The Painter’s Horizon Is Seldom Visible

Most days I have little idea what direction my painting is taking me. I like to think I do. However, it is a myth. What I have are intentions. My intention is to explore how my specific historical experience impacts my work with more conscious awareness.

Setting Intentions  by Terrill Welch 2013_09_03

But right now, I have a long list of tasks that must be accomplished in preparation for three months travel in Europe beginning in April 2014. The round trip tickets are purchased. We are committed. I updated the most urgent items that must be accomplished to a separate list on Sunday morning. Then I set it aside.

You see, a request had come in from a fellow artist and friend for me to donate a postcard size work to Twitter Art Exhibit: Orlando. I usually do donate to this fundraiser and this was just the nudge I needed. The deadline is February 21, 2014 and I need 10 days travel time for the work to arrive in time. If I wanted to work in oil on canvas paper, the work needed to be completed now. Besides, the cause is compelling:

Twitter Art Exhibit: Orlando is an international exhibition of original postcard art benefiting The Center for Contemporary Dance, Special Needs Classes, a nonprofit (501)©3 organization dedicated to dance education and outreach. The Special Needs Classes include customized exercises that expand the student’s range of motion, creativity and social skills. Class work is further designed to enhance skills in memorization, problem solving and communication. Belinda Balleras, whose son takes classes every week, says: “He has a new sense of creative fulfillment and an additional pathway to productively express emotions.”

This is the fourth Twitter Art Exhibition, a concept founded by founder David Sandum, a Swedish-born artist living in Moss Norway, who conceived Twitter Art Exhibit as a vehicle for doing good through social media and online community-building. The idea is simple: artists around the globe receive a call through Twitter social media to create original postcard-sized art, which they mail to a local curator, who then exhibits and sells them to benefit a local charity.

Here is my 4 x 6 inch oil on canvas paper contribution set aside to rest and dry before submitting it to this event.


Walking an Autumn Road 4 x 6 inch oil on canvas paper by Terrill Welch 2014_01_19 045

The postcard size works will be sold for $35 a piece and ones that do not sell on the opening night of the event will become available for online purchase. If you want to know more or would like to participate follow the hyperlink above or go HERE.

After this, I picked up my list of urgent tasks…. well, not exactly. What can I say? There was paint on my palette? The sun hadn’t come out? I just couldn’t leave the easel?

Choosing a 12 x 16 inch canvas with a dark purple ground I began to contemplate quiet despair, broken promises and how some moments are too sad for tears. Why this aspect of our human experience had surfaced was a blog post by Deborah Brasket “Some Tragic Falling off” into Difference and Desire. This post and our west coast weather.

A January west coast afternoon.

A January west coast afternoon  by Terrill Welch 2014_01_18 025

We haven’t seen much of the sun during the past few weeks. In fact, the fog has been hesitant to raise her skirts much above her knees on the island ridges. We can’t really blame her. After all, we have been gawking without shame, seeking even the tiniest glimpse of blue sky and sunlight between her cottony ruffles. Today though, within the deep winter quiet, we are given brief moments of reprieve from her dowdy grey garments. It was not a dazzling display but enough to leave us momentarily content, hopeful even.

So I set to work. I like to think that I know my approach to a canvas and I am reasonably sure of the outcome. But I mostly just fool myself. My stubborn, overbearing intuition regularly slips the brush and palette knife from between my conscious breath and finds its own way across the canvas.

PROMISE – resting

Promise resting 16 x 20 oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2014_01_20 004

The painting has a feeling all its own. My husband came in and said softly – oh, it is quiet. Then he smiled, satisfied, content even.

More about this painting and links to purchase information on my website Terrill Welch Artist HERE.

What might represent your idea of “some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light” as in Robert Robert Hass’s poem “Meditation at Lagunitas” posted by Deborah Brasket?

Now, before I dare pick up the brushes, that list. Where did I put that list?

© 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