Reef Bay Mayne Island observation to painted experience

When do observations transform into renderings of full experiences? This is the question I ask myself while I am gathering references for my next painting. I observe. I take a total of 57 photographs. Though all are important, one later becomes my primary painting reference.

Reef Bay morning observed Dec 7 2012 by Terrill Welch 2012_12_07

What pixels actually hold the smell of the sea and cry of the gulls?

I capture a video just over a minute in length. Later I choose a piece of music to go with it.

At what point in this process of creating a video reference did I move from observing to experiencing?

I return to the studio and rummage through my blank canvases. Eventually, I  choose an 11 x 14 inch and set it upon the easel. I squeeze out the oil paint onto the palette. I listen to the video. I glance at the photograph. I pick up my brush.

Quickly and without hesitation the landscape is blocked in. Swiftly my body engages in the visceral process of painting wet-on-wet. Swish, swish and swish. I move back and forth across the studio to peer at the forms sliding off my brush onto the canvas. I remember the gray dawn with its slimness of colour.  I remember the sea, and the soft rush of water as it comes ashore. I remember the heaviness of the rocks and the salty dampness of winter seaweed. I feel the coolness of the air and the cry of the gulls. Which strokes will hold the promise of a this day? Which strokes carry the sounds and the material weight of substance? Which strokes follow the soft light across the seascape. Oh, how I wonder!

Then it is done.

Too soon my logic bullies. There must be more!

But, two days have passed. I have not touched the canvas, not because technical correction would not lead to a more accurate rendering of the physical setting. Rather I do not alter the painting because nothing more is needed to render the fulness of my experience. It is done.

Reef Bay morning experienced Dec 7 2012 11 x 14 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2012_12_09 069

REEF BAY MORNING EXPERIENCED December 7, 2012 – 14 x 18 inch oil on canvas

Oh, I will photograph it again once it is completely dry and on a brighter day. But the painting of the painting is done. If I want to do more it shall be on another canvas.

What observations are you currently rendering into the fulness of your experience?

It is December 9th today and the great room is in disarray with packages to be wrapped and shipped. It is the time for this artist to begin her holiday break. I shall be back in the New Year to share more painting and photography adventured.

For now, the best of the holiday season to you and yours – one and all!

ONLINE GALLERIES with Terrill Welch paintings and photography include-

Xanadu Studio Gallery for large original paintings

Artsy Home for most original oil paintings currently available

Redbubble for photography prints, greeting cards and posters

Current Local Mayne Island VENUES –

Green House Restaurant – small original oil paintings and photography prints

Farm Gate Store – one large painting

And by appointment at Terrill Welch’s home studio

© 2012 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 – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch Artist website at http://terrillwelchartist.com

SLICED WITH A TEAR autumn oil painting and process by Terrill Welch

There is something about autumn by the sea with the gray melancholy wrapped in fall colours.

Do you remember my recent post called “Autumn Sliced with a Tear” and the photograph of the maple trees by the sea?

Do you remember me saying – “today is one of those slow-baked, melancholy west coast Sundays, so moist and tender you can slice it with a tear?”

For about a month I painted and repainted this scene in my mind – maybe a thousand times. I adjusted and readjusted my approach solving one painting problem and then another.

Finally, I pull out an extra-large 36 x 60 inch canvas (that is 3 x 5 feet or just plain BIG) and begin with the underpainting.

They never look like much at this stage but I find it an extremely useful step particularly when working on large paintings. I can now start working up the painting…

The canvas is shiny with wet paint but I can already feel the bruised coolness of fall in the sky and on the water. I keep working and building up the paint.

Days have now past with my dreams waking me up early to paint for many of my waking hours. I am consumed with the transitions between light and shadow and form.

The details show the looseness of easy strokes with two and one inch brushes.

There is the leaves against the sky on the far top right. Nothing but swathes of golden colour added to the sky with a hint of branches to hold them in place.

Then there is the clatter of colour near one of the main tree trunks a the top near the left side of the painting, colours that must roll over and under each other bringing the leaves forward in the painting towards the viewer.

Up close, we see nothing but wild and loose, meandering brushstrokes across the canvas. I like to paint wet-on-wet or ala prima and work a whole canvas up at once. This is no small task on a canvas of this size. But it can be done though it is often not the only painting approached used just because of the grand scale of the canvas. For example, even using this approach it took more than one sitting or painting session to complete this painting.

Finally, my brush and the painting comes to rest. Let’s stand back and have a good look at the whole canvas and see what we find.

I think it is complete, finished, done. Now it must rest and I reserve the right to make any changes that come begging to me during this time. So it is not for sale yet. However, I will let you know when it is. In the meantime feel free to browse through current work that is available at the links below.

UPDATE February 7, 2013

Well, I thought it was done but over the past but over the last couple of months I have made a few changes. Here is the now completed painting…

Sliced with a Tear 36 x 60  inch oil on canvas  by Terrill Welch 2013_01_25 115

It is not going to be released anytime soon for sale as I am keeping it in my Artist’s collection for now.
Sprout: If you could be anywhere under a fall sky where would you want to be?

P.S. This is an early warning that Creative Potager will be making some changes in the New Year. They are not big changes but ones that I hope you will welcome as I re-purpose the intent of this blog to reflect the changes in my own focus of providing an online studio experience of work for readers. More on this soon.

ONLINE GALLERIES with Terrill Welch paintings and photography include-

Artsy Home for most original oil paintings currently available

Redbubble for photography prints, greeting cards and posters

Current Local Mayne Island VENUES –

Green House Restaurant – small original oil paintings and photography prints

Farm Gate Store – one large painting

And by appointment at Terrill Welch’s home studio

© 2012 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 – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch Artist website at http://terrillwelchartist.com