Bringing the wild inside is the ultimate of having a landscape painting that resonates with both a room and your life. This past weekend that room was HUGE with more than 80 booths in total. Every few minutes, people would come and stand in front of my west coast landscape paintings and “sigh” these long exhales. It was like they just needed a few minutes before they could go on to even one more booth!
Often viewers would come close and then back up. Then come close again. Then they would walk slowly sideways and then back to the centre. Sometimes they would tell me that the waves were three dimensional and seemed to lift right out of the canvas. Other times it would be the tangle of the friendly arbutus tree that would hold their attention until a quick smile would appear just before they turned to talk to me. People were inspired by the movement, the brushstrokes, the colours and just the beauty of our west coast captured on the canvases. One of many precious moments was when we were all packed up with the paintings wrapped and ready to move a forklift driver in the complex stopped his machine to make a point of telling me how much he loved seeing my landscape paintings in the show.
I owe a huge thank you to the many online followers who I had never met before who showed up to see the work in person. I lost count of how many times a total stranger to me would say – I have been following your work online for years and it is great to see it in person! Now how cool is that?
Of course, there were the many people who traveled from around the lower mainland and even from Mayne Island and Victoria that made a special effort to come to see my work in person at the Art! Vancouver Fair. I am thrilled because Paul Constable of Artists In Canada had sponsored me and three other artists to show in this booth. I felt not only fortunate to be showing in this venue but also that my special people made such a point of attending. I was bought glass of wine near the end of one of our days in appreciation. I was asked for so many photographs of the work, of me with the work (just after hanging)
and several of me with visitors with the work. Here are just a few of these….
Terrill with John
Katrina with Terrill
A video of me on the runway with “Southern Gulf Islands Afternoon” for The Face of Art by Amber Stace.
It was all crazy fun! Well, at least once I had that runway walk done! 😉
There is a story that goes with this next photograph.
Janet with her daughter Tracey and three other family members, including this little girl, made a special trip in from Langley to come and see my work and the art fair. They made a day out of it and came early for a special breakfast before Art! Vancouver opened. Janet asked that I post this photo for her. While I am here I might as well tell you a Sunday story….
You see, Janet has known me through her sister since I was 22 years old with 2 small children painting on the kitchen table in a 610 square foot home in a trailer park. Money was so tight that sometimes her sister and I would combine what we had in order to make supper for both of our families. However, we laughed a lot, went camping often and I always found a bit of time to do a quick sketch, mostly in watercolours. Needless to say, I wasn’t at risk of giving up my day job anytime soon. It would be another 15 years before I did my first solo show and 2010 before I became a full-time artist.
Janet said she just had to offer her support and see for herself how far this little girl from rural north central British Columbia outside of Vanderhoof had come!
There is something sacred when people connect with my work, my life and me in this way. I am humbled and filled with gratitude.
This is just a small sampling of some of the powerful interactions during the art fair but should be enough to give you a flavour of the weekend.
The Artists In Canada booth also included the work of Arnold Burrell (1924-1991) represented by Ellen Mackay.
And Janna Kumi who is right beside me with paintings and collage work.
Then on the far right of our booth space is Teyjah McAren her heavily textured rich paintings.
Or maybe this photograph works better…
Somehow I missed getting a closer portrait of Teyjah’s work. Darn! Because it is quite fascinating.
Here we are all together. Starting on the right is Ellen, Janna, Teyjah and the me!
Oh! Let me share with you my favourite painting by another artist in the Art Vancouver Fair. Wang Chen Guang is not only an extremely talented painter, currently studying at Emily Carr, he is sincere, genuine and direct both in his work and as a person. There is a vulnerability and raw, yet controlled, emotion emanating from his figurative paintings. The power of this work is difficult to experience in a photograph but it is the next best thing to standing in front of the 60 x 40 inch oil on canvas. I was very tempted to bring it home except I feel the work needs a large spacious room with few distractions – which I am unable to offer it.
Wang Chen Guang is definitely an artist to follow and see where his driving passion takes him in the future. I am pleased that we met and look forward to staying connected.
As well, special thanks to my son, Kris Welch, who is a high-end finishing carpenter and the master skill set that managed to get the paintings hung so beautifully.
His 15-year-old son got all dressed up and came to the opening too but he is rather camera-shy so we shall keep that photograph just for family.
I think this is more photographs of me at one event than you have seen all together during all my years of my posting online! I hope that this post allows you to feel at least a little like you were there, even if you weren’t.
Tomorrow morning David and I are off to the neighbouring island of Galiano for a three-day retreat together before the next big adventure which is the Solo exhibition “West to East Coast Canadian Landscapes in Paint” opening June 30th from 3-5 pm at Shavasana Art Gallery & Café here on Mayne Island. The show will be up until August 13, 2017.
Have you ever been to an international fair of some kind and if so, can you share a memory?
© 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 http://terrillwelchartist.com