I wrote the following quote last night for a friend. This morning I realize that is perfect to accompany us on a short stroll we are about to take.

As we “face the winds of the world” stand barefoot on mother earth. If the winds become fierce, go lower and place your belly against hers. In this way we can remain vulnerable, humble and filled with fire-strength to see our vision through.

Our stroll is on a day that it is late morning before enough daylight seeps into the corners of my studio to warrant turning the lamp off. The heavy clouds wrap around me like tangled blankets in a nightmare. We go for an overdue lunch. Our usual walk is only a sultry possibility against pending rain. A drive seems like our best option. Bumping around potholes under the tall trees I have a moment of total defiance. Without comment or signaling (we have met no one on the road in the past fifteen minutes) I dip the old Volvo down a side road to Navy Channel. Once there is it a short slop to the waters edge.

At first there seems to be little to see but gray clouds, flat silvery water and high tides.

Then my attention is drawn to things closer to me – things near my feet.

When was that rock so soft that it squished like that? Or is its smoothness from wave action?

Oh look, there is a rock embedded in that piece of driftwood. How long they have been together? How far have they traveled?

All the while, gentle waves slowly move in and out over the sand, bumping the driftwood and calming my jangled west coast winter nerves.

I become one with the moving water, the stone the wood.

I move closer, crouching. It is here I find my still-point. I find my inner peace within the heavy solitude.

View image in full resolution here.

Okay, we can put our socks and shoes back on now. Yes, that pebble… the one that was caught between your toes – put it in your pocket to remind you.

Sprout Question: When was the last time you were vulnerable and barefoot against the belly of mother earth?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

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Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.


I’m stuck. The painting above is about half to three-quarters finished and somehow I have become attached – invested. The arbutus driftwood, sandstone and tide pool have drawn me into a deadly web of “don’t touch it!” When I’m painting with watercolours, more than with any other of my creative processes, I must work from a place of detached emotional clarity. Watercolors are transparent like steps in the sand. Every move shows until you start a new sheet (or the tide comes in).

Sometimes, if I wait for a few days the next step will become clear and release me from the fear of “ruining everything.” I’ve waited two weeks. Nothing. Sometimes, if I move the painting to a new location and see it in different light I can decided what is next. Still nothing. In fact, I’m even more attached than before I took the darn thing out of the studio. Yet, I know the painting is not finished. This means only one thing. I must push through allowing my intuition to guide me into new learning.

I must firmly say to my self: “It is water, colour pigment, and paper. That is all.”

If a muddy puddle of coloured water with mushy paper is all that is left by tomorrow, I shall compost it in the flower bed. If I end up with a finished painting, I will consider it the first in an exhibit I’m building about the arbutus tree. Either way, I shall take a photo of the results and share them with you.

Sprout Question: Has there ever been a time when you were stuck and finding it difficult to finished a creative piece? What did you do?

p.s. If you hear little from me until late tomorrow, I’m painting…or possibly composting.

© 2010 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.