Begin 2012 with what you have – oil painting in progress

I am hoping to get down to the seashore for dawn but the rain has arrived first. So, refusing to be left empty-handed on the first morning of the year, I have decided to share a detail from a painting in progress.

The over all painting is still not settled on the canvas yet but I like this part of it.

SPROUT: Do you find this sometimes too – where a detail may even become the finished work?

In this case, I think the complete 12 X 12 inch canvas will come together but we shall have to wait and see.

Wishing us all the most inspiring, imaginative, creative and successful 2012! 

 

© 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

Creative Island Retreat Home for you?

Every once in a long while I spy a home for sale and think “I could live there!” So when I ran into Annette at the Farm Gate Store and she told me her retreat house was for sale. I took her up on an offer to come have a look.

Off we went to an address within easy stroll to the lighthouse where I was painting en plein air last week. Or you could meander down to Reef Bay at David Cove where so many of my photographs and paintings have been inspired.

It is not the usual”for sale” sign we park beside. Annette’s young children have painted all the signs and posters that have been posted around the island. It has been one of their contribution to this creative family restoration project.

Doesn’t it look lovely.

Wood is so inviting. The new siding and much of the decking was milled from trees that were taken right from the property.

The yard is bright with a tropical feel. It can be low maintenance or a full-on garden – your choice.

There are lavish environmentally treated cedar decks to enjoy.

I particularly like the frames within frames at this vantage point.

Oh and there is the studio building with one room up and one down, completely separate and connected with a breezeway to the main home.

Don’t you just love it? It would be a great place to write, paint, make jewelry, or have a little home store for your wares.

It even has its own woodpile guard. It is not a very strenuous post (pun intended) on Mayne Island but the carving is great company just the same. There is a story here but you will need to ask Annette to tell you about it.

From the loft studio balcony you can even look down and see if your sweetie has dinner ready. In my case, I would be looking until breakfast the next morning but you never know…. This is a kitchen that will inspire gourmet delights.

As we climb the stairs to the spacious loft I admire the windows. What a nice glimpse of outside.

But that is it for my part of the tour. Now I am going to turn you over to Annette to see the loft and other photographs on the most incredible website she has set up for this property.

If you like, give her a call and chat further about this creative gem of a retreat. I know she would be delighted. And be sure to say “hello” from me.

Best of the weekend everyone… and you will not be seeing me around next week. I will be in Mill Bay and on Saturna Island while David minds the peas and carrots in the garden on the home front. After that things will pretty much get back to normal as I start to ramp up for the fall and more time with all of you. Until then!

Sprout question: If you are seeking a creative retreat what must it include?

© 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

Good Morning En Plein Air

What does an artist do on the morning after $2.5 trillion evaporates from global stock markets? Paint of course and not just any painting but en plein air by the sea.

It is 8:30 am. The morning is as gray unsettled as the global economy. It really didn’t hold much promise and looked like the bottom was going to fall out of the sky any second.

The only bright spot are these pink roses at the side of the lighthouse building.

The rocks down below me catch my interest but I have come to paint the sea.

Hopeful that the sun will recover its golden glow before noon. I set to work.

I stop infrequently. There will be no process photographs but I do catch a sailboat heading across Georgia Strait.

(this image may be purchased here.)

You can still see it in the distance as I leave aside the first 12 X 12 inch canvas to rest.

(this image may be purchased here.)

The sky starts to clear as I set up for the next 10 X 10 inch canvas. I wonder what time it is? Hum, ten o’clock. Let’s see what we can do.

Again I work steadily as the light and colours change faster than my brush can make a mark on the canvas. The sun is so bright I have a hard time seeing my work and have an even harder time capturing a photograph for you.

It is not finished but it has the energy of the moment and can be completed once this first work has dried.

I am getting tired but I want to do one more painting on my small 8 X 8 inch canvas. It is now just after 11:00 am.

(this image may be purchased here.)

The strokes seem to slip onto the small canvas effortlessly.

Oh my! It is now 12:30 am and I am ravenous! Time to pack up three very wet unfinished oil paintings and head for home.

This past week’s financial upheaval is not a surprise. In fact it has been a long time coming for those of us paying attention. More than ever we need to build on our resiliency, our connection to community and set a course directed by what is essential in our lives at this moment. A morning painting was my perfect answer. This is how I fortify my strength and clarity for whatever may be next.

 

Sprout question: How are you creatively going to weather our global financial storm?

 

© 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

Why I hung a $2,420 original oil painting for sale at our local Farm Gate grocery store.

Does it seem odd to you that I would accept an invitation to hang one of my large fine art original oil paintings in a grocery store? Well, let me explain. The Mayne Island Farm Gate store is not just any old place you go to get your fruit, vegetables, dairy meat, eggs and other delicious goods. Farm Gate has the finest of fine of everything that is local or just plain excellent.

Take the frozen meat cooler for instance stocked with local organic grass-fed beef, succulent lamb, decadent chicken and more.

A stew for Farm Gate with its delicate vegetables fresh from the garden is a stew to remember.

But the Farm Gate story is not just about what is good to buy. Farm Gate is about what is good about us. Most places on Mayne Island are friendly and helpful but Farm Gate takes community, friends and family to the very heart of our experience.

A coffee anyone?

Or maybe you would like to take a pound of this micro-roasted organic, fair-trade, shade-grown, bird-friendly black gold home instead?

How many of you actually know the person who makes the hummus in your local grocery store? How many of you would be delighted rather than surprised when that same person saw your vehicle in the parking lot and came in to say ‘hello” complete with an island-size hug?

Since we were both there it was a great photo opportunity. Just in from gardening here is Barbara at her working best.

Barbara McIntyre of Nomadic Routes Inc. is the same Barbara that is showing her photography at the Green House Restaurant with me. By the way, we are hanging a new show this afternoon if you want to drop in, have a bite and say hello. But back to hummus – Barbara’s organic Moroccan Hummus is a reason all by itself to stop by Farm Gate. Or you may prefer one of her kayak-travel-proof-decorated-wax-covered-chocolate-truffles. Delicious! Sssssppttt! There on the left end of the checkout counter – an easy reach. No one will say anything if you buy three.

In fact, some things at Farm Gate are so good they have to be shared with friends far away. On Laurie Buchanan’s Speaking from the Heart blog post today she tells about receiving a package from me in the mail. For those of you that know us both, it is no surprise that we have an equal passion for the precious cargo sent by air mail and arriving in a plain brown package.

When Don and Shanti, the owners of Farm Gate, asked if I would be interested in hanging some of my original oil paintings I hesitated for a second. Not because it was a grocery store but because it was such a fine grocery store. The walls are spacious with high ceiling and already well appointed with their own collection of fine art. So I thought about the work I had available at the close of the STUDY of BLUE solo exhibition which was showing at the Oceanwood Restaurant and Inn. I decided I had two pieces that were large enough and would fit well in the store. There was the painting ONE shown here and KEEPING WATCH a painting of the same size (and same price) – but it sold that same week. So when I brought ONE to hang in the spot we had agreed, even though it is 24 X 36 inches, it looked rather lost in the large space above the door next to the 25 pound bags of floor on the back wall.

Don came by as I was finishing up and said “I think you are going to need a bigger sign than that – something that actually says in big letters FOR SALE. You need to catch people’s attention.”

Don was right. The small gallery sign I had was not going to do it. So off I went to make a new sign. When I came back my painting had been upgraded. Yes, just like in a fine hotel, it now had the premium suite. They had moved one of their own collector pieces to the original location of my painting and placed ONE front and centre in the best light, with the best exposure. I was overwhelmed by the gesture. Imagine someone taking the time and creativity to think through what would work best to show my work.

That is the kind of place Farm Gate is. Besides fine groceries and fine art, the Farm Gate store is about being fine people –where your best interests are their best interests. Friendly and caring does not adequately describe this kind of lived intention. It is with great pleasure and equal honour that my original oil paint ONE hangs for sale at the Farm Gate Store.

I am sure that along with your freshly picked white cucumbers, basket of raspberries and lamb burgers for the BBQ, Erin would be happy to accept a cheque made out to Terrill Welch for the sum of $2,420 and help you package ONE for safe transport to your own fine Mayne Island retreat or other far away destination of equal fine taste. But those two little packages on the bottom far left. You can’t have those. That is David and mine’s lunch – grill zucchini, onion, and red pepper with goat cheese on a freshly baked organic croissant.  Huuuttt! I see you! Okay, you can have a bite.

There is a verse in one of Muriel Rukeyser poem’s “The Speed of Darkness” that comes to mind:

Time comes into it.

Say it.       Say it.

The universe is made of stories,

not of atoms.

I am so pleased to be part of the Farm Gate story.

Sprout question: What stories are you pleased to be part of?

© 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

Held Over by Popular Demand

Thank you everyone for your support. The show has been a whopping success and it is not over yet!

The STUDY of BLUE solo exhibition was extended at the request of the venue until tomorrow August 2, 2011. However, SEVEN of the original fifteen paintings are now SOLD. I have replaced some of paintings at the end of the original close date so that they can be delivered to buyers. The Oceanwood Restaurant & Inn has also asked to hang paintings in their luxury B&B rooms so their customers will get another chance to purchase them. This is a lovely offer particularly for some of the larger paintings.

Here are quick links to my seven original oil paintings from the show that are still available for purchase at the ART OF DAY online gallery:

ONE 24 X 36 inch oil on canvas BUY NOW.

OWL’S VIEW 24 X 18 inch oil on canvas BUY NOW.

SALISH SEA FOUR 24 X 48 inch oil on canvas BUY NOW.

EAST POINT CLIFFS 24 X 18 inch oil on canvas BUY NOW.

BREAKING THROUGH 36 X 48 inch oil on canvas BUY NOW.

WINTER SUN 18 X 24 inch oil on canvas BUY NOW.

And the very last of the smaller paintings still available…

STORM COMING 8 X 10 inch on canvas BUY NOW.

 

Sprout question: What creative accomplishment are you celebrating this week?

 

p.s. I have a surprise that I hope to share by the middle of August… once I review the proof. I think you are going to like it.

 

STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition extended to August 2, 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.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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

 

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

Being With What Is

Waking quickly, I glance out through the big window next to the bed. I can see the sun streaming its warmth across the valley floor. After being up until two hours past midnight, I have slept in. It is 8:00 am. Feeling panic, I do a head-rushing leap onto the cool tiles. It is summer. We have the heat off. I had wanted to water the garden. Then I remembered it was raining hard when I went to bed. That job is done. I can relax and be with what is rather than what I had planned. This is my summer so far. I had planned to do a lot of plein air painting. It is not yet happening. Either it is raining or I have another commitment to take care of. So today I am going to share with you a few images that have come about because I have just been with what is – and mostly I have been out and about on Mayne Island with David and my camera.

It stormed all day but the evening was grand….

 

(this image is available for purchase here.)

with the sandstone shore turning to gold.

(this image is available for purchase here.)

A sailboat sailing a sacred sail as the light catches the surface of the water.

(this image is available for purchase here.)

Just for a moment Georgeson Island is caught in the evening sun’s brilliance and we happened to be there… being with what is.

(this image is available here. There is also a beautiful new poem that poet Bat-Ami Gordin is inspired to write about this image posted in the description.)

Night is coming. The tide is high… a boat house with mist rising.

(this image is available for purchase here.)

Sailboats anchor in the soft edges.

(this image is available for purchase here.)

Night settles in.

Only to have another day begin in a tangle of Arbutus and sun.

The trail ends but my desire continues… off across the sea, over the hills and into the distance.

(this image is available for purchase here.)

Then, without complaint or longing, I am squarely back to the summer grasses beneath my feet, being with what is.

Sprout question: How are you being with what is?

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.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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

Rainy Summer Day in Navy Channel

Another medium size canvas print of “Witness in Georgia Strait” has sold from the Green House Restaurant where I share wall space with another Mayne Island creative being Barbara McIntyre.  It is the second of this image I have sold. Summer is the time when our island doubles in size and we share this beautiful island with weekenders and tourists.

But in all honesty it has been a rather wet and dreary summer so far. Yet, it is the wettest and mistiest days that often find me leaving the house with my camera. It is like I must connect, I must be close to the earth’s surfaces taking in her breath as if we are one.

The day is hot and humid. My bare arms feel the moisture in the air and I leave my raincoat draped haphazardly around my waist. With the tide out, I scramble along the small beach and over the rocks in Navy Channel.

While noticing a straggly molting heron feeds in the shallows

I almost step on the most magnificent huge purple starfish.

(this image may be purchased here)

Looking west it is hard to make out Salt Spring Island in the distance.

But it is two large boulders to the east that have captured my attention. Huddled, as if braving the grayness of the day alone, they squat on the shore.

As I draw closer I can see that they are now separate and each holding a space of its own.

However, I opt for an image that has a stronger connection to their oneness, my oneness and our oneness as we experience being separate.

(this image may be purchased here)

The magic of summer rains and mist defies our capacity to mistakenly dwell on our separateness.

Sprout Question: What clarity comes from your today?

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Terrill Welch’s  STUDY OF BLUE solo exhibition is up until July 27, 2011. At this time, there are still eleven paintings to choose from. Your personal favourite may still be available and can be purchased today online.

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

Beyond Blue mixed-media painting

While the  STUDY of BLUE family is pulled together in the glare of a summer day and readied for my solo exhibition,  another small painting found its way onto my easel.

It started with a canvas print of “Beyond” as an underpainting.

I then freely added oil paint until it feels done. The work may be the seed for something new or it may be a one-off experiment. It is just too early to tell.

BEYOND BLUE mixed-media 8 X 11.75 inches on canvas $300.00

The painting is showing in the summer group show at the Mayne Island Reading Centre (the Library) but you can contact me directly via email at tawelch@shaw.ca if you are interested in having this piece hanging on your wall.

Sprout Question: What are you finishing and then beginning anew?

STUDY OF BLUE solo exhibition is up until July 27, 2011. At this time, there are still eleven paintings to choose from. Your personal favourite may still be available and can bepurchased today online.

© 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