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

Happy New Year with best 5 paintings of 2017

Happy New Year and all the best in 2018

Canadian Contemporary Terrill Welch Gallery

As we approach the end of the calendar year, we again select the artist’s choice for the best paintings of 2017. This year, we have decided on 5 out of the 29 new works that have been released – and three of those are just being released today in the online gallery! So be sure to check it out. The link is included below.

Here is the 1st and likely the public favourite…

Storytelling Arbutus Tree Bennett Bay Mayne Island BC
By Terrill Welch
Size (h w d): 60 x 40 x 1.5 in
Medium: Oil On Canvas
Available: HERE

In 2nd place for the artist’s choice of the best five paintings completed in 2017 is…..

Northeasterly Morning Strait of Georgia Mayne Island BC
By Terrill Welch
Size (h w d): 20 x 40 x 1.5 in
Medium: Oil On Canvas
Available: HERE

In 3rd place for the artist’s choice of…

View original post 617 more words

Saturna Island and rendering overlapping memories

Mid-August brings blackberries, hanging fruit and puffs of dust as our sandal clad feet catch the spots where grass has given way to daily meanderings. The farm geese play watch dog and the cows search for shade under a large maple. As we find our way up on the large porch, floor planks register the weight of our human presence.

the country porch by Terrill Welch 2014_08_16 028

The main part of the house is about 125 years old. It is the oldest dwelling remaining on Saturna Island off the southwest coast of Canada. My eldest grandson and I are staying four nights at the Breezy Bay Bed and Breakfast on a co-operative farm.  Our hosts, Erin and Jamie, appear to be in their early thirties and are youngsters amongst the mostly graying heads of about 300 full-time inhabitants. This our third summer visit to the Saturna Island. We have come to revisit favourite places and to simply be together in a home-away-from-home.

We slip our shoes off at the door and pad into our introduction of the polished patina of a place that bridges the past and present with grace and warmth equal to that of its caregiver. The library up stairs is just off our bedroom and its books seem oblivious to the “hotspot” it offers for a wifi connection.

the library by Terrill Welch 2014_08_16 015

The working country kitchen though is where I can truly feel my shoulders relax. This a home. It is our home for the next four days. We can do this. This could by my grandmother’s kitchen. This can be a place where memories last.

working country kitchen by Terrill Welch 2014_08_16 024

The breakfast room confirms my observations about rendering memories.

breakfast room by Terrill Welch 2014_08_16 019

When on the last day we leave this room filled on all-you-can-eat crepes, my grandson quietly comments – I am going to miss these guys.

And indeed we will. For though this is the first time we have stayed in this particular place on Saturna Island, Erin and Jamie have a way of making us feel like we are family. For reasons beyond both my grandson’s and my control, we must make a-home-away-from-home, or at least away from my home. Though this is often a raw emotional place of frustration and loss for me, I have come to accept that, for now, there is no other choice. We must rely on others to create the intimacy of home for our vacation time together. In this respect, we have been lucky and this year has been extra special, a healing suave on my unfulfillable expectations.

I want to embed my memories for long-term retrieval and one way to this is to do quick painting sketches. So as the smell of banana bread warms the morning sun I find a spot to set up on the porch looking out towards Boot Cove.

Plein Air painting at Breezy Bay BnB by Terrill Welch 2014_08_15 213

The plein air painting isn’t exactly what I want for composition but it will do. I have the energy and of the moment. It is all I need for now.

BREEZY BAY BANANA BREAD MORNING – 8 x 10 inch plein air acrylic painting sketch

Breezy Bay Banana Bread morning 8 x 10 inch plein air acrylic painting sketch by Terrill Welch 2014_08_15 219

A week later, back in the studio I decide on a 36 x 36 inch canvas that has a lemon yellow ground and set to work on a large oil painting.

in progress Breezy Bay morning 36 x 36 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2014_08_24 009

I wanted space to walk into the painting by leaving ample room on the deck. I liked the idea of creating this kind of depth using the square canvas. It is intriguing to me how we can visually create this illusion on a flat surface. But it is not the only illusion is it? There is also the illusion that this is the life we seek – the life we deserve for our hard work. I will probably always think of this painting as “the myth of capitalism.” There is a luxury of time we have been conditions to strive and put in front for our paid labour. We will someday get to sit on a deck like this as a reward. This is not why I painted this but rather it is an after thought – one that curiously lessens my loss for my first choice which would have been to have my grandson with me at home while making my own banana bread and sitting on my own porch. I remind myself to count my blessings instead of bemoaning my inability to reach an ideal.

The painting is now finished.

It is released for sale over on my website at “New Painting Squared with a Breezy Bay Morning on Saturna Island.”


What blessings have you recently noticed in the midst of reflecting on deeply felt loss?


© 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

Off to kick leaves and have a good visit

It is leaf kicking time! I am heading north for better than week to visit with family. With a bit of luck, I will come back with at least few photographs of brilliant autumn colours. I can’t make a promise but I can assure you that there is a good possibility.

In the meantime, I have been busy with a large stack of administrative work with little time to paint. But I do have a new large 60 x 36 inch oil on canvas resting called SEASIDE MAYNE ISLAND

Seaside Mayne Island resting 60 x 36 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_09_11 048

It is not released yet and still needs a final photo shoot. I will also do a full work-in-progress post for us sometime in early October. Regardless of its newness and still “resting” status, I placed the painting in a prominent location last evening for a dinner we hosted with good friends and collectors of my paintings and photography.

dinner with friends and art by Terrill Welch

The hit of the evening, after SEASIDE MAYNE ISLAND of course, was a new still life painting…

36 x 24 inch oil on canvas

August Still life with Cezanne and Matisse 24 x 36 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_08_23 034

There are distinctive elements of Paul Cezanne‘s work that go far beyond his use of colour to represent form. He had a way of presenting different viewpoints in his compositions that was and is exciting. This is something that Henri Matisse continued to explore while allowing the paint to become colour fields of flat surfaces. At one point in the of the development of this work I had a choice. I could continue to build up the colour fields or I could continue to follow the light and movement within the landscape. Matisse of course was arguing for letting paint be paint in its colour and simplicity. Cezanne was slowly working his way into the tension of form and structure of the still life using colour as his guide. I observed. I thanked the masters. Then I picked up my brush and continued to paint the light and movement between the forms until the painting came to rest. Edges are currently unfinished and can be completed to meet your needs.

Detailed view and purchase information at:

Where might be your favourite Leaf-kicking stroll when the golden light is shining low through the trees?

Psst! I have also started working on my second art book. The working title is ANYTHING BUT NEUTRAL: Mayne Island in paintings and photographs, Volume Two. I have about 57 of the estimated 80 pages completed in draft form. Tentative release will be early November. I shall keep you posted as it progresses 🙂

© 2013 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

private studio visit and art sales at la ca de inspiracion on Mayne Island

Artists often do open studio days but the real gem for art collectors and artists is the private and personalized studio visit. I do a few of these each year and I treasure every one. How it works is an interested art buyer or small group of collectors emails or phones me to set up a private studio visit to our home and my studio space. I ask a few questions about what they are interested in viewing and set up our space to accentuate these interests. This weekend my visitor was interested in my paintings and in particular in finding one for a new art space that was created as part of a recent renovation of her home.

In a moment of clarity I thought that readers and collectors from afar may also enjoy coming by as part of this private and personalized studio visit. So after everything was ready I took the time to do this home-style youtube art studio visit with my iPad. Here it is if you care to join me…

As a result of this visit, a painting that was released just last week will be going to live with this new collector in British Columbia, Canada.

WINTER SUN II  –  18 x 24 inch oil on canvas

Winter Sun II 18 x 24 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_05_28 279

This painting is going to go to a place where it will be loved and appreciated for many years into the future. The new owner tells me how she can see already how much this painting will change as the light changes. She is imagining how her family will watch the painting and notice different aspects at different times of day – a practice that is not really any different that watching the sea itself.

Feeling a sense of peace and being in alignment with my purpose in the world, my husband and I went out for a late lunch to celebrate at the Bennett Bay Bistro. The deck overlooking the bay is divine mid-afternoon.

Upon returning home the phone rang. A breathless request zipped through the lines from a collector in Alberta, Canada. She wanting to know if the painting ISLAND WITH THE LIGHTHOUSE was still available and if so,  could she to buy it. I had just posted the painting for sale the previous day in the Artsy Home gallery and I hadn’t even had a chance to put it up on my  Terrill Welch Artist website.

ISLAND WITH THE LIGHTHOUSE 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas.

Island with the Lighthouse 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_05_28 272

I said it was and yes she could buy it. Full of emotion she explains how every Sunday she goes to the Artsy Home online gallery to see what new work I have posted. When she saw this small painting of the Mayne Island lighthouse as it is seen from the ferry, the experience brought tears to her eyes. Her husband noticing her reaction and said he would buy the painting for her for her birthday. At this point I had a lump in MY throat and tears in my eyes. To think that such a small painting could have such a significant impact on others!

My inspiration for this painting comes from describing where we live to others. The southern gulf islands are not always easy to name individually if you are unfamiliar with how they relate to one another. Mayne Island is often described as the island with the lighthouse as it is viewed from the ferry traveling from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. This small window to the sea is what you might view on a fine day from that ferry as you near the entrance to Active Pass.

What is YOUR most treasured way to share your creative results with others?

Thank you dear readers as always for your ongoing support and comments here on Creative Potager. It is an honour and a pleasure to visit with you from my art studio and home on Mayne Island on the southwest coast of Canada.

© 2013 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

Evening And The Arbutus Tree – large Canadian landscape painting

As, mentioned I will write more about this painting and the creative process later. For now, we have the painting.


Canadian Contemporary Terrill Welch Gallery

The sun is going down fast in the late afternoon of November out on Georgina Point, Mayne Island . I marvel at the orange glow and the hues of the heavy mist in the distance of our west coast landscape. I knew then that this most-loved tree was once again going to grace one of my canvases – a large one this time. There is the coolness of a winter sea with soft waves barely evident on the shore. There is a quiet and a peace that often accompanies the end of a day. There is a sense of being alive without separation between land, sea and sky. It is often such with the Canadian landscape but so hard to portray in away that someone who has never been, never stood where I am standing will know what it is I speak about. Yet, this tree knows and seems to…

View original post 262 more words

Autumn Sliced with a Tear

Just the highlights from a painter and photographer’s last five days…

Sunday – Today is one of those slow-baked, melancholy west coast Sundays, so moist and tender you can slice it with a tear.

Autumn Sliced with a Tear

(available in my redbubble store at HERE)

Monday – new painting.

To see at a glance the cliffside, the sea and the movement of light across the canvas. This unframed 16 x 12 inch oil on canvas is a studio-finished plein air impressionist painting of one of the most beautiful location on the southern most gulf Island off the west coast of Canada.

Fiddlers Cliffside Saturna Island  – oil painting

This painting is now in a private collection.

Tuesday –  After an appointment this morning I slipped off to the sea – for no reason other than to say “hello” to the sea, the sun and today.

Here is Today

Wednesday – Perfect for today…. Moroccan Harira Soup

Every time I make this soup I do something a little different. Today it was 1/2 cup of dried organic French du Puy Lentils instead of the ready-to-go canned ones. Just add the dried lentils at the same time as the carrots. Enjoy and feel free to add and delete veggies… it all works. No potatoes or cabbage in mine today 🙂

ThursdaySeagull Cry Mayne Island

These gray days are as much a part of west coast life as the gulls. Loneliness and aloneness are so close that they whisper to each other and can be heard above the wind and pelting rain.

There is a Haiku poem by Alexis Rotella that came to mind as I closed in on framing this image….

The Gull
giving loneliness

SPROUT: What are some of the high lights of your creative week?

P.S. I left out the event of locking my keys in the car over by the daffodil garden. It was not a highlight. Thankfully, because the kindness of one of our Mayne Island residents, it was only a minor bleep in the week.

Today I have a long list of tasks in preparation to leave for the big city Vancouver B.C. on Friday morning. I wish all the best for today and the weekend.

© 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

New homes for Art and other studio musings

Yes, a handful of  new photography prints and original paintings  have found homes recently. Let’s have a look at a few of these and just for fun, you can use the voice of the auctioneer as the gavel is slammed down if you like…

SOLD! Extra Large 20 x 26.6 inch Lustre photography print of “Arbutus Strait of Georgia

Prints continue to be available at redbubble HERE.

SOLD! To the lovely buyer in Ontario Canada the 12 x 12 inch oil on canvas seascape “Gray on Gray in Blue.”

SOLD! To the nice couple from British Columbia Canada the 12 x 16 inch canvas print of “Orange Sun on the sea” paintography image.

Prints in various formats continue to be available on redbubble HERE.

Okay, now for the big one. Drum roll please!

SOLD! To the lucky buyer in British Columbia Canada the 36 inch or three feet square “Sea and Clouds” oil on canvas painting by Terrill Welch.

It often takes awhile to find the perfect home for my larger paintings as they are in the thousands of dollars to purchase. But it does happen, eventually. This is the largest in my series of “Squared to the Sea” series and was completed a little over a year ago. I will be sad to see it go but I am happy that it has found the perfect home.

Other paintings currently available can be viewed at the Artsy Home online gallery. And do try out the magnifying glass that is available. Most fun.


The past seven weeks have seen me away for from the studio for more than thirty days. My attempted solution of a new iPad with keyboard did not result in keeping us up to speed here at Creative Potager. My apologizes.

Thank heavens for Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus!  Which brings me to some musing and contemplation about the purpose and future of this blog. So many regular Creative Potager readers are also connected to my work on these other social networking platforms which leaves me asking myself this – what unique purpose of intent does Creative Potager fill that is not happening on these other sites? Here are three observations I believe to be true:

1. Posts are easier to find and have a longer shelf-life on Creative Potager.

2. Images are more quickly and likely to show up in an image search when posted on Creative Potager so there is greater exposure of the work for new viewers to find.

3. Creative Potager offers a more friendly platform for longer posts and to profile new work, projects or initiatives.

But the most powerful pull to Creative Potager is it that pleases me to post here! I have a chance to engage with all of you in what feels like a more relaxed-tea-sipping pace than on the other platforms.

So we shall continue in a rather loose, as desired, kind of posting pattern. Yes, subscribing might be best if you don’t want to miss anything. For example, I am starting to plan a new version of the Salish Sea Sunday Savings events to begin before the end of October. These events are not to be missed as they only come around for a few weeks a each year – kind of like these golden plums in a new painting that was released today in the Artsy Home online Gallery…

FRUITS OF LABOUR  is a 12 x 12 inch oil on mounted gessobord – available HERE.

For me, this still life holds the sweet warmth of summer sun and fresh pick fruit. One of my photography clients had asked that I photograph their farm and I have been observing and capturing the golden plums in this painting since they were blossoms on the plum tree. Though I primarily paint land and seascapes, still life and even some figurative paintings will sometimes show up in my work. In fact, expect to see more small still life studies in the months ahead. They offer a nice change from the cooler shades of the sea.


SPROUT:  What creative musings are colouring your autumn foliage?


All the best of a Canadian Thanksgiving holiday Monday to you!


© 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

The Nurse’s Place Clinton B.C. – Plein Air painting

There is something extremely companionable about a painter with all her gear packed in the car, a partner who likes to sleep in and an overnight stop in the small village of 740 residents in Clinton, British Columbia.  As the darkness gathered tightly around a warm late-August evening, I scouted my morning plein air location. I wanted some place a little off the beaten path but not so far I couldn’t carry my french box easel and camera. This is what I found. I was standing here ready to set up to paint at just after 8:30 in the morning…

With a blank canvas on the easel

I had about an hour to capture all I was going to capture.

What was most important? What shall I leave out? How shall I begin? With a large brush, I start to answer these questions as I rough in the view.

Notice the top of the painting and how the clip is not holding the painting in place. When plein air painting the light and the weather often change quickly. About 45 minutes into my painting session this oversight of that loose top clip becomes a grave error.

Yes, you guessed it. A large gust of wind came teasing down the valley and, to my horror, flipped this small painting off the easel and smack on its face in the gravel bits on the road. I pick it up and do things a little more securely the next time.

While I was still assessing the damage and deciding what – if anything – I could do next, the neighbour from the place on the other side of the road behind me came up and asked if I minded if he had a look. This is when I learned that I was painting “The Nurse’s Place.” With a promise to give him a call when the painting was completed, I conceded that my time was up. I started to pack my gear up and with the painting tightly secured to the easel headed back to the Cariboo Lodge where my dear sweet husband proclaimed that he loved the painting gravel and all. I gave grim half smile while silently I saying a small prayer to the gods that look after plein air painters and their paintings to allow the gravel bits to roll off the canvas once it had dried.  Then we went for a late breakfast and I refused to look at the painting again until today.

To my delight, the small bits of gravel rolled off the painting and I was able to finish up the painting in the studio.

THE NURSE’S PLACE CLINTON B.C. 9 x 12 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch

Available at

I have now set an image of this painting up so it can be purchased as a print or card on redbubble at

Well, at least most of the gravel is gone. If a person looks very closely there is still a little Cariboo grit on that canvas. But I think that is only as it should be. I am calling it DONE! My next task is to place a call to the wonderful neighbour who dropped by to see how the painting was coming along.

SPROUT: When was the last time you courted disaster only to have it give you a good hard flip?

© 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

SEA AND CLOUDS original oil painting by Terrill Welch

About a month ago I set a day aside to paint a new work SEA AND CLOUDS. I had completed the underpainting already and it was simply sitting there in its 36 X 36 inch glory tempting me to pick up the brushes.

It was a big canvas and the day was pleasant so I decided to work on the side deck. I have a rather odd approach I guess to setting up my palette. I start fresh each time and choose all the colours I am going to use before I start painting. In this case I used one of my photographs as a reference point. From there it is a matter of mixing which I often do on the canvas as much as I do on my palette.  So here is what the paints look like as I start painting.

Next it is a matter of getting some paint on the canvas.

And a bit more I think…

and some more paint!

Three hours later I start to build up the image.

I work without thinking – breath after breath I move the paint with brush and palette knife over the canvas. I move the canvas to avoid shadows. But at last I must stop. I am out of light.

I move the wet canvas to another deck and capture a late-in-the-day image of the painting in progress.

For the past month I have mused and walked by this painting almost everyday. What is it that I need to do? What will pull these pieces together into a completed work? Oh I grumbled and I worked on photographs. I thought and then one day it came to me. I knew exactly what had to happen. I set aside the morning and finished the painting.

SEA AND CLOUDS 36 X 36 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 

Update October 6, 2012 : This painting is now SOLD.  Other paintings currently available can be viewed in the Artwork Archives online Gallery HERE.

Sprout Question: How long have you waited for the right combination of information to finish a creative work?


© 2011 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