Painting Melancholy Seas and other events

The week has shifted from warm winter afternoon sun to stormy jade grey sea, to snow cover trees causing power outages and then back to sun with more snow on the way. What is a painter to do with such dramatic changes? Gather reference materials, write a haiku, make hedgehog biscuits and paint of course!

With the sun trapped behind a tree, I squint through the branches at the sea.

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Wandering along the shore I consider the path down to the rocks and driftwood.

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Afternoon low sun on the rocks, the sea and a pastel sky are my reward.

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Then later on in the week the jade of high-tide seas remind me of some reference material from earlier in the year. I bring them along to the first Studio Intensive oil painting class that I am teaching for the next three months. I am enamoured by melancholy seas. I can’t seem to help myself. I am pull up to the shore with a belly full of compassion, ready to dry each of the wave’s cold tears on my damp sleeve.

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I bring the painting to rest back in the studio with the week’s snow visible in the background outside the loft windows.

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I have been working most of the day on the large canvas from the week before and the melancholy sea painting is my unwinding work after being corkscrewed up in the branches of that old arbutus tree.

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But what about this unusual amount of snow that has lasted for days here on the southwest coast? It really isn’t much. Truly it isn’t, other than gorgeous to look at…

As night comes / the beauty of tall firs / outside my window.

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Oh, the power went out a couple of times with the first heavy wet inches. But we are cozy and comfortable. In fact, we didn’t even go to get bread when we ran out. Instead, I made hedgehog biscuits.

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However, I am familiar with snow, bad roads and power outages. These circumstances cause me neither concern nor stress. Yet, I am reminded that it is uncertainty and the unknown that tends to rankle most into jittery nerves. I am no exception. But snow and power outages don’t do it for me.

Yesterday, the sun came out and danced with the same big fir trees in the valley outside the window . Gorgeous!

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I have, as you might expect, been reading about world events. Of most interest are a couple of articles with a broader, possibly dystopia, perspective. The first is “This is how we can fight Donald Trump’s attack on democracy” by Rob Wijnberg in The Correspondent. The second is an archeologist’s paper “History Tells Us What Will Happen Next With Brexit And Trumpby Tobias Stone in the Huffington Post. Both articles focus on current affairs from a place of context that comes when we step back from the immediacy of news feeds that surface on Facebook, Twitter or from other sources. I am reminded that though immediate situations may be of importance, they likely hold little sway within a longer measure of time. Possibly, I wonder, will we, 300 years from now, remember this era as the great democratic experiment?

This week I am also reading Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, death and hope in a Mumbia undercity by Katherine Boo. In addition, I watched a mini-series about Juana Ines de la Cruz , the life and work of a seventeen century nun in Mexico City who is considered one of the first great minds of the Americas.

In my collective ingestion of these articles, the book and the film, I am struck by how current stories and old stories are much the same. A few lines from  the Netflix Juana Ines film series, set between 1669 and 1695 in New Spain, seem to summarize my week in totality.

“Silence is not having nothing to say. But being unable… to find words for all there is to say.”

and

“It is not the knowledge I don’t have. But that the desire to learn has cost me so much… This amorous torment inside my heart can be seen. I know that I feel the way I do, but I don’t know the reason why. I feel such a heavy anguish from such a successful dalliance that fills like desire and ends in melancholy.”

As always, I find that so much in this everyday life is left unanswerable or beyond my words. Thus we conclude with the “resting” painting.

Melancholy Seas on a 14 x 18 inch oil on canvas

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How might melancholy and change come together in your life?

© 2017 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to http://terrillwelchartist.com

Mayne Island Rain Wind and Snow

How quickly it all changes. Yesterday’s winds have given way to rain. How those branches did bend for fear of snapping as others had in the past.

We did not go out to the shore. I get too nervous in high winds to hardly leave the house. This photograph of the valley was taken while stood at the kitchen sink preparing lunch and being thankful that the electricity was still on.

The day before however we did venture out into the blustery weather. The sandstone shore of Georgeson Island was particularly lovely in the soft light of the winter afternoon.

(image available for purchase HERE)

But this morning it is raining. I sit quietly hunkered down under a down quilt on the old couch in the loft marveling at how different each day can be from another. It was only four days ago I overheard these daffodils muttering in the snow “I told you it was too early.”

The snow is now long gone for this  young deer that browsed under the trees by at the edge of the forest, hunched up in the damp cold. I wonder where it sought shelter yesterday as the winds howled like jet planes crossing over the top of the cliffs?

A flicker had called from the beam on the covered deck to ask if I might come out for awhile.

I did. But even the oregano was snow bound.

However, it was the day I captured winter by the pond

(image available for purchase HERE

and enjoyed the grass against the snow…

I noticed that which was undisturbed.

This is the noticing that comes with the sudden change of snow covering much of our dark greens, grays and browns during the overcast west coast winters.

Much is still dreary though.

I thought of lighting a fire in the outdoor fireplace but then went back inside to paint – as I did yesterday. I painted on the ample 30 X 40 canvas. I wonder how the weather will be evident in my brushstrokes? We shall see on Wednesday I think. Here is a snippet of a small detail I liked that no longer exists.

The painting is almost complete. A couple of wayward blustery brushstrokes to tame and it will be done.

SPROUT: How might the weather be impacting your creativity?

 

© 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 – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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

 

Happy Frog in the Snow

It rained all night and our snow is mostly gone. Now our world is all heavy gray and deep water-soaked browns with a few leftover sad splashes of white. So instead of anything serious this morning I have decided to share this happy frog in the snow I captured on Thursday. I just feel like something light and cheerful to start my Saturday!

I hope it makes you smile and brightens up your day as well. Enjoy!

 

SPROUT: Where are you finding something to brighten up your day today? 

 

© 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 – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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

A Wisp of Winter

It is a painting day for me. It is an ordinary west coast November day with frequent weather changes from sun to rain. But as I looked up from the canvas, nothing seemed to warn me about what I was going to see in the valley.

(image may be purchased HERE)

A tree in snow – natural pointillism.

I wonder what tomorrow morning will bring?

Slipping out our door into the crisp air I pause. The tree dressed in a skiff of snow is decorated with morning light.

(image may be purchased HERE)

 

Now isn’t that lovely?

 

These photographs are from Friday and Saturday. But I think they still look  fresh, even as late as this Monday morning.

 

Sprout Question: What is crispy and fresh in your creative day?

 

Happy Thanksgiving to our U.S. friends!

 

P.S. The 12 X 12 oil painting is coming along too but is “resting.” I hope to be able to share it with you on Friday.

 

© 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

 

 

Mayne Island Japanese Garden Dressed in Winter

This morning is -4 Celsius or 24.8 degrees Fahrenheit here on Mayne Island. On the west coast this is chilly. We have a damp cold that seeps right into your bones without stopping to slow down much even for your woolies. There are still a couple of inches of snow left in the yard and the winter birds are thankful for the full bird feeder. Our hot water in-floor heating has a hard time keeping up when it gets below freezing outside. The Floors are beautifully warm but not much heat is rising to the loft. I have turned on the oven with the door open for a bit to circulate some heat up to the studio. A few more flakes of white stuff are expected over the next couple of days.

Now that we have dispensed with the weather report let’s have a look at some of the photographs of the Japanese Garden dressed in winter.

You may remember this image from “A Search for Colour…

Winter has its grace with this beauty caught still dressed in her fall finery.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

The garden pond is partly frozen obscuring some to the reflections.

There is a peace which settles deeply when we drink in this snow-covered garden’s quiet.

The bridge seems to beautiful to disturb by walking across its whiteness.

Now stepping back and having a gaze at the whole picture… I hope you are smiling.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

May you be warm.

Sprout question: What makes you feel warmest when you get really cold?

© 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

Mayne Island in November Snow

Here I am with a Creative Potager bonus post today. I am blaming it on the snow. Big flakes started rolling past our large picture window looking out over the valley at dusk. We don’t get much snow on Mayne Island and seldom in November. I was up before blue dawn like a kid on Christmas morning.

The far side of the valley was a bit warmer and did not get the same three inches of wonder as we did half way up the cliff.

David’s gate that he built a year and a half ago looks extra special in the snow.

And the prayer flags.

Then there are these red begonias.

And this is all I can see of the yellow calendulas shown in Thurday’s post.

But this is my favourite image of the morning. It is a photo I took as I was sitting down to upload and edit this morning’s photo shoot.

La casa de inspiracion has never felt better.

 

 

Sprout question: What are your favourite moments of winter?

 

Special Notice: I have made a decision. Two Fridays from now on December 3, 2010 I am going to place three of my larger 18 by 24 inch original oil paintings on sale for $950 Canadian over three days. The regular price is $1,200. I am going to introduce the first painting on Friday, the second on Saturday and the third on Sunday. All three will be shown together on Monday December 6, 2010. The sale will end at midnight PST on Monday.  Here is where you come in dear readers. You may want to buy a painting. Or you can 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. The specific three paintings that will go on sale will remain a mystery until the day it is released. However, you are welcome to try to guess by browse some of this year’s paintings HERE. Look carefully though because some paintings are sold and/or are a different size or medium. Terrill-size cyber hugs will be given out for any right guesses.

© 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

 

 

Snow Clouds


It doesn’t snow very often on Mayne Island but it does all around us. Some days I can smell snow and people frown when I say so. Raising one eyebrow, they will say “I didn’t hear of a snowfall warning.” Then I have to explain that I can smell it from where it is snowing on the mountains around us… 30 or 40 miles away.

 

Sometimes I look up and say “those are snow clouds.” It is not just the look of them. It is how they feel… and smell.

 

 

Sprout question: What smells in your neighbourhood?

 

© 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