Standing with the Sea Painting from Life

“I don’t know how she does it, but Terrill’s paintings make me feel the rush of being there, of being part of it,” comments Anita Lewis, who shared on Google Plus the following completed painting.

I wish I had an adequate answer for Anita. The truth is I am not exactly sure. I can tell you that the landscape painter must have the courage to stand in the moment with as much raw, unfiltered honesty as possible. In this case, I am standing with the sea.

At first this standing is about the grey that shifts continuously in rolling spring storms. It is about a tide that seems to neither want to come in or go out as I set up the easel.

It is about enduring the dreariest gulf islands spring since the beginning of weather records. This has followed on a winter that saw snow on the west coast during most months.

I have come to realize that we are likely to miss out on are usual warm days of spring this year. Now my endurance is settling on an early summer. But at the moment rain is coming. It is time to pack up and leave with the 22 x 28 inch canvas roughly blocked in using walnut oil paints.

The next day it rains a steady drizzle. No plein air painting is going to be possible. I sigh and move on to other tasks. The following day seems like it may be promising. But it isn’t. As the painting class and I huddle under a gazebo in the national park near the painting location, they get a good chortle. The sun is shining through the rain but it isn’t going to be enough to break the spell and let us plein air paint. We retreat to the Mayne Island Community Centre and I provide tutorial examples while answering various painting problems posed by the students. The day is salvaged through our collective flexibility.

It is a long day which becomes even longer that evening when I learn that a long-time friend has lost his gallant 20 or-so-year battle with cancer. We had spoken only a few short weeks earlier. He had basically called to say good-bye. At the time he commented that he wasn’t sure if the cancer would get him or if his heart would fail first from an unrelated issue. In the celebration of life notice his family has asked that donations be made to the Heart and Stroke foundation instead of bringing flowers. I am assuming this might be a clue to how his question was answered.

From the time we could barely call ourselves teenagers, through our wild years, into young adults, on into our mature years and finally to becoming grandparents – we never lost sight of being friends. Even if years sometimes passed without so much as a phone call, there was no question – we were friends. Though I will miss him, I cannot help thinking he suffered more than his share to remain with us as long as he did. He fulfilled one of his greatest wishes and saw his children grown and had time to enjoy his grandchildren. He knew great love and what deep caring really means through his relationship with his partner. His life was fully lived around what I feel matters most – love, family, friends, frank honesty and hard work.

The next morning has offered up the promised sun. I am standing before a grey-scale roughed in painting with a heavy heart, squinting into the sky blues. Yes, I definitely will miss him. I look across the Strait of Georgia which seems to widen with every glance. I put up the sunshade to keep my canvas neutral.

I work diligently as if without skin and bone protecting the most vulnerable parts of my being. I listen to the sea as it rolls waves forward with each passing boat and ferry. The moments are filled with frequent commas from song birds that are occasionally punctuated more heavily by seagulls and eagles. The sea lions roll up to the surface with their unmistakable breathing raising the hairs above my pinched shoulder blades. I am consumed by salt air, spring grass and exposed seaweed. The breeze lifts the branches of the fir trees behind me and the escaping sun warms my back in brief fragmented caresses. What blue? What blue do I need most? I mix and layer and release the colours onto the canvas within the rhythms of the sea, the rhythms of life…. and the rhythms of our immediate and pending death. Finally the brushes still.

I take the painting back to studio. After letting it rest for a bit, I add a few more brush marks over the afternoon and a few more the next day before calling it done.

The painting was only five days from start to finish. Yet, the world, my world, is forever changed. I am reminded of a line from a poem “The Speed of Darkness” by Muriel Rukeyser – The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

A final photograph is still needed of course but this one will do for today.

So the “how does she do it” remains a mystery in some ways, even from me – hidden in unedited, intuitive renderings of experiences from life onto a canvas.

When was the last time you stood by the sea and asked it to share with you its greatest mystery?

© 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

Why Paint a Landscape of Avignon France?

 

Fingers pressed to lips and on tiptoes I invite you to quietly join me in the loft studio this morning. You see, I don’t believe that my page full of “to do” items including paintings to be shipped to their new homes and time management will exactly approve of this diversion. But if we keep it quiet, maybe no one will notice us. So come on up. It is a little early so we will need to turn on the studio lamp.

With all the gorgeous west coast landscapes to paint you might wonder why I would travel half way around the world to paint a landscapes in France. The truth is I wanted the tension of a shorter, but still substantial, span of time. We might say that North America offers this with its more recent European occupation. However, what I experience on the southwest coast of Canada is thousands of years evident in the landscape and then the present interruption of humankind. Most buildings and such on the west coast still standing are less than two hundred years old. Yes, aboriginal people have been here for a few thousand years but they have left few footprints on the landscape. Europe and France in particular are different. We can still see evidence for easily over 600 years in one gaze looking across the Rhone River in Avignon France. This is somehow important to me as I intuit the tension in a landscape. We live in environmentally parlous times of exponentially climate change. In 2012 about half the world’s population lived in urban areas and this percentage is expected to continue to increase – quickly. the result is that our agrarian sensibilities and relationships to our natural surrounding on the whole are weak. For those populations that survive the next few hundred years, I believe this must become a strength. Yet, as we abstract our way through internal and external elements of our human creations, the natural landscape appears to hold little interest other than a thing of beauty and a place of recreation. This objectification of our natural surroundings places us and it at great risk through our false sense of possession or proprietary combined with ever-decreasing regard and understanding of the lines of tension and intersection of our relationship. These are my musings anyway and is the backdrop for my most resent painting MORNING BY PONT D’ AVIGNON (24 x 36 inch oil on canvas)   and its cousin below of the same size which is still in its underpainting state with bits of masking tap marking lines of intersection and tension.

 

compositional tension in Villeneuve lez Avignon France 24 x 36 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2014_07_07 005

Judging from the plein air acrylic painting sketch I did, once the painting is completed these tensions will be mostly felt rather than seen (though now that I have so explicitly shown them to you, I am sure you will notice them more readily.) I anticipate that our eyes will keep roaming the scene searching for something until it unravels these tensions to the mind’s satisfaction. My desire is that we will know that it is more than a beautiful view, someplace to gaze,  to sit, to stroll or to sail. I want us to  intuitively sense the strength and fragility of this landscape – after all there are hundreds of years of human intersection with the environment visible in this painting and my intention is to inviting us to take the time for such an exploration.  Our west coast of Canada has a much harder time offering this same invitation. It is much more immediate, wild and possibly even too forgiving of our ignorance – until possibly it is too late. So I have called on a morning in Avignon France with her abandon bridge across the Rhone to give us a hand.

I know! Here you thought I was on vacation and this was all about just painting another pretty picture.  It could be I suppose. But I intend to instill such strength and tension in my brushstrokes that you will stay long enough to get past the beauty and to the substance behind this work. The act of painting is a spiritual exercise, a meditation, a recital of a poem and possibly even a practice of prayer. The subject in this case, in most cases, has to do with our fragile, temporary and continued existence.

Now, if you will excuse me, I must do a wee bit of painting before that  “to do” list comes charging up the stairs and demands to know where I have been.

 

What invitations are you accepting to strengthen your relationship to our natural environment?

 

© 2014 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

Sunrise to Sunset Traveling the British Columbia West Coast Water Highway

The Government of British Columbia and its fine west coast island citizens are in agreement that something has to change to sustain one of the most beautiful water highway systems in world. There is not agreement on how this system must change however. User fees are going up and usage is going down. With the expected total tariff revenue shortfall of about $40M by the of March 2016, there are proposed service cuts and tweaking of schedules which may save money but will likely not lead to increased traffic.  Several factors have led to this grim situation including a lengthy downturn in the economy, fares overreaching the balance point of cost to value in the traveler’s wallet and the government requiring that each route be self-sustaining while separating these ferry served waterways from the highway transportation system and its funding support. It is not a pretty picture. If this situation is not resolved The Local Ferry Committee concludes that “the final result will be the continued strangulation of island and coastal communities, the effects of which are already evident.” (Ferry Facts – MayneLiner Volume 24, Number 1, January 2014)

There seems to be only one way to really give you a good idea what this means and that is to take you with me on a trip from Mill Bay on Vancouver Island to Miners Bay on Mayne Island in January.

The Mill Bay sunrise with Mount Baker in the background is pleasant.

Mount Baker at Sunrise in Mill Bay by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 020

from under the arbutus tree on the Brentwood College campus where I am visiting the “O” family.

Mill Bay Sunrise under the Arbutus Tree by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 045

Boats rest quietly in the marina next door as another amazing day begins.

Sunrise Mill Bay January 2014 by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 024

I don’t have to leave until midday so we go off for a morning hike returning in time for a quick lunch before I head out. Mayne Island is only about 35 km directly across the water but I will drive an hour over the Malahat highway and up the Saanich Peninsula to the Swartz Bay terminal to catch the 2:15 pm  going to Saturna Island and then Mayne Island arriving about 4:10 pm. I allow three and a half hours for travel time. On a day like today this is a pleasure…

Mount Baker from Inside Passage by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 088

Ferry traffic can be spotted regularly as we set out from Swartz Bay.

BC Ferry Traffic Inside Passage by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 128

After passing island after island views, we approach Saturna Island almost an hour later and Mount Baker is still grandstanding on the horizon.

Almost to Saturna Island by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 391

Quality prints available HERE.

The sun is getting low in the sky when our small Mayne Queen ferry retraces its passage back between North Pender Island and Mayne Island.

January West Coast Late Afternoon Sky by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 508

The Queen of Nanaimo ferry is finding its way from Saltspring Island and Galiano Island gives a looming welcome on the right.

Galiano Island winter afterrnoon by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 496

I turn and look back towards Swartz Bay knowing that one of the large ferries taking passengers across the Strait of Georgia will likely be visible.

Late Afternoon in January by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 526

I wasn’t disappointed.

We dock about five minutes late and I meander home, waving at neighbour and friend Leanne Dyck from The Sweater Curse blog who is out for a walk as I go.

My sweet husband has a few groceries he wants to pick up before we go out for dinner.  We unload everything but my camera and head immediately for Miners bay. There is only a slight orange glow left in the sky as we pull up and part on the street facing the Miners Bay Trading Post.

Miners Bay Trading Post by Terrill Welch 2014_01_05 544

What can I say? It is good to be home. It is good to have ferry service and not have to hitch-hike on a passing tug boat, freighter, sea plane or sail boat. Yet, I wonder if it might come to that again in the maybe not so distant future. If it did, we would remember these days of 3.5 hour assured travel to go a distance of 35 km fondly. But would we move? Would we leave our island home with its water highway for the paved highways of the mainland?

Would you still think about coming to visit me if there was no ferry service?

© 2014 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

By the sea for no reason inspires west coast oil painting

Sometimes we go down by the sea for no reason. There is no intention of capturing the perfect photograph. There is no intention of a meditative walk. There is nothing planned at all. We just go down by the sea at Reef Bay on Mayne Island for no reason at all…

By the Sea by Terrill Welch 2013_05_06 006

I mean, if you had a choice to join us on a day like this, even or maybe especially for no reason,  wouldn’t you?

As we watch, the sea seems to fold into the seagull-decorated landscape.

Sea Folds  by Terrill Welch 2013_05_06 147

I sit for a long while just enjoying. Then there is this portrait view that eventually surfaces in my conscious awareness. I know it will be translated into a painting even before I pick up the camera to frame the scene. I debated with myself about whether to show you the photograph that became my main painting reference as it is just that – a reference which anchored my experience long enough to get to my paints, brushes and canvas. But I know how much you like to see these glimpses of inspiration, so here it is…

No reason referrence by Terrill Welch 2013_05_06 032

The painting has been released over on Terrill Welch Artist in today’s post

NO REASON Canadian west coast oil painting by Terrill Welch

However, here it is again for your viewing pleasure: Canadian west coast 12 x 10 inch oil on canvas oil painting study – NO REASON.

No Reason 12 x 10 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_05_20 008

UPDATE May 24, 2013: This painting has SOLD.

What have you done lately for no reason?

© 2013 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

The treasured Pacific Dogwood or Cornus nuttallii

The Pacific Dogwood or Cornus nuttallii small tree or shrub is protected in British Columbia. It is actually not all that common except in the lower western corner of the Province but has the distinction of being the Provincial flower. I have been admiring one such specimen on Mayne Island for a few years now.

Pacific Dogwood small tree or shrub by Terrill Welch 2013_04_19 067

Isn’t it just grand? The flower or leaf petals are a stunning greenish cream-white. With some rather tame bushwhacking I was able to get up a wee closer so we can have a good study of these beauties.

Pacific Dogwood Cornus nuttallii by Terrill Welch 2013_04_19 083

The actual flower of this plant is the greenish ball in the center. I understand it is suppose to flower spring AND fall but I only seem to notice in the spring. Though the dark red berries are bitter they are the culinary delight of pigeons, quail, grosbeaks, hermit thrushes, and waxwings. Bears and beavers enjoy the fruit and foliage, and deer eat the twigs.

Some aboriginal people used the wood, which is fine-grained, hard and heavy, for bows and arrows. More recently, the Cowichan people on Vancouver Island made knitting needles from it.

The Straits Salish made a tanning agent from the bark. The Thompson people made dyes – deep brown from the bark, black when mixed with grand fir, and red from the roots.

The wood has been used for piano keys. Pacific dogwood varieties are attractive ornamental plant in coastal gardens.

But remember if you see one – British Columbia Legislation protects the Pacific dogwood from being dug up or cut down.

Reference and more about this plant: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/documents/treebook/pacificdogwood.htm

Also, it has been a week of finding more homes for paintings and releasing some new ones for sale. Find out more on Terrill Welch Artist at  “Oil landscape paintings – three new releases and three to ship

Can you share with us  the flower emblem of your Province or State?

Wishing a wonderful week ahead with many creative adventures!

© 2013 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

Finding the Rhythm of the Sea in oil on canvas in the art studio

Painting en plein air is wonderful and the easiest way to feel your landscape through the paintbrush and onto the canvas. However, weather and the size of the a work does not always make this the most practical approach. So I photograph my subjects from various perspectives. Then using sometimes years of memory about a subject along with a series of reference images, I am then prepared to work on a specific landscape in my small studio. This canvas is a good size at 20 x 40 inches. Finished paintings and blank canvases are going to have to squeeze in their edges and squish together to make room for this fellow.

ipad studio shot by Terrill Welch March 12  2013

While I am getting the set up and the painting roughed in I thought I would answer a question for you. I am often asked about how I get my ideas for my photographs and paintings. The most honest answer is that the ideas find me as I observe my everyday life. I capture and paint what I notice, what I see, feel, smell and hear. I am influenced by events that are happening in my life. If I am mournful, excited or weary it will show up in what I notice. What is most relevant is my daily practice of noticing. The ideas are always there. My primary task is to notice and to act on what I notice. Today’s work comes from a moment in September a few years ago when the sea rolled itself with eloquent expression onto the shore at Edith Point. Let’s rough it in and see what we have.

in progress Rhythm of the Sea by Terrill Welch ipad studio shot March 12 2013

You may notice that I do not sketch my work onto the canvas. This is something I have never done as I prefer to make some basic marks with paint and then paint up an underpainting to guide me. Sometimes this underpainting is a complementary colour. Other times, such as this one, I stay close to the palette that will become the finished painting.

Much of the scene is in a late afternoon shadow, and the haze is heavy from the smoke of forest fires. The rhythm of the sea and the simplicity of the moment is so strong that my brush seems to know the path by heart. Hours pass with nothing but my humming and the sound of the palette knife mixing paint and the brush applying it to the canvas. The light is past its prime in the studio. I need some distance. Shall we carefully take the wet thing outside and have a look?

Rhythm of the Sea 20 x 40 inch work  in progress oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_03_13 009

It is coming I think, but will have to sit until tomorrow now. My body is stiff and a bit tired from standing and reaching most of the day, but it feels good. I have intimately noticed the rhythm of the sea.

I want to continue to work wet-on-wet or alla prima on this canvas so I begin again the next afternoon and work with the studio lights until very late into the evening. Finally, the painting comes to rest.

Rhythm of the Sea Edith Point resting 20 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_03_14 015

Resting is an observable and intuitive state of a painting’s development. It is when the elements of the painting have found their place on the canvas in relationship to each other. Yet, they are still alive with energy and vitality. In this case, the sea is still rolling forward onto the shore. The trees are still tingling from the days sun. The rocks are releasing their summer heat as the water charges across their surface. I am there. You are there. The salt spray is moist on our skin and the rhythm of the sea matches our breath, our heartbeat, and answers a call to all that is knowable.

The resting period is also a time to critically view the painting with fresh eyes. Is there anything odd or irritating that can be corrected? Is there anything that can  strengthen the expression of the piece? Does the painting work? Is it finished? This process of evaluation can happen in a minute or it may take weeks. For this painting I left it for seven days while I was away. I came home and looked at it and decided it is done, finished. A final photograph is required and then it will be released over at Terrill Welch Artist later in the week.

First, I must get a new show ready to hang at the Green House Restaurant here on Mayne Island. Here is a short video from my home studio sharing sneak preview of the 18 paintings that will be shown…

Well, that is it for a week in the life of this artist.

What does a week in the life of your creativity include?

I so much look forward to hearing from you.

© 2013 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

Wabi Sabi Feng Shui Nature and Photography

Sometimes the grand seascapes of the west coast winter are just too gray and flat to hold my attention.

Break in storm Strait of Georgia bnw by Terrill Welch 2013_02_25 074

When this happens I look elsewhere to see what I can feel and see by the sea. This is when I am most often consciously drawn to beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” or the wabi-sabi nature of our natural environment.

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. Andrew Juniper in Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence describes wabi-sabi this way: “if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi.” Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

Feng Shui on the other hand comes from the discipline of Kan Yu or the Tao of heaven and earth. The term feng shui literally translates as “wind-water” in English. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_shui

In both wabi-sabi and feng shui there is an element of human use or organization to replicate and appreciate our natural world. So, when the view on the horizon is less than inspiring, I sometimes seek to photograph these natural relationships between feng shui elements with their full embodiment of characteristics of wabi-sabi at sources – without human use or organization.

These wabi-sabi, feng shui nature photographs seldom make it to my blogs or my online galleries for purchase. They are a meditation or spiritual practice rather than an end result. However, today I am going to share a few of these images with you.

In the trees…

Arbutus Splendor

Looking into the deep woods on Henderson Hill gives way to the splendor of the the arbutus trees. Their tangle of light-seeking branches reach elegantly under and around in search of the sky.

Arbutus Splendor by Terrill Welch 2013_02_08 096

A new conversation

Though it is just the end of February there are many signs that a new spring season is beginning here on Mayne Island. One of these is the shedding of the bark on the arbutus trees and the revealing of the fresh new skin on of these sensual trees. It is such a tactile sensory visual experience that I walk along running my hands over their smooth exposed trunks.

a new conversation by Terrill Welch 2013_02_25 114

Arbutus Bark Natural Design

The pealing and curling captures natural the movement of time in its everyday way of being.

Arbutus bark natural design by Terrill Welch 2013_02_25 147

Out on a limb

Trees seem to have invented the strength of the spiral. In our occasional high winds I am often amazed that so few trees are blown to the ground. This spiraling is I believe part of the mystery.

Out on a Limb by Terrill Welch 2013_02_08 165

On the forest floor…

While, when the big landscapes fail to impress on a heavy overcast west coast afternoon, the little things sometimes become more beautiful than ever. This is fresh new moss growing on the rocks. So very soft and lovely on the eyes and to the touch.

Take time to notice the little things by Terrill Welch 2013_02_08 233

By the Sea…

A Dance through Time

Over and over they tango the sea and the shore until they are shaped as one. I am squished between the land and sea begging the sky to intervene. Have you been there?

A dance through time by Terrill Welch 2013_02_25 185

Shell Sand Sea – a love story

The tide is going out. As the water leaves in a wave of salty tears, the shell of a varnish clam remains, embracing the sand.

shell sand sea a love story by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 365

Butter Clam 1

The round butter clam brings vitality to the gray and the stones by the sea.

butter clam 1 by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 297

Mussels and Seaweed

The connected and passage of relationships crush and sweep away any sense of isolation. Yet, the inner scream of longing cries out to be heard, noticed and cherished.

mussels and seaweed by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 248

Plump Oyster

What belly can grumble with such nourishing abundance for the taking?

plump oyster by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 246

Another Layer

There is yet another layer of temporary impermanence. We know in this continuation we are but a moment of moments lost to infinity.

another layer by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 444

Drifting

Our live bits drifting with the dead, the dying and such shall we become.

Drifting by Terrill Welch 2013_02_01 452

Such is the nature of wab-sabi feng shui in my natural world of photography. May this imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete Tao of heaven and earth bring you a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing.

 

What wabi-sabi feng shui nature influences your life?

 

© 2013 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

 

Spurious relationships between photograph and painting pairs

I have been requested several times to create another art book that includes pairings of my photographs and paintings. The difficulty with this task is that I don’t generally paint directly from one particular photograph. I sometimes paint en plein air and other time using my whole experience and a large handful of my own reference images will paint in the studio. The two approaches are simply used as tools to capture my impressions of the world around me – a world that emotionally and physically influences my everyday because it IS my everyday. Here is a pairing that demonstrates this almost spurious relationships between what looks like a natural pairing.

The photograph “Good Morning Galiano Island” was taken yesterday at about 9:30 in the morning.

Good morning Galiano Island Dec 30 2012  by Terrill Welch 2012_12_30 299

(available for closer viewing and purchase  HERE)

The oil painting “Far Shore” was painted in the spring 2010 using a set of very grainy reference images from an earlier afternoon day when the fog was so heavy that the sun could just barely break through lightly onto the tip of the rock face.

Far Shore 18 x 24 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch  IMG_9804

(available for closer viewing and purchase HERE)

Is there a connection between these two works? Yes, but it is likely that the photograph is more influenced by the previous painting than the other way around.

Here is another example. The sunrise was deep in bruised mauve yesterday. “Mayne Island Dawn Dec 30 2012” is one of my favourites from this shoot.

Mayne Island dawn Dec 30 2012 by Terrill Welch 2012_12_30 060

The oil painting “Winter Sun” which was also completed early in 2010 using a different location as reference yet the feeling is the same, the light is the same and I can smell the same cool sea air when I look at both the photograph from yesterday and this painting from a couple of years ago.

5 winter sun May 10 10

(available for closer viewing and purchase HERE)

Well, here we are. This will be our last Creative Potager post in 2012. Also, it is a post that hints at what is ahead. I desire to take you deeper into the creative process and life of this artist. Right down into the unfinished tangle of thoughts, unfinished ideas, quick sketches and daily explorations. The posts will likely be longer and full of musings, more of a shared record, if you will, of the history behind the finished work that will eventually emerge.

ALL THE BEST OF THE NEW YEAR MY FRIENDS!

© 2012 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

SLICED WITH A TEAR autumn oil painting and process by Terrill Welch

There is something about autumn by the sea with the gray melancholy wrapped in fall colours.

Do you remember my recent post called “Autumn Sliced with a Tear” and the photograph of the maple trees by the sea?

Do you remember me saying – “today is one of those slow-baked, melancholy west coast Sundays, so moist and tender you can slice it with a tear?”

For about a month I painted and repainted this scene in my mind – maybe a thousand times. I adjusted and readjusted my approach solving one painting problem and then another.

Finally, I pull out an extra-large 36 x 60 inch canvas (that is 3 x 5 feet or just plain BIG) and begin with the underpainting.

They never look like much at this stage but I find it an extremely useful step particularly when working on large paintings. I can now start working up the painting…

The canvas is shiny with wet paint but I can already feel the bruised coolness of fall in the sky and on the water. I keep working and building up the paint.

Days have now past with my dreams waking me up early to paint for many of my waking hours. I am consumed with the transitions between light and shadow and form.

The details show the looseness of easy strokes with two and one inch brushes.

There is the leaves against the sky on the far top right. Nothing but swathes of golden colour added to the sky with a hint of branches to hold them in place.

Then there is the clatter of colour near one of the main tree trunks a the top near the left side of the painting, colours that must roll over and under each other bringing the leaves forward in the painting towards the viewer.

Up close, we see nothing but wild and loose, meandering brushstrokes across the canvas. I like to paint wet-on-wet or ala prima and work a whole canvas up at once. This is no small task on a canvas of this size. But it can be done though it is often not the only painting approached used just because of the grand scale of the canvas. For example, even using this approach it took more than one sitting or painting session to complete this painting.

Finally, my brush and the painting comes to rest. Let’s stand back and have a good look at the whole canvas and see what we find.

I think it is complete, finished, done. Now it must rest and I reserve the right to make any changes that come begging to me during this time. So it is not for sale yet. However, I will let you know when it is. In the meantime feel free to browse through current work that is available at the links below.

UPDATE February 7, 2013

Well, I thought it was done but over the past but over the last couple of months I have made a few changes. Here is the now completed painting…

Sliced with a Tear 36 x 60  inch oil on canvas  by Terrill Welch 2013_01_25 115

It is not going to be released anytime soon for sale as I am keeping it in my Artist’s collection for now.
Sprout: If you could be anywhere under a fall sky where would you want to be?

P.S. This is an early warning that Creative Potager will be making some changes in the New Year. They are not big changes but ones that I hope you will welcome as I re-purpose the intent of this blog to reflect the changes in my own focus of providing an online studio experience of work for readers. More on this soon.

ONLINE GALLERIES with Terrill Welch paintings and photography include-

Artsy Home for most original oil paintings currently available

Redbubble for photography prints, greeting cards and posters

Current Local Mayne Island VENUES –

Green House Restaurant – small original oil paintings and photography prints

Farm Gate Store – one large painting

And by appointment at Terrill Welch’s home studio

© 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 – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch Artist website at http://terrillwelchartist.com