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 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

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

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

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

KEEPING WATCH original oil painting by Terrill Welch

Here it is! The last painting, KEEPING WATCH, of the 15 that will be in my solo exhibition, STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition opening June 30, 2011 is complete.

The painting started out in the usual Terrill-Welch-fashion with an underpainting ready to start working up into a painting.

The large upright canvas did not fit on my easel so I painted down in the sun room which is a deliciously bright place to work.

The canvas had held the movement in the scene from the beginning of the underpainting and I can see that one of my jobs will be to retain that energy right through to completion.

You may guess by now that I am painting my very most favourite arbutus tree overlooking the Strait of Georgia by the light house at Georgina Point. This tree will be featured in one of my photographs on the front cover of this year’s Mayne Island Community Chamber of Commerce brochure and be distributed up and down parts of the west coast of Canada and the United States.

The painting is now starting to breathe on its own, talking back quietly to me as I work.

Now I am close. It is not finished but I am undecided as to what to do next.

I let it rest for a few days and then I finish it up.

KEEPING WATCH 36 X 24  by 1.5 inch original oil painting by Terrill Welch

If you want you can use your inspection skills and see if you can discover what I changed. One change is particularly obvious. The others not so much so.

Please NOTE: I am taking a week off from blogging. The next Creative Potager post will be Friday May 27, 2011. It is time for a little creative downtime before shifting gears into the final preparations for the opening.

Sprout question: What does creative downtime mean to you?

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.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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

When the Sun Comes Out

First, thank you everyone who zipped, shone light, sent energy and prayers to Josie this week. I believed she has turned the corner and is on the mend. Whaaaahoooo!

The week started out with much reorganizing to make room to paint my 24 X 48 inch cotton canvas.

The composition has been adjusted somewhat but the reference photograph you see of  “stones throw” with the canvas is the one I am using for this next painting. There will be much less sky for sure. It will be challenge because the movement is from the far outer top left moving forward across the canvas to the near bottom right – towards the viewer. I am excited to see if I can make it work.

Then something happened. There was this unusual yellow glow in the sky on Tuesday morning. I was pretty sure it was the sun but I couldn’t be positive because that brilliant addition overhead hadn’t been seen in these parts for quite some time. Well, nothing would do but we had to go down to the beach and check it out. On the way we stopped to check out the field of daffodils.

They were almost open but if we check back to last year on March 11th they were already in full flower long before this time last year. However, they are coming along just the same. This sun will certainly help.

Now let’s go to the beach. Wow! The tide is way out.

David went to stroll along the shore while I clambered over the sandstone reef. I found some beautiful barnacles, mussels and snails.

(the image “BARNACLES, MUSSELS AND SNAILS” may be purchased here.)

I liked this image so much it is my desktop background right now. There were lots of oysters too but I didn’t photograph them – muddy gray looking critters.

I can never get enough of the contrast of sandstone and blue sky. Sigh!

But this is show stopper for me. I was just sitting on the rocks relaxing before heading home when I turned my head back to the sea and this is what I saw…

(the image “VESSEL” may be purchased here.)

The natural abstract beauty had me exclaiming “Yes!” before I could even get my camera out of its case. Martha Marshall this one was captured because of you and your consistent influence on my understanding of abstract design. Thank you!

I did finally get back to my canvas and the underpainting is now ready for a good run of painting next week.

Have a great weekend and I hope you find some sun!

Sprout question: What is the most outrageous creative adventure you have ever blamed on the sun?

© 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

HEAVY CLOUD original oil painting by Terrill Welch

I remember being asked one time to paint a scary monster. It was a class exercise to get us out of the habit of creating beautiful paintings. I had a horrible time. I painted a dragon-type monster. The instructor laughed a deep belly laughed and told me it was a great monster but would not likely scare anyone. I think my painting “HEAVY CLOUD” has also suffered from my optimistic nature. It is obviously heavy cloud but not very dreary.

Let’s have a look…

Starting with the underpainting you saw on Monday I began building up the painting.

It isn’t really making a lot of sense yet but feels good so I keep going.

Then I painted for a long while. I left it to rest overnight and I did a few minor edits. I believe it is done. But I reserve the right to change my mind.

HEAVY CLOUD 10X12 by 1.5 inches, cotton canvas original oil painting by Terrill Welch

This painting will be shown as part of solo summer exhibition opening at the end of June. If you are interested in purchasing in advance of the show please contact me directly via email at tawelch AT shaw DOT ca . The price of this work is $420 Canadian unframed.

I most often see a little light coming in from somewhere no matter how gray it gets. There is just a touch of sun catching the sky above the mountains and it is coming to rest on the tips of just a few of the great coastal peaks so we are sure not to miss it. It seems to be saying – tomorrow is another day.

Have a great weekend!

Sprout question: What creatively allows you to express dreariness, gloominess or your darker side?

 

© 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

 

ONE original oil painting by Terrill Welch

In a studying the shades of blue this painting of ONE has been the most demanding so far. It required the ability to work with four different blues to create the rich depth and reflections. I have little to say other than I am pleased with the results.

Palette for ONE

Beginning to work the underpainting

Working it a bit more.

Starting to get a feel for it.

Many hours later.

Making some minor corrections and time for a rest.

I came back to the painting the first thing the next day and finished it…. ta da!

ONE 24 X 36 inch cotton canvas original oil painting by Terrill Welch

This painting will be shown as part of solo summer exhibition opening at the end of June. If you are interested in purchasing in advance of the show please contact me directly via email at tawelch AT shaw DOT ca . The price of this work is $2,400 unframed.

UPDATE: Painting is now available in the ART OF DAY online gallery HERE.

Sprout question: What creative work is currently pushing you to the edges of your abilities?

NOTE: Last evening my original oil painting WHISPER sold to a couple in celebration of their wedding anniversary. I’m happy see it going to a most loving home.

© 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

Meet Street Photographer Vivian Maier

First, my intention for this week is to brush my way into an oil painting using one of my charcoal figure sketches as a guide. It will be difficult as I have only the one sketch to work with and I have a particular setting in mind that has been inspired from a passage from The Underpainter (1997) by Jane Urquhart. Regrettably, I am reluctant to share more than this with you at the moment. It is an image that is perfectly clear in my mind’s eye with shifting tones and composition every time the painting whispers for me to begin the process to stillness on canvas. I will honour last week’s principle of waiting to be invited… but act immediately when asked. This way, with luck, the image won’t slip away like mist in the afternoon sun.

Now, allow me to introduce the most extraordinary Street Photographer Vivian Maier with the most unusual passage into notoriety. Her work was discovered in 2007 by a 26 year old, real estate agent/entrepreneur/historian – John Maloof –  after he purchased a box of her negatives at an auction for $400. According to this brief excerpt about Vivian Maier in Wikipedia:

In 1951, at 25 years old, Vivian Maier moved from France to New York, where she worked for some time in a sweatshop. She made her way to the Chicago area’s North Shore in 1956 and became a nanny on and off for about 40 years, staying with one family for 14 of them. She was, in the accounts of the families for whom she worked, very private, spending her days off walking the streets of Chicago and taking photographs, most often with a Rolleiflex camera.

John Maloof, curator of Maier’s collection of photographs, summarizes the way the children she nannied would later describe her:

She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. She wore a men’s jacket, men’s shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn’t show anyone.

Between 1959 and 1960, Maier traveled to Los Angeles, Manila, Bangkok, Beijing, Egypt, Italy, and the American Southwest, taking pictures in each location. The trip was probably financed by the sale of a family farm in Alsace. For a brief period in the 1970s, Maier worked as a nanny for Phil Donahue’s children. As she got older, she collected more boxes of belongings, bringing them with her to each new post. At one employer’s house she stored 200 boxes of materials. Most were photographs or negatives, but Maier collected other objects, such as newspapers,and sometimes recorded audiotapes of conversations she had with the people she photographed.

Towards the end of her life, Maier may have been homeless for some time. She lived on Social Security checks and may have had another source of income, but the children she had taken care of in the early 1950s bought her an apartment and paid her bills. In 2008, she slipped on ice and hit her head. She did not fully recover and died in 2009 at the age of 83.

This video provides an excellent overview…

Also, here are the Vivian Maier blog and the Vivian Maier Photography website.  I am trusting that you may be as intrigued and inspired by her work as I am. Enjoy!

A new photograph “Tomorrow’s Dawn” seems like the most fitting image to share this Monday.

(image may be purchased here.)

Sprout question: What creative treasure might you have tucked away for future discovery?

© 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