Painting Spring

Something happened yesterday on the official first day of a late west coast spring. At the end of last week I was still in my contemplative winter mental attire. My grey, northern, rain forest interior is filled with homemade soup warmth, maybe a touch red-wine melancholy, smoothed over with by woolen thoughtfulness and a sparkle from a waterproof jacket garnish. It is a savory mix best served hot. During this time I often explore the underbelly of my daily life both in painting and in words. But the garment of winter fell free as easily as the first night of hearing the frogs in the pond in the valley below. Consequently, I had something intricate and dense simmering about the language of painting for this post. But it is not to be, at least not for this week. The joyous zealous brushstrokes of spring are here. Who can ponder at a time like this!?

So I dug through the archives and have chosen seven springtime paintings or painting sketches representing a variety of locations I have been over the past four years. There is a spring work to enjoy for each day of week. Happy spring!

Spring in Tuscany 20 x 30 cm acrylic sketch on canvas board and a rare painting where I have overtly included the painter in this Florence, Italy countryside.

Prints available HERE.

Villeneuve lez Avignon France 24 x 36 inch oil on canvas with its layers of memories and visible history.

Original painting available HERE.

Fremont Hills California Early Spring 18 x 24 inch walnut oil on canvas. Painted from a plein air day of reference material with a colleague and friend, Lena Levin.  We were just talking last week about how our paintings were so different even though we were standing almost right beside each other.

Original painting available HERE.

Cherry Blossoms Mayne Island Japanese Garden 20 x 24 inch oil on canvas. The gardens are a divine place to be in spring and a local year-around treasure.

Original painting available HERE.

Sea and Sun Cox Bay Tofino BC 24 x 48 inch oil on canvas. Know as our real west coast, spring is the time that the sun breaks through the winter rains and spirits are lifted as high as the rollers coming in from the open sea.

Original painting available HERE.

Rolling Spring Storms Rocky Point PEI 20 x 40 inch walnut oil on canvas. Bit of weather out there today, someone will likely comment. Collars of light jackets will be turned up and tightened at the neck but the smiles, they tell us one thing – spring!

Original painting available HERE.

Blooming Point PEI 8 x 10 inch acrylic plein air sketch on gessobord. Spring comes a little later to Prince Edward Island. So on this particular year we had two springs! The first on the west coast Canada and then a most lovely second on the east coast.

Prints available HERE.

Now that we have been to Florence Italy and Avignon France in Europe, Fremont California in the United States, Mayne Island and Tofino on the southwest coast of Canada and finally to Prince Edward Island on the East coast of Canada, what about you?

Is it spring yet where you are?

And yes, I am publishing a day early this week. Why not, it is spring after all.

© 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

What a Difference a Day Makes arriving in Charlottetown Prince Edward Island

It is 2:30 am when the taxi dropped us off into the quiet dark of Water Street. We have arrived in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island from Victoria, British Columbia after making two connections – one in Vancouver and one in Toronto. The key was right where it was suppose to be along with a note from our hosts. We slipped into our small well-appointed circa 1857 house apartment. I send a quick note to our emergency contact that we were safely at our destination and it is lights out. This lasted until 5:30 am when I awoke to the beginnings of an east coast day. I toss and turn for an hour and then give up. There is nothing to do but get out there and join the rising sun! I head around the corner and down a small hill and I am at Confederation Landing.

Lower Water Street Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3040

The upside down world of the harbour seems most fitting.

upside down world in the harbour Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3044

There is a stunning art installation that will keep me coming back many times.

Art instilation at Conferdartion Landing by Terrill Welch IMG_3029

There is frost on the boardwalk.

Frost on boardwalk Confederation Landing by Terrill Welch IMG_3023

Pussy willows just budding out.

pussy willows in morning sun PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3034

Crocuses coming up under the shrubs.

Crocuses morning sun by Terrill Welch IMG_3026

All these wonderful signs of early spring! Little did I take to heart just how early a sign of spring it really was.

After a solo breakfast at a place down the street recommended by the city worker near the landing, I make my way over to the long boardwalk of Victoria Park. David is much more sensible and is peacefully getting a goodnight or rather day’s sleep.

boardwalk Victoria Park Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3047

Around the corner an old farm sits disappearing even with its well-worked fields.

all but gone PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3070

I see my first small lighthouse and smile. It has been a good morning.

Lighthouse near Brighton Rd Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3071

I go back to the apartment, fall into bed and sleep for another couple of hours. Our host and his daughter knock to welcome us and we have a great visit about this and that and everything. My paint supplies hadn’t yet arrived at his office. Our luggage will be coming later today as it wasn’t able to keep up with us yesterday – just ordinary friendly chit-chat in that warm PEI kind of way.

Once they leave, I started poking at David to get up so we can more easily get into eastern time.

We go for lunch at Terre Rouge and I have the best seafood chowder -ever! David decides on baked mac and cheese. I eat his salad. We each have a glass of wine. Even though this is breakfast for David, it is three o’clock in the afternoon. Have I ever said that we travel well and even better together?

Note: If you are planning a summer visit and think you might like to try Terre Rouge, a reservation was made while we were there for July 19th for two. I asked the server if this was common and she said anyone who had been to Charlottetown during the high-tourist summer months knew to make reservations ahead of time. So there you go, decide where you would like to eat in July and make the booking for the occasion at the end of April. No problem.

After a wander around the old town area we decide to go back to the boardwalk in Victoria Park. The beautiful large old dames along the shore are in perfect afternoon light.

white dames along the shore Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3084

We decide to sit in the late day sun on a freshly varnished bench in this highly polished city. A woman walks by and says “Nice to not be sitting in snowbanks isn’t it?”

I agreed and let her know that we didn’t see snowbanks last winter as we were from the southwest coast of Canada. This lead to a lengthy exchange which let us know, among other things, that the first cruise-ship arrives on May 2nd. This explains why there was a whole hive of city workers scrubbing and cleaning away the leftover remnants of winter.

After the woman walked on, David turns to me and comments “you have 32 new friends and you haven’t even been in Charlottetown 24 hours!”

He may be over-estimating, slightly, the number of people we have spoken with since arriving but not by much. Everyone we meet seems to take their role as a city ambassador seriously. They are proud of their island and their city. When we ask, many people tell us they have lived here their whole lives.

As a way of explanation, people give a soft shrug and say something like “it is a good place with good people, no need to really go any place else.”

There is only one other place we have visited in recent years that can match PEI for warmth and friendliness. This a small community on the outskirts of Florence in Italy. This kind of generosity of spirit and kindness is not something one should ever take lightly. We crawl into bed that night already feeling settled and at home. Tomorrow will be another day and what a day it is….

The bright sun and light-sweater-wearing of the day before are lost behind drifting snowflakes and just below freezing temperatures.

snow covered boardwalk Charlottetown late April PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3107

There is a white blanket on the boardwalk and the harbour is slow to wake.

Harbour morning late April Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3099

The air is crisp and refreshing and the crocuses look to me as crocuses should, their beauty always most accentuated when wrapped in snow.

crocuses dusted with late snowfall Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3102

I see a break in the cloud cover to the north.

light dusting of snow April 28th Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3114

I am thinking the snow flurries won’t last as I admire the conte-red of the sandstone lining the Charlottetown harbour.

conte red sandstone lines harbour Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3109

But I am wrong. It is snowing again as I head back down our street and it continues off and on for the rest of the day.

Water Street early morning April 28th by Terrill Welch IMG_3122

Like any seasoned traveling artist, I know a window of opportunity when I see one. We gather ourselves up to go and get groceries for the next couple of days. I always love organizing a kitchen with the things we appreciate.

shopping day Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3125

There are little black-cap birds using the bird house outside the window and neither they nor us really mind the snow at all. I make chicken stew with PEI potatoes for supper, along with a side of salad greens smothered in delicious olive oil and balsamic vinegar from “Liquid Gold – tasting bar and all things olive” and artisan buns from Breadworks, difficult to find but so worth it! I served a Prince Edward Island medium dry Gamay Noir from Matos Winery & Distillery for a perfect pairing – a beautifully light-bodied red that should satisfy right into warmer weather.

By just before sunset the skies clear and I meander off to Victoria Park for a stroll. The grand ladies along the shore are looking extra fine this evening.

Last Light April 28 3016 Charlottetown PEI by Terrill Welch IMG_3163

Tomorrow will be Friday and I promise myself that I will sleep late and I do.

I rise at 8:45 am to make coffee, a cheese sandwich, apple slices and carrots. My paints arrived yesterday afternoon and it is going to be a painting day! I check the temperature and it is plus six with sunshine. I head back to the harbour close to home. Then I run back and get my heavy wool sweater. The wind is picking up to a brisk clip. I decide it is still doable but need to use my big camera as a weight hung from the bottom of the easel to keep it from blowing over. I persevere. There are only a few other people out this morning in a city that seems to walk almost as much as drive. It is cold. My hands become stiff. I must focus hard to work the brushes and keep my teeth from chattering. Then I drift into that space that painters do and the quick sketch seemed to complete itself.

Plein Air painting Confederation Landing Charlottetown by Terrill Welch iphone

I am happy with it. The light here has a sharp edge that bites with harsh contempt for the camera long before midday. This is only our third day in Charlottetown. There are new colour harmonies to rendered and I am pleased to be back at work after taking time out for the actual travel and to get orientated in our new surroundings. I am looking forward to the weeks ahead as our second spring of this year unfolds before us. Welcome to Prince Edward Island, Canada dear readers!


What are you looking forward to this spring?


© 2016 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

The Plum Tree and the Brick Building

Looking across the street I admire the plum trees against the brick building.

Oh those blossoms can make a heart twitter like a spring bird!

Have you ever noticed a blooming plum tree standing by a brick building? So majestic and regal it stands like the building butler as the blossom petals drift to sidewalk.

(image available for purchase HERE)

There is a window dripping with plum tree blossoms that must look as lovely from the inside out as the outside in

(image available for purchase HERE)


SPROUT: What blossoms have your heart a twitter like a spring bird?


© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at

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

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada


Seeing that it is the last day of February and it has been unusually cold with snow and wind and rain here on the southwest coast of Canada, maybe if we say “SPRING” all at the same time it will come true. What do you think? Shall we give it a try? Here is a photograph of a couple of tulips to help get us into the mood.

(image may be purchased here.)

Ready? SPRING!…. Hum, let’s try again SPRING!!!! There! That should do it!

This week is a painting week. It is the first painting week in about a month. I have these two 8 X 10 inch canvas underpaintings ready to start working.

And this 24 X 36 inch canvas underpainting ready as well. I am about to begin what may possibly be a series of paintings in a study of blue using seascapes as my contextual reference.

You might ask why I am doing my underpaintings in lemon cadmium yellow and it is a fair question. First I am not fond of a white canvas. Second, I like to create layers of depth through hints of underpainting colours coming through. However, to work for blues, the underpainting must be well set. Otherwise it just becomes a muddy mess. It does seem take longer to complete a painting using underpaintings but I like the end results.

Note: I am likely going to work on these three paintings and begin at least two more this week. I do NOT anticipate having much for process images but we shall see. I provide this warning  in advance so that you are not too disappointed on Friday.

Sprout question: Can you tell us about a creative series you want to do in the future?

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Shadow Memories

Shuffling the source material for my new book Mona’s Work, I’m having difficulty deciding what story to write next. It is not the material that is difficult. The bits of paper, the scribbler and the recipe book are all straight forward. It is the shadow memories.

The memories I want for the book are also connected to ones I would rather not revisit. Is this why I have been working on Mona’s Work since 2007 with only a slim volume of stories to show for my efforts?  I have seen enough therapists, made my way through enough healing circles and drawn enough pictures about these experiences to feel the work I need to do is done. I wish not to haunt my readers with these stories as it seems unnecessary. The memories are not related to the same people, or the same places just the same time in my life.

I’m determined that these shadow stories not become part of the final cut but will I need to write them anyway – so that I can mine deeper into the my memory for the stories I do want to retrieve? Or can I just note them and place the memory on a “parking lot list” such as I use when facilitating so that groups do not derail? Items placed on a parking lot list are revisited at the end of a process to see if there is anything that must be done with them. They are seen as valuable in the first instance – just not part of the immediate work. They are placed in the parking lot so as not to be lost (as if that is ever going to happen).  Can I do this with the shadow memories? Or should I write through the memories, allowing the darkness in behind the bright colours of Mona’s Work?

I wonder if, as in the image below of “city morning in spring,” I can find the balance and beauty of my shadow memories – as is evident in the buildings showing their shadowy bulk behind the trees illuminated in the morning sun.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

Sprout Question: How do your shadows impact or influence your creative process?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Baby Lambs

On this early Friday morning of west coast rain, I first want to thank the many faithful readers and sprout question responders of Creative Potager. This new blog began on December 27, 2009 with “A Gown Remembered: A beginning.” Today’s submission makes 45 posts with 442 comments and 3,342 views. Thank you. Your engagement, encouragement, humour and insights are an integral part of what makes for an excellent creative potager.

I must be off to a writing group this morning. The underpainting is still drying on my oil canvas and it is Friday on the last Friday in February. I thought I would share a series of photos from my visit to Meadowmist Farm to see the sheep with their new lambs yesterday. The babies always make me laugh with their curious leaping and bouncing around.

Mama keeps an eye out as we wander around the yard looking at the babies.

Here is Fat and Sassy running across the top of the knoll beside us.

Now what are these three up to? They have mischief written all over them as the scuttle across the lawn.

Ah yes – a game of  “let’s chase the cat.” Bridget Joyce’s lovely farm dog watches on to make sure nothing gets out of hand.

And finally, I take a first family portrait.

Thank you Joyce Kallweit for a delightful meander with this seasons new baby lambs. The best of the weekend everyone.

Sprout Question: How do you play or have fun when taking a break from creating?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada