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

A Close Read and Doing Nothing

On this Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2011 I could have posted something red. Instead, I am going to write about something read. We have an old joke in our house about doing nothing. It is not ours but one we heard it someplace and it has been adopted by us. The joke goes something like this…

I ask “David what are you doing?”

David replies “Nothing.”

I say “But you did that yesterday.”

David confirms “Yes, but I’m not finished yet.”

The art of doing nothing is a highly underrated creative skill. To do it well, a person may need to revise their world view. One aspect of doing nothing I like to indulge is taking the time for a close read. You see, I don’t skim very often when I read. I burrow in and engage in conversation with the authors or with the characters in the story.  I write in the margins. I dog-ear pages. I leave stickies for markers and notes. I muse and mutter. I laugh and cry. I devour the content as I read. This is what I call “a close read.”

You might ask “where do you find the time?”

Well, it comes back to developing the art of doing nothing which brings me to the circular place of my latest close read.

Waking at just before 4:00 am on Sunday, and it being so close to Valentine’s Day, I wanted to let my sweetie sleep peacefully for another few hours. Actually, even if it wasn’t close to Valentine’s Day I would do this out of respect and love. In la casa de inspiracion, with its open floor plan, this means doing nothing. Yes, I made some toast, smeared it with nut butter, and brewed a small pot of coffee but I didn’t start the laundry or turn on some music, or do yoga in the great room or phone a friend out east. Instead I grabbed my book and slipped up to the loft with my toast and coffee.

Can you guess what I am reading? It is WHERE THE HEART RESIDES: Timeless Wisdom of the American Prairie (1999) by Daisy Ann Hickman. Yes, that is right, the very same Daisy who comments on Creative Potager and who asked me to be a guest blogger on the Sunny Room Studio blog in January. We exchanged books a few weeks back. In the mail from Brookings, South Dakota, arrived this beautiful hardcover gem. I know there is a place for e-books but there is still something blessedly tactile about running my hand over a hardcover book and slipping its jacket off to see what it looks like underneath before beginning to turn its paper pages one by one.

So early on Sunday morning, curled up under a down quilt in the quiet darkness set slightly aside by a small reading light, I began to read. What follows, more or less in order, are a few dog-eared, sticky and pencil-marked quotes about doing nothing that can be found within the later part of the first 30 pages of Daisy’s remarkable book about her beloved prairie…

“From a great crop to a new baby or a bountiful garden, life itself seemed to be enough, and being without a new car, a new anything, was not automatic cause for alarm or dismay.”

“Especially useful in today’s society, with its plenitude of distractions, multitude of ways to avoid and hide from reality, legion of false definitions of success built into a fast-paced society to the point where values and priorities have been distorted, twisted and abolished, where many have simply given up, and where many are looking for an easy way out, a shortcut through life offering nothing but bliss and good times, I cherish the lessons of land, sky and wide-open space. Because oddly enough, with all we have created as a society, genuine happiness seems more elusive than ever: just when we believe we have found it, we being to complain as our discovery begins to feel strange, empty, or curiously nondescript.”

“So now, as we consider a perspective that results in doing more of what counts, less of what causes you to lose your way, you will be ever closer to envisioning a road map to the heart.”

“The prairie offers an enlightened alternative, one that teaches something powerful and true: Doing less paves the way for doing more.”

“Because, curiously enough, time to do less often results in something more: time to recharge and regroup; time to stay in touch with feelings, values, beliefs, and of course, people; time to let events unfold naturally, at their own unique pace; time to do things that support your dreams so you may grow old gracefully, knowing few stones were left unturned.”

“Hectic schedules, a hurry-up, do-it-now mentality, cannot compare or compete with the persistent beauty and quiet strength of the prairie. As we scramble about each day, dashing here, dashing there, the land does the opposite, and without a word speaks to our souls, touches our hearts, and reaches out, like a laser, to connect with our finer, more discriminating sides.”

“When your day is jammed full of must-do, can’t-wait items, there isn’t time for casual exchanges; there is little opportunity for the unexpected, unplanned, spur-of-the-moment cup of coffee with an old friend, the walk to the park with your son or daughter or spouse. Still, these are activities that contribute to a way of life that promotes the importance, the fundamental value, of the human connection: without fail, without exception, without excuse.”

“For encouragement, remind yourself that the less you do, the more you will do: of what counts; of what makes you feel alive and growing; of what helps you become a fully realized human being.”

(Water colour painting “Canadian Prairie” – 2002 – by Terrill Welch)

What are my intentions for this week? To do nothing – prairie fashion.

And you might say “but you did that last week.”

I think you know my response but just in case… “I’m not finished yet.”

I wish you an amazing Valentine’s Day filled with love, hope and time to do nothing.

Sprout question: When was the last time you creatively did nothing prairie fashion?

Thank you Daisy Ann Hickman for coming into my life and being part of our Creative Potager community.

© 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

Art of Day 2010 Holiday Show and Sale

Creative Potager interrupts its holiday to bring you news about the inclusion of my painting “Rising” in a fantastic online international show and sale.

UPDATE January 30, 2011: This painting has been SOLD to a buyer in Switzerland.

James Day is the brilliant brain behind the development of ART of DAY blog and online gallery store. He invited 20 Featured Artists and included 20 Artworks for inclusion in the ART of DAY 2010 Holiday Show and Sale. There are artworks from a wide range of disciplines from all over the world coming together in this one online location.  Please drop in and to view this outstanding collection.

To view more work by Terrill Welch:

To view more of my oil paintings for sale at ART of DAY, go directly to the ART of DAY store. Also, three oil paintings were recently profiled on Creative Potager and can be accessed through separate links on the post Wrap up of three paintings over three days.”

My photography can be viewed and purchased at my redbubble storefront.

My full artist biography has a sampling of my work displayed as well.

Thank you for your support, encouragement and purchase of my paintings, photographs, and calendars.

Sprout question: What brilliant creative idea are you working on?

Now back to holidays!

Please note: Creative Potager will be on holidays beginning Saturday, December 11, 2010 and will return on its one year anniversary Monday, December 27, 2010.

© 2010 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

First Terrill Welch Original Oil Painting in Sale East Point Cliffs

This painting is a shape-shifter through time. More than any other painting that I have painted East Point Cliffs absorbs the light and transforms with the time of day. Bright and lush on a sunny day …

Quiet and peaceful on a cloudy day…

East Point Cliffs looks as if there is a full moon shining when it is near dusk. It is rightly the first painting of my online sale as it was the first painting in oils I had done in thirty years of working in watercolours. Oil was the first medium I used when I started painting and selling my work at the age of fourteen. It is ever-so-wonderful to return to a slightly modified water miscible oil paint.

With the oil painting’s deep edges roughly textured, it awaits your personal touch in choosing of a frame to fit your chosen location or it can be left as is, reminding the viewer that it is canvas and paint that has become art.

A close up reveals the layered impressionist strokes on canvas.

East Point Cliffs is inspired from a trip in February to Saturna Island British Columbia, Canada. The deep blue of the sea and the sandstone cliffs were mesmerizing. An early post provides more about the process of painting East Point Cliffs.

TO BUY THIS PAINTING: Critical information for Buyers including the price is posted on a separate page HERE.

East Point Cliffs is the first of three original oil paintings going on sale over the next three days.. The second will go up on Saturday and the third on Sunday. After each of the three paintings become available they will remain on sale until sold or midnight PST Monday December 6, 2010, whichever comes first.

Please share this post with others who may be interested. Thank you for your interest and support of my work.

Sprout question: If you were mesmerized by East Point Cliffs where would it take you?

© 2010 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

Critical information for sale of three original Terrill Welch oil paintings

Starting Friday December 3, 2010, the first of three original oil paintings will go on sale at 7:00 am PST with a blog post right here on Creative Potager. The second will be posted at the same time on Saturday and the third again at the same time on Sunday. After each of the three paintings become available they will remain on sale until sold or until midnight PST Monday December 6, 2010, whichever comes first.

The specific three paintings that will go on sale will remain a mystery until the day each is released. While you are waiting for each painting to be posted feel free you might want browse my full artist biography which includes images of some of my work.

Critical information for Buyers:

The regular price of each of these 18 X 24 by 1.75 inch original oil paintings on canvas is $1,200 Canadian. They will be for sale for $950 Canadian during this very narrow window.

The first email received at tawelch@shaw.ca with a commitment to buy the painting will be given first option to purchase.

Payment will required by using paypal or email transfer for those living in Canada.

Insured shipping is included with each purchase for anywhere in North America.

Artist Satisfaction Guarantee to Buyer:

Unharmed and safe return of the purchased painting to the Artist, at the cost of the buyer, within 30 days of receiving the purchase will result in a full refund of the purchase price by Artist Terrill Welch.

Dear readers, you may want to buy a painting. Or you may want to tell others about the paintings. If a buyer identifies you as the source of the referral you will receive a $45.00 value gift in cards or a calendar of your choice. (Psst! The referral can even be to your spouse.) The referral gift is for the first referral identified by the buyer and there is only one referral gift per painting sale.

I have done my best to ensure all relevant information has been provided. However, if you have any questions, please comment on this post or send me a direct email.

Enjoy! Terrill

P.S. First Painting East Point Cliffs


© 2010 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