An Artist’s visit to Paris in June

What remains in my mind’s eye is the soft champagne and pearly whites of morning

Good Morning Paris  by Terrill Welch 2014_06_15 056

with the occasional splashes of reds.

Chez Marie by Terrill Welch 2014_06_15 059

But there is much more to Paris France than this isn’t there?

Up by the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur and through the trees is Paris.

A Paris morning through the trees by Terrill Welch 2014_06_15 044

She is a grand city that the world loves with a passion befitting its status.

Paris June 2014 by Terrill Welch 2014_06_15 049

Even if a visitor skips going to see the Eiffel Tower and prefers to remember the flights of spiral stairs as I did.

Stairs to 1st floor studio in Paris France by Terrill Welch 2014_06_15 084

Paris will steel our hearts even if we are reluctant lovers.

What artist can resist plein air painting of double courtyard on Rue Rodier in Paris France

plein air painting of double courtyard Rue Rodier Paris France by Terrill Welch 2014_06_17 086
The day before I promised myself that I would photograph and paint this double courtyard. After a full day at Musée d’Orsay, I had little time, light or energy left but decided to make a go of it anyway. To me, Paris is not just about the Louvre, D’Orsay, Jardin Tuileries, Eiffel Tower and street-side cafes. It is not about high fashion either. In fact, I have seen very little evidence of that. Nor is it just good food. What Paris is to me is the ability to share small amounts of private space with such regard and politeness for each other. During the 45 minutes or so I worked on this painting more than twenty people came and went in the courtyard. Some just said Bonjour Madame or Bonsoir Madame but most stopped to say a few words and they did not give me a hard time about not being able to understand everything and were more than willing to switch to English once I asked – in French of course. These courtyards are an intimate connection between neighbours… not quite friends for the most part and not as close as family but more familiar than the street, or the cafe and much more familiar than most North American neighbours are with each other. Once the outside door closes, this is home and it is treated as such even if it is shared with probably more than a hundred people. This is Paris to me. In fact, this is very much France to me. This I know I will remember – fondly.

Double courtyard Rue Rodier Paris France 25 x 35 cm plein air acrylic painting sketch

Double courtyard Rue Rodier Paris France 25 x 35 cm plein air acrylic painting sketch by Terrill Welch 2014_06_17 080

 But we did go to Louvre too. Looking out from one of the upstairs windows we can feel its magnificence.

Louvre Paris France June 2014  by Terrill Welch 2014_06_16 048
Walking the halls leaves a person with shivers running down their spine.
walking the halls of the Louvre by Terrill Welch 2014_06_16 008
Morning sun rolled into Napoleon III apartments and splashed against the ceiling.
morning sun on Napoleon III Apartments ceiling Louvre France by Terrill Welch 2014_06_16 021
This painted wedding-cake style room in the Louvre is so outrageously over-the-top it almost made me laugh but I couldn’t pick my bottom jaw up fast enough to get out even one “ha-ha.” I just kept turning in circles saying unbelievable, look at that, unbelievable! It seemed most appropriate that we happened upon this room shortly after visiting the queen of the Louvre herself… you know, the one with the smile 😉 We hadn’t actually planned on giving her any courtly attention but the morning was reasonably quiet so we followed the entourage along and dropped in for a few minutes. In case you wanted to know, Mona Lisa is doing well for her age and is still smiling. I didn’t take her portrait as I knew the light wouldn’t do her justice.

Where the Musée d’Orsay  does not allow photographs, the Louvre does. So I took just a few photographs of paintings for my own study. These are shared with you for the same personal use study purpose.

A favourite artist of mine was Camille Corot. His landscape from Avignon called “Villeneuve-lez-Avignon La Tour Philippe le Bel” from 1843 struck a significantcord with me as I had stood in about the same place painting 171 years later.

Villeneuve-lez-Avignon La Tour Philippe le Bel 1843 by Camille Corot photo for study by Terrill Welch 2014_06_16 033
Across the Way Villeneuve lez Avignon France 25 x 35 cm acrylic painting sketch was a work I had completed just days earlier.
Across the Way Villeneuve lez Avignon France 25 x 35 cm acrylic painting sketch by Terrill Welch 2014_06_012 106
I now have a completed larger studio painting…
VILLENEUVE LEZ AVIGNON FRANCE 24 x 36 inch oil on canvas
Villeneuve lez Avignon France 24 x 36 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2014_08_08 069
Camille Corot is mostly known as a landscape painter but it is a few of his portraits of women that are having a lasting impression. This detail of La Dame en Bleu is from the last figurative painting that Corot painting in 1874.
detail La Dame en Bleu 1874 by Camille Corot by Terrill Welch 2014_06_16 118
They are so melancholy while holding a solid kind of inner-defiance that has surfaced for me only after careful observation. I wonder – how did he do this? What was his relationship to these women? Below is a detail from “Zingara au tambour de basque” that he painted between 1865 to 1870.
detail Zingara au tambour de basque 1865 to 1870 by Camille Corot photo by Terrill Welch 2014_06_16 110
Corot would have been about 74 years old when this work was finished. Is the answer to my question in his biographical information? I have ordered a book this morning from Amazon called “The Secret Armoire: Corot’s Figure Paintings and the World of Reading” by Mariantonia Reinhard-Felice to help me answer this question.

But there is more the Louvre than Corot and so much more to Paris than the Louvre isn’t there?

Well, we shall have to save it for another day. It is time for this artist to get ready for an afternoon of unrelated meetings on this September afternoon back in Canada off the southwest coast of British Columbia.

What does Paris in June mean to you?

© 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

Fourth Year Creative Potager Blog Anniversary

Just three days ago, on December 27th, it was the fourth anniversary of Creative Potager. During this four years, the space has shifted and changed with the patterns and needs of my life. We have shared much haven’t we? Blogging is sometimes a little like a public journal. It captures more than we intend because of the comfortable conversational exchanges. It doesn’t capture all of course. An artist has to have a few secrets. But it does string together my intentions, my focus, the main events and the rhythms of my work. Much has happened in four years and much has remained the same.

I still take you on long walks where the winter afternoon light is fine.

Horton Bay Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2013_12_26 089

Quality photography prints available HERE.

Places where the Surfbirds entertain with flashes of white above the water.

Surfbirds by Terrill Welch 2013_12_27 025

Mallard ducks can surprise as I climb over large sandstone rocks along the shore.

Mallard Surprise by Terrill Welch 2013_12_27 067

Quality photography prints available HERE.

Places where trees embrace moments that we may not have noticed otherwise.

Maples in Winter by Terrill Welch 2013_12_27 415

Places on a small island off the southwest coast of Canada where the sea is ever-present.

ripple  with ink outline by Terrill Welch 2013_12_27 401

Thank you for walking with me this past four years.

Thank you for joining me in the studio to render these impressions from our walks.

Together, we have mixed paint.

Art of Terrill Welch by Allison Mullally _MG_5740

We have brushed it onto canvases and gessobord.

by Allison Mullally_MG_5755

We have pushed it around with a palette knife.

by Allison Mullally _MG_5886

In a effort to render those walks and those moments, where the heart and soul is most alive, I have worked hard both en plein air and in the studio. And you have been the most gracious, supportive and encouraging of company.

Terrill Welch working in her studio by Allison Mullally _MG_5726

Tomorrow, I shall post on the Terrill Welch Artist website my personal selection of the best thirteen of 2013 paintings. There were over fifty finished works to consider so it wasn’t an easy task to choose just thirteen. However, without hesitation I can say it was a good year and a year you were so much a part of making it so.

Thank you! You are one of the finest of Monday morning blessing.

This not the end of course, just a pause for acknowledgment before we proceed into 2014 which is shaping up to be a truly grand adventure. More about this next week.

I have no question today so I ask instead – What question do you most want to answer before the end of 2013?

Please note: The last four photographs were taken by photographer Allison Mullally at a recent studio photography shoot.

 

© 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

Storm Watching and its progress on a large canvas

At 10:00 am today the morning light was not strong enough to work without the studio lamp. It is heavily overcast and last I checked there is a wee bit of snow expected. However, I was able to put the finishing brushstrokes on this large 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas painting this morning. It may be weeks before I can get a decent photograph of it so we will take a look now at the shiny-wet resting point of STORM WATCHING. Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas still on easel by Terrill Welch 2013_12_09 034

We may think that this painting began with this quick painting sketch on the canvas. Not really the beginning of Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 001

But we would be wrong. It all started on Friday December 6, 2013 at about this same time of day when the power went out. I was surprised as there was little wind at la casa de inspiracion. But then the email notifications started coming in with Ferry boat cancellation and they were for the Inside Passage which is not common at all. So I knew then that there had to be wind somewhere and took a guess that it was on the east side of the island. Sea View Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2013_12_06 024

Sure enough it was blowing a bit out there. But this isn’t the spot we need to be. We have to walk out to Campbell Point in the Gulf Island Park Reserve because the waves are break on the rocks in a big way. Let’s go and have a look. Dress warm and still expect to the wind to go right into a person’s bones and starts sawing away with an ice-cube. Rough Sea  by Terrill Welch 2013_12_06 142

Scrambling out onto a rock ledge the wind whips my big lens and me around with the same ferociousness as the sea. But I am determined. I hunker down low and steady myself against the roar. WILD SEAS WITH MOUNT BAKER IN THE DISTANCE

(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) There was no chance of using a tripod in these conditions. It was all up to my stabilizers and years of practice of framing and shooting waves. There wasn’t much time because I would get to cold to be able to work the camera and it was no place to be getting stiff and wobbly when I stood back up from where I was crouching. So steady does it. FULL STOP

(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) BREAKING OVER TWICE

(Detailed view and quality prints available HERE.) Sunday as in yesterday I pulled out the large canvas and placed it on the easel. I wanted the immediacy of this moment while it was still fresh to me on a cellular level. Choosing the overall colour of the filtered air with seaspray by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 004

The continuous motion of the winds and the sea stir sea-spray high up onto the cliffs above. I want that. I want that feeling of stirring and motion. I decided no underpainting so that spray would have the advantage of the white underneath. I had noticed the spray shadow in one of my reference images and took advantage of this to create additional depth. I worked on getting the painting down with as few brushstrokes as possible. Building up the movement in paint Storm Watching 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 007

I want us to be slightly queasy from it as we are swayed in the waters and crash against the rocks within our viewing of this painting.

Storm Watching resting 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_12_08 021

At the core there is a knowing and a thimble-size of silence which makes it bearable. This too shall pass. This is the stage that the painting rested overnight. This is where I started earlier this morning and finished at the first photograph which will not be its final of course. For this we must wait for better light.

UPDATE OCTOBER 13, 2014: Link to detailed viewing of the completed painting with purchase information and a link a short (less than six minutes) video where I talk about this painting can be found on the Terrill Welch Artist website HERE.

In conclusion, my Monday morning blessing is patience, admiration and determination. If we are willing to try we can most often do more than we believe we can. A large wave from a large canvas as you forge through the week ahead.

What are you determined to accomplish this week even if the winds of doubt are fierce?

© 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

Nuzzling into Seasonal Art Studio Quiet Time

November and December and even sometimes the first two weeks of January are my quiet time of year in my art studio. Part of this is that after the Open Studio event I kind of turn off my marketing and sales efforts. Yes there is still the new 2014 Calendar available (click on the image to check it out further)

and new photographs and paintings continue to be released. But it is more a time of enjoying friends and family. It is a time of gathering and having a good visit. I love this time of year. These are Monday morning blessing in the largest grandest sense.

It is also a time of year when I reflect on what has worked and not worked and plan for the year ahead. These include my donations of both work and money because this is how the energy of receiving and giving is revitalized – at least for me. This weekend I received two requests I am happy to consider. One is for a commissioned work for auction to a wood recycling association and the other is for a donation to a private school fundraising auction. These are the touch-stones of balance in a material world that has gone somewhat mad in its need for acquisition of property – original art included. As much as I live a life of simple abundance, just by the sheer reality of being a painter and photographer, I create stuff that is purchased and contributes to this global material addition plaguing the current human condition. My only defense seems to be to ensure that the work is expensive enough that it will be well-cared-for once purchased. Odd isn’t it? But it is the only a few strategies I have come up with so far. Another is to donate my time, work and sometimes cash to others that are seeking and need support. Sometimes, I find this tension between materialism and simple abundance excruciating, particularly if there is a run of sales on my paintings where they are selling as fast as I can paint them. I think – oh know! Now what!? So, these quieter times in November and December of sales and my ongoing practice of giving provide a balance and resilience to this inner panic.  These are my acknowledgements when considering my blessings this Monday morning.

In other studio news, part 2 and the core of the interview that writer and author Charles van Heck did with me and is published today in Life as Human online magazine. The painting featured in the first part of the article is a newer painting:

ARBUTUS ON MT. PARK 12 x 16 inch oil on canvas

Arbutus on Mt. Park  12 x 16 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_10_26 059

(click on the image for more information)

There is also a new smaller painting that I did last week while the studio assistant was painting edges and putting work into the inventory program. I am waiting for it to dry in order to get a proper photograph but here is a sneak-peek and I will let you know when it is released over at Terrill Welch Artist (where there is currently a new post about another painting I released last week).

ARBUTUS BY THE TRAIL 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas

Arbutus by the Trail 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_11_16 007

The Art of Terrill Welch facebook Page continues to grow and is now has over 200 “likes” as you can see there on your right. The Art Review comments by writers that are posted every Wednesday seems to be going well. This week is a review of the painting EARLY NOVEMBER SEA by Sandi White. I know she would be most delighted if you had a moment to drop in and leave a few words.

As you can see, though the surface of my studio life seems quiet and it feels this way to me as well, there is an undercurrent of activity that somehow is happening with little energy or attention on my part. I am in a time of dormancy and rest but the roots of my work are still being well nourished. Thank you universe for these ongoing blessing during a time in the world that seems to be in warp-speed chaos.

 

What is nourishing your roots this time of year?

 

© 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

 

ART waits for no ferry nor west coast daylight, online Studio is OPEN

Have no fear your online Studio Open Event is here!

Saturday (November 9, 2013) Painting Shipping Special: There are just over 50 original paintings in the Artsy Home online gallery and for today only I will ship any painting purchased of any size to anywhere in the world for $25.00. Some of these paintings are as small as 6 x 6 inches such as

MORNING IN THE KITCHEN (one of my few recent abstract paintings)

morning in the kitchen - 6 x 6 inch oil on gessoboard by Terrill Welch 2013_08_23 069

and some as large as 36 x 60 inches such as

EVENING AND THE ARBUTUS TREE

Evening and the Arbutus Tree 36 x 60 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_04_16 092

No matter, one shipping price for each painting purchased. Just use the “make an offer” button to the right of the painting you are interested in to send me a direct message with the request “OpenStudio.” Besides, using that “make an offer button” will be good practices for tomorrow.

Sunday November 10, 2013 is MAKE ME AN OFFER day on any of my original paintings still available in the Artsy Home online gallery. So just like yesterday click on the “make an offer” button to the right of the painting you are interested in and tell me your offer. All reasonable offers will be considered – however, I do on occasion counter offer… just letting you know so you are not surprised 😉

NOTE: all in-person sales on original paintings will take priority if I there is a conflict. If you happen to make a purchase for a painting that is already sold, your money will be refunded immediately. To avoid this, please send me a note through the “make an offer button” at the right of the painting to let me know you are making a purchase and then I can mark the painting as SOLD in the physical gallery.

For today and tomorrow All five of my Redbubble photography and painting calendars are available for $34.00 U.S. each which is a nice savings of about $10.00 off the regular price. Here is the newest addition to feast your eyes on as we get stared.

In addition, I have set up a Special Open Studio Event Feature portfolio in my Redbubble storefont with 24 selected photography images and this year’s calendar for your easy access and viewing pleasure.

Do enjoy, do have fun, do share and I look forward to seeing you.

May your weekend be filled with beauty, resilience and peace.

© 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

Large autumn seascape oil painting released Today – Sliced with a Tear

Released today – Sliced with a Tear…

Canadian Contemporary Artist Terrill Welch

There is something about autumn by the sea with the gray melancholy wrapped in fall colours. This particular day is one of those slow-baked, melancholy west coast Sundays, so moist and tender you can slice it with a tear.

This is the first of four huge canvases I have completed over the past several months. I started this painting last year about this time but it was not completed until February. However, I was not ready yet to let it go out into the world. I coveted closely, showing it here, on my blog and to close friends, family and art collectors but it was not for sale. Today though, I am ready and I am releasing this painting to a good independently wealthy or willing-to-take-out-a-mortgage home. This is one large painting! 🙂

SLICED WITH A TEAR 36 x 60 inch oil on canvas

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

Updated February 25, 2014: This painting…

View original post 142 more words

The Melancholy of Fall or a Painter’s Depression

The first days of September have rumbled past Mayne Island in thunder, lighting, rain and sun. Unsettled weather I believe they call it. As many of you know, I usually focus on the sun and let the rest slide off like rivers of water on our tin roof and escapes along the bedrock to the valley floor. But today not so much. There is nothing specific that has cast a shadow on my optimism but rather a clutter of small bits, hanging at about head-height, making it hard for the light to get through.

impending darkness by Terrill Welch 2013_09_04 193

As I mentioned today over on Kathy Drue’s Lake Superior Spirit blog post “the sun’s egg yolk eye in late summer” this is my favourite time of year. There isn’t much time to read though. Even so, I am working my way through I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simons and several art books on the life and work of the American Abstract Expressionist Richard Diebenkorn. This and having recently finished watching the T.V. series Mad Men on Netflix. Hence, I have spent much of the summer in the North American time of my childhood learning about events, art and music that was not really part of my rural experience at all. It seems most of this didn’t reach me until the late 70s.

Of course, I have painted as usual these past months. Late summer is the time when my love affair with still life painting comes into full blossom.

golden plums an apple and green vase 12 x 16 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_08_23 058

(GOLDEN PLUMS AN APPLE AND GREEN VASE – 12 x 16 inch oil on canvas released today HERE)

But the midday light is starting to become rich and warm again so I shall be back to my camera expeditions along the sea.

Cattle Point with iPad by Terrill Welch 2013_09_03

(Cattle Point with iPad is a photography sketch from Tuesday for future painting reference.)

This then is the beginning of the bitter, savory and sweet times of brilliant tangerine, lemon and rose flickering colours in front of the brooding and impending darkness of winter.

Sliced with a Tear 36 x 60 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_04_16 052

(SLICE WITH A TEAR 36 x 60 inch oil on canvas yet to be released but soon I promise)

Evening and the Arbutus Tree 36 x 60 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_04_16 092

(EVENING AND THE ARBUTUS TREE 36 x 60 inch oil on canvas available HERE)

So we could blame this darkness of spirit on Leonard Cohen for light is only as visible as the shadows allow. Therefore, in order to live in the light one must know the shadows.

Rhythm of the Sea Edith Point 20 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_04_16 069

(RHYTHM OF THE SEA EDITH POINT 20 x 40 inch oil on canvas will also be released soon)

Who better to guide such a journey than Leonard Cohen.  Undeniably, Cohen offers a well-worn path into the grey and the bleak. But that is not it – not really.

Could it be the daily browsing and musing over the paintings of Richard Diebenkorn who, even with his brighter moments, leaves me with a mysterious sense of lose? A lose that is likely unintended on his part from what I have read?

(image credit de Young e-cards HERE)

So no, it is not these abstract expressions of Diebenkorn with their occasional years of figurative and representational works. But possibly the blues has something do with the hope and optimism that was dashed when a world became driven by materialism such as is so cleverly shared in the series Mad Men. Today, Diebenkorn’s paintings can be viewed on the imagined glossy magazine pages of the previous advertizing thrones of Madison Avenue while our noses are currently pressed up against the calving glaciers of impending climate change and Cohen brings us to our knees during a more resent poised rendering of his song “Hallelujah.”

Not a comfortable or perky image if I do say so. Possibly at this point, there is only one direction left for this artist to go and that is up. Yet, I stay awhile. Such hard fought drilling into the underbelly of darkness should not be wasted. Last evening we watch the 2010 Chilean film “Old Cats” written and directed by Sebastián Silva and Pedro Peirano. This film is an endevour to bring us full force into the mess of living at the ends of our life, and possibly the universe as we know it, with its unraveling unfinished and often unresolvable finality which must be accepted as it is – a work-in-progress.

Now, once again, I ask myself in my best Mary Oliver voice “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

At this very moment as I write, my honest answer is – I haven’t a clue. Are you surprised? The woman, the painter, the photographer and the writer who always seems to have some plan or other hasn’t a clue? True.

Once in a long while you see, I realize that most of what I am doing will matter not within hours, days or weeks of having done it. Yet, I persist in my delusions that it does matter and it is important. Why, we might ask, do I do this? Because to meet the reality face-on that it is all for no reason at all makes it hard to get up and then do what I am compelled to do. Therefore, in my normal altered state, I must believe what I do does matter and it is important – if only to me.

Featured work being shown from September 3 – 3o, 2013 at the Island Blue Art Store in Sidney B.C. Canada. These four paintings are the Feature Paintings this month and available with detailed viewing and purchase links at Terrill Welch Artist.

Four paintings Sept 2013 Island Blue Art Store in Sidney B C by Terrill Welch 2013_09_04 014

Also, thank you to everyone who commented, shared and voted on my three landscape paintings in the Arabella Competition for the People’s Choice Award. Due to a late change in the contest rules, these paintings have been eliminated from the possibility of being selected for this award. The change in the rules allow for only paintings selected for the semi-finals to be considered for the People’s Choice Award. My three paintings were not among the Canadian landscape paintings selected for the semi-finals. Disheartened, I remember those who have come before me and who have failed on numerous occasions to capture acceptance for their work. The list is long and I know I am in good company. However, this disappointing competition result does not lessen my humble gratitude for those who do collect and appreciate my work. Thank you all again for your unrelenting encouragement and support. I am reminded…

reach for what you want by Terrill Welch 2013_08_28 155

(my youngest grandson on the beach at New Castle Island)

I wish all the Canadian Landscape artists whose paintings are moving forward in this competition all the best and much success.

Because of all this, with these unraveling, unfinished and unresolvable marks on the canvas of my life, I shall continue to work on what will always be – a work-in-progress.

Spare no pigment on the palette and pass the brushes please.

Who accompanies you into your darkest places?

© 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

Deep into the painting process of West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay

Dear readers, I know you are used to regular posts about my work-in-progress and I admittedly have been more than a little tardy in supplying them.

1 underpaintings on three large canvases by Terrill Welch 2013_06_24 003

However, I am hoping that this rather vulnerable, revealing exposure of the painting process for my latest large 36 x 72 inch oil on canvas WEST COAST BLUES ROLLING WAVES OYSTER BAY will make up for this.

I find it hard to define where a painting really begins as each work is usually in the middle of a longer artistic exploration and painterly discussion. But for the sake of starting somewhere let us start with March 3, 2013.

The waves are rolling midnight blue on one of those rare days when the winter sky is just right and the west coast mountains remain visible across the Strait of Georgia.

2 West Coast Blues Oyster Bay Mayne Island

(Quality prints of this photograph  in various formats are available HERE.)

Not long after this day a small 12 x 16 inch painting WEST COAST BLUES STUDY is completed.

3 WEST COAST BLUES study 12 x 16 inch by Terrill Welch 2013 04 13 037

(Quality unlimited prints of this painting study are available in various formats HERE.)

The painting SOLD still wet and “resting’ in less than 24 hours after it is completed. Fortunately, I am able to make arrangements to keep the painting in the studio as I prepare to work on the larger canvas. Sadly though, my external hard drive fails at this point and all but one other reference image of this scene are lost. I usually work with about 20 – 150 captures of a scene I want to paint but must now settle for two which includes this one…

4 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2013_03_03 094

Driven by the movement of the sea which is far greater than the camera can capture, I choose a primary composition to guide the large painting…

5 Painting reference West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2013_03_03 094

Several months after painting the small study, I begin to work up the underpainting and with modern technology I am going to take you with me.

Oh to get that energy on the canvas from the very beginning! We now must leave the underpainting to dry for a few days before, with bare feet and all, I am ready to start building the whole canvas up at once – mostly working wet-on-wet or alla prima.

6 Progress 1 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch

I paint for several hours at a time as the canvas is mammoth to cover, even with using large brushes.

7 Progress 2 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch

I am always happiest at this stage of any painting because the possibilities feel limitless and exhilarating. There are often smiling moments of gems like this detail that will eventually disappear as the painting progresses.

8 Progress detail West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch 2013_06_26 010

As always I am conscious of the light direction, the season and also the movement and energy resistances within a landscape. My desire is to have the viewer inside the painting rather than sitting comfortably as an observer of the scene. This next video clip hints at how I go about accomplishing this.

At this point I want to caution that what I am sharing here is how I paint and my painting process. It is not “the right way” or “the only way” but rather it is my way. Other artists have their own well-developed approaches and techniques that works for them just fine. So this sharing of my process is NOT a “how to” sharing but rather an intimate personal sharing of my own painting process. I am allowing you into my artist’s head and heart as I work.

I am now to the point where the painting is at risk of the painting tightening up more than I want…

I keep working adding some studio lighting to try to even out the light hitting the canvas.

9 Progress 3 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch

I continue and time passes until my physical ability becomes fatigued and yet I am reluctant to quit.

I must eventually leave it and walk away until the next day when, with some help, I get the painting down the stairs of the loft studio and outside for a good look.

10 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay resting 36 x 72 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_06_28 009

Now is as good a time as any to tell you that between the first painting study that I did as part of the reference work for this large painting I also painted fifteen other smaller works and of these seven or almost half are already in private collections.

In a moment, I will share two of these smaller paintings that I feel are most relevant to this specific work and that are still available for purchase. But first let’s set up the iPad again for one last video clip…

11 iPad video set up for West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch 2013_06_28 020

A nifty new use for my French Box easel 😉

My disappointment is almost overwhelming. The painting is not measuring up and I am unsure as to what to do about it. This is the hardest part of the process for me both in experience and to share. All the hours, days, weeks and months have left me with what I feel at this stage is an unsatisfactory result. This moment is not new to me as I mention in the video. It is a common experience I have at or near the end of a painting. What to do? I wait it out by placing the painting where I look at it while working on other paintings.

This leaves me with one of the two other significant small studies that I mentioned early.

END OF STORM GEORGINA POINT MAYNE ISLAND 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas was painted midway through.

12 End of Storm Georgina Point Mayne Island 8 x 10 oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_06_25 017

Update July 16, 2017: This painting is now SOLD and is in a private collection in Norway.

THE MT. BAKER REACH 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas was painted during that difficult resting period of uncertainty.

13 The Mt. Baker Reach 8 x 10 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_07_02 015

Update October 8, 2013: This painting is now SOLD to a private art collector in California U.S. A.

Somehow, unknown to even me I was able to determine what I needed to do on the larger canvas because of the work on particularly the second of these two small landscapes of the sea. After several days of letting the painting “rest” I went back in and did another day’s work and came away much more satisfied with the final results. The relationship between these smaller works and the large painting is best observed in these details from the larger work.

Detail one and each of the following details are about 15 X 20 inch portions of the overall 36 x 72 inch canvas.

14 detail 1about 15 x 20 inches of West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch 2013_07_16 064

Detail 2 with a good slice of the land, sea, sky relationship.

15 detail 2 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch 2013_07_16 063

Detail 3 with an up close view of the water movement.

16 detail 3 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch 2013_07_16 062

Detail 4 showing the largest rolling wave.

17 detail 4 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch 2013_07_16 061

Recently a studio visitor asked how had I learned to paint water. I gave my best effort to explain that in order to paint something with its energy and with conviction I become that element and I feel the tension that surrounds it in relation to other aspects of its environment. This is a process of painting the light and space between the forms evident in a painting rather than painting the forms themselves.

Detail 5 showing a small piece of the sky.

18 detail 5 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay by Terrill Welch 2013_07_16 065

Now I must leave for 10 days. I will not look at the painting and with a wee bit of luck I won’t even think about it.

Okay, here we are. It is August 3, 2013, five months after I began formulating the reference material for this painting and a total of sixteen smaller paintings and two larger paintings have been completed besides this largest of the large work. I have walked around the painting and allowed it to surprise me. I have had more than a handful of individuals through my home studio and I have seen the impact the work has as its presence reaches them.

Finally, though I may privately wish the painting was more, I am ready to say it is complete. Done. Ready to stand on its own.

Please allow me to introduce you to WEST COAST BLUES ROLLING WAVES OYSTER BAY 36 x 72 inch oil on canvas

19 West Coast Blues rolling waves Oyster Bay 36 x 72 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch 2013_07_16 055

Update January 16, 2014: This painting has now been release on my website Terrill Welch Artist post “Sea Tree and Fruit – new paintings by Terrill Welch

What creative process has held your attention over the past five months?

© 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

Evening And The Arbutus Tree – large Canadian landscape painting

As, mentioned I will write more about this painting and the creative process later. For now, we have the painting.

 

Canadian Contemporary Artist Terrill Welch

The sun is going down fast in the late afternoon of November out on Georgina Point, Mayne Island . I marvel at the orange glow and the hues of the heavy mist in the distance of our west coast landscape. I knew then that this most-loved tree was once again going to grace one of my canvases – a large one this time. There is the coolness of a winter sea with soft waves barely evident on the shore. There is a quiet and a peace that often accompanies the end of a day. There is a sense of being alive without separation between land, sea and sky. It is often such with the Canadian landscape but so hard to portray in away that someone who has never been, never stood where I am standing will know what it is I speak about. Yet, this tree knows and seems to…

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Midday in Navy Channel oil painting by Terrill Welch

The day was bright with shifting clouds. I was asked by a student if I would paint something in our private lesson so she could see how one might start and then work a painting through to completion. A visual and tactile learner I felt compelled to honour her request. So we worked through the usual coaching process for her to choose what she was going to paint and her learning goals. Once she was underway I set up by the open door and began to work on this piece. We broke up the session with conversation and observation of the development of each painting which were of different subject matter. I punctuated our conversation with the need to honour and develop ones own painting fingerprint even while learning technique and painting processes. Time drifted at warp speed and this small 5 x 7 inch painting study emerged from the afternoon.

I am pleased with the piece. The questions asked by the student in this interchange influenced steps that I took in its creation. For this I am thankful and appreciative because as a teacher we are also forever a student.

 

SPROUT: What is your best experience of sharing a creative “how to” where you learned something in a new way? 

 

© 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 – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com