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

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at

High Winds

I awoke to rattling, banging and snapping at just after 1:30 am on Monday morning. No, it wasn’t a break-n-enter but high wind. Cones, branches and bits of whatever else were being slammed down on our tin roof from winds that were recorded up to 120 km an hour on a near by island. I could hear the roar of the wind high above the trees. The sound was similar to a large jet overhead except it never moved away – it just stayed there and roared. For the next four hours we watched and monitored as a cast iron chair on the deck was knocked over by large broken branch, the upstairs window was blown open even though it opens out and the trees bent and twisted against the force of the wind. Not surprisingly, the electricity went off at around 3:00 am.

When daylight arrived there was an eerie calm as sun danced across the debris, which looked rather mundane compared to the noise it made in its decent during the night. There was no serious damage. Our large fir trees were still standing though their dressing gowns of branches and needles were looking much thinner from the night’s engagement.

I had planned a painting day for Monday but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. We did what people usually do. We wandered down the road to see how our neighbours were making out and catch up on the extent of the damages. When we returned, it was time to fill the oil lamp and start the outdoor wood cook stove for an early dinner before dark.

My creativity was garnered to the task at hand – choosing the right wood for the cooking fire and setting the vent in the right spot at the back of the stove for the oven.

Our house stays warm for better than 24 hours without electricity because of the in-floor hot water heating and the thick strawbale walls. So we had our dinner, lit the lamp, and read some poetry aloud.

Then we crawled under the covers in the silence, broken only by the battery operated clock, to watch the stars in the still night. The storm had passed.

Sprout Question: When was the last time your creativity was needed in an unusual event?

My Cloud Biscuits…


Can easily double this recipe

2 cups flour
1 tblsp white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (not shorting)
1 beaten eggs – very well beaten
2/3 – 1 cup milk (I usually use half whipping cream other half water )

Sift dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until coarse. Add egg and some milk to flour; mix all at once. Add enough milk to allow dough to be easily kneaded. Knead the dough a few times (not too much or will be tough – just a lick and a promise!). Flatten to about 1” thick and cut into desired serving size. Bake in 450 degree F. oven (or “HOT” oven in wood cook stove) until lightly browned on top… for 12-15 minutes.
Good luck!

© 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.