my camera to my daughter Josie who did her best to capture the evening. However, she said people kept looking like deer in the headlights so she stopped taking photos after a while.

We do have a few though.

The food was extra delicious, delicately flavoured and served with elegance.

And there is nothing quite like seeing a painting through a grand piano.

Somewhere between 40 and 50 art-loving individuals wandered around looking at each painting.  Stepping forward. Then back. Then on occasion bringing a friend over to have a look as well. Sometimes eyes would snap with excitement and an intrigued viewer would say: “That one! That one is my favourite.”

My favourite comment of the evening was from a long-time resident who came by near the end of the evening to thank me for putting on the exhibition.

“It is good, very good. We now have culture right here on Mayne Island.”

I don’t think there was ever any doubt but it was a pleasure to be a spark for such sentiments. I would like to thank the Oceanwood Restaurant and Inn because they are ultimately responsible for orchestrating such a classy event which then garnered this comment.

At the end of the evening FIR TREE SKY sold to a lovely couple from Michigan, bringing the total sales so far for this exhibition to four original oil paintings. Considering our economic climate, I am pleased with these early results.

What is next? I have an offer to show at a venue on Salt Spring Island. I have an invitation to hang a piece or two in another local venue. There is a restaurant in Vancouver that is accepting original art work. I have also been asked to provide a cover image and feature interview for a regional magazine’s September issue. But I am wondering, is it time to seek gallery representation? If so, where might be a good place to start? Or do put my focus into building my direct relationships with buyers? Or is it both? Possibly both but I am still thinking. While I think I shall paint.

Thank you for your special part in the STUDY of BLUE journey with me here on Creative Potager, and on twitter and facebook.

Sprout question: What is creatively next for you?

STUDY OF BLUE solo exhibition is up until July 27, 2011.

Note: Current paintings available can be viewed and purchased at http://www.artsyhome.com/author/terrillwelch  

© 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

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

An invitation to buy a painting

I am as giddy as a bee nose-first in a newly opened rose. Only 18 more sleeps.

Yes, I am inviting you to my art opening on June 30th at 7:00 pm. Yes, I would love to see you. Yes, I will give you a glass of wine, slivers of local cheeses along with dozen other tasty nibbles and a personal tour of my work. Yes, I have made it possible for you to buy these paintings online without coming to my solo exhibition STUDY of BLUE. It is a big world. Not all of you can travel the distance to arrive here on Mayne Island. I do this because I am selling my paintings. This is my personal invitation to you. I am inviting you to buy one of my original oil paintings. There you have it – right smack dab between the eyes 🙂

No matter how carefully a gallery or artist dresses up an invitation to an art exhibition, the price tag always seems to be visible. Yet, we both know the paintings must be sold, if not today, then someday. This is the practical side of Art.

To be practical something must be straight forward and if possibly – easy. Therefore, I am going to make it as easy as possible for you to research and decide on a painting to buy. I have prepared a special post on my gallery site which includes an essential link to all of the painting images with a “buy button,” a link to the price list, a link to tips for buying original paintings and a link to directions. If you need anything else, let me know and I will be glad to assist.

Ah! There! It wasn’t so bad was it? At least I hope it wasn’t. It had better not have been. Maybe it was? Oh heck Terrill! Just click post.

Please feel free to share with others who love and collect art, in particular original oil paintings.

Sprout question: What creative reality is hitting you smack dab between the eyes?

STUDY OF BLUE solo exhibition opens Thursday June 30, 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

WATCHING original oil painting of a cougar by Sue Wiebe

I have a treat for us today with a feature post and a painting by another artist. I hope you enjoy the adventure.

Do you ever get that feeling that you are being watched? Then you turn around, slowly, and sure enough you are being stalked? In this case, artist Sue Wiebe’s daughter, Courtney, found that it was a cougar and was able to take a photograph of it that Sue used as a reference for her original oil painting WATCHING.

Fortunately for us, Sue took some photographs of her painting in progress. We will start with a look at the underpainting.

Next we see the painting building and coming alive.

In the finished work it feels like the cougar is ready to spring from her hiding spot under the edge of the log – those ears slightly flattened, attentive, watching.

WATCHING 20 X 30 inch original oil painting by Sue Wiebe.

I asked Sue if she could tell us about her experience of painting this incredible painting:

It is the biggest oil on canvas I have done so far.  It taught me to painting standing up so I had a better range of motion.  But the truth of the matter is, I think, the name says it all.  The cougar watched me through the whole painting.  I would set her aside, sometimes for long periods of time, as other aspects in life needed to be attended to or I puzzled over achieving the effect I wanted, but she was always watching and waiting.  Sometimes, even demanding, that I take the time to finish.  She is finished, and yet, she watches.

If you remember from time to time over the winter Sue would comment on Creative Potager about the hours it was taking to paint fur. Well now you know the rest of the story.

Sue has been featured on Creative Potager in the past but for those of you who didn’t know she is my sister. Painting is something that we share with equal passion. On Friday I have two more of her paintings that I will post for you to see. They are a still life with the most stunning shades of orange AUTUMN BOUNTY and a limited palette painting called COURTNEY IN THE MOONLIGHT.

Sprout question: What is a creative passion you share with a sibling or other family member?

STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition opens Thursday June 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

New Oil Painting Orange Sea

Do you remember when my post “Dramatic Seas” from the end of December 2010? Well, it is the inspiration for the third painting I have been working on and I have now finished.

The underpainting starts with something from my memory.

But I decided to print a photograph to loosely assist as I built up the vibrancy of Orange Sea. I boldly go with the oranges of orange and started working in some cloud and mountains in the distance.

Finally it begins to take shape.

The painting comes to rest still surging with movement.

I think I am done. I post it on redbubble. I look again. Darn!

I change the painting slightly but it is crucial to the overall work. I dislike it when I find something that needs editing only after viewing it when posted. But I have come to respect that it is a different part of my eye that sees the image once it is up – kind of like seeing your home through the eyes of your guests.

Besides, that is when I was invited.

Now for the final, final painting of Orange Sea.

(prints may be purchased here.)

12” X 12” by 2 inch birch cradled gessobord original impressionist oil painting – $400 Canadian.

Sprout question: If you could paint something orange in your life what would it be?

Best of the weekend to you!

© 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.