The first Sunday in September is often like my second New Year. There is this natural pause and reflection just before we seem to roll into the rest of the year in earnest. At first glance this year, my living and work world seems indecipherable like this photograph of the forest from our side deck.
However, with a bit of effort the layers can be lifted off and separated until they make some kind of visual and memory sense. This is what we like to do isn’t it? Make sense of things when they just happen to naturally co-exist in overlapping movements of light and energy. Let’s see what we can make of it all.
Since last September, our physical living and my working spaces have shifted in rather dramatic ways under my guidance and inspiration to solve immediate and difficult challenges. Only in hindsight do they seem daunting. When I was in the middle of these changes it was just a matter of getting things done that needed doing. Now I can appreciate the monumental shifts that have taken place.
The first major project last fall was the completion of our main floor bedroom and ensuite bathroom renovation that had started in the spring and been delayed waiting for windows to arrive. The building contractor did an outstanding job and we were able to move our bed from the great room beside the kitchen table and put an end to feeling like we were camping out in our own home.
This project was taken on to meet my husband’s reduced mobility needs in the middle of the night when he would get up a little too stiff and disoriented to manage the stairs from what was our sunroom sleeping quarters.
What we couldn’t have known ahead of time is what a sanctuary this space would become and how it would change the way we actually lived in our home. The ability to have a separate bedroom closed off in our open plan strawbale timberframe home that still remained visible from other parts of the house has meant easy movement, sleeping and working space without feeling isolated from one another. In meeting a very pragmatic mobility need we greatly increased our quality of daily living in our home.
My home studio moved permanently into the sunroom below the kitchen where our bed used to be for the past twelve years. Even with the unrelenting south exposure it works because of the tall trees and our many west coast soft grey days.
The whole house now works as if it was always meant to be this way.
The second major change came last October when my commercial venue for the gallery rooms provided all the tenants in the building a year’s notice because the owner was going to return the space to residential use. Our small rural island has extremely limited commercial space options and few of those are ideal for showing paintings. However, the first solution came easy with a small room sublet within another business that also was moving. It meant a change in what was regularly being offered as the small space was only suitable for smaller paintings and usable art products.
The huge benefit of this new art room venue is that I do not need to physically be there. Thanks to modern Square payment technology a separate terminal was added for use at the counter of the main business.
The unexpected gift of this unique ISLAND TIME ART room has been the joy designing and choosing smaller useable art products for this space and the ease of curating and hanging new shows with a selected group of gallery artists. The art room is eclectic, lively and delightful. But it is not a gallery space and has difficulty managing to successfully show larger paintings like my other gallery spaces had been able to do. Which brings us to my final major change during the past year. The Gallery Pod.
The Terrill Welch Gallery Pod, that is now snuggled in at our front gate and opened this weekend, took nine months from idea to opening and is the last piece in our live/work solution that my husband and I didn’t really accept that we needed until it was in place. You see, on top of being a full-time landscape painter and running a gallery and art business, I am also a caregiver for my husband who suffered a major bleeding stroke thirteen years ago. The first few years were spent in gaining back skills and abilities. Then there were many years of stability. Now he is experiencing a gradual decline in both physical and cognitive abilities that admittedly has been aggravated by limitation imposed during the pandemic. So being able to have the new gallery space at our front gate has become a huge future planning benefit that we didn’t realize until it was here would also have immediate benefits in the quality of both of our lives and my ability to continue working.
This brings me to a place of realizing this first Sunday in September that we can look to the present as a fresh start in our future direction that has been intentionally and thoughtfully implemented for both living and working on this small rural island on the southwest coast of Canada. Now it is time to set some short term priorities for the last quarter of 2022…. and go make some breakfast before opening the Gallery Pod and the home studio for visitors today from 11-4.
ONLINE GALLERIES include –
ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available
Redbubble painting and photography prints and merchandise