Notes from the painter: “To stand quiet and alone with these arbutus trees during a late summer morning is to find the spirit of the place, resting next to my bones with the slow beat of my heart keeping time with their gentle rhythm.”
SOLD This Past Week
In October, this large 40 x 30 inch work left the gallery for a trial visit. However, the art collector had a challenging location and the painting didn’t work in that first desired location. But rather than giving up, she tested in another location… and then another location. The third time was charmed. We saw a sneak preview Last week and believe “When I am Among the Trees” will be most happy there, doing its job of taking the viewer for a walk through the trees into the spirit of the place. And so another large landscape painting leaves Mayne Island, and crosses the Strait of Georgia, for a more urban adventure.
We wish you all the best of the holiday season and look forward to seeing in the New Year, if not before!
Yesterday, following a rocky ferry ride, a power outage and in the mids of winds and heavy rain, business woman, Katrina Elliot and I slipped into the Terrill Welch Gallery. A painting had been set aside months ago, waiting for her final review and consideration. She said “yes!”
You see, like people, my paintings have work to do. My paintings are not just a pretty face to dangle on your wall for others to admire or an accessory to balance or decorate a room. In fact, many collectors of my paintings hang the work in their bedrooms where few see them but the intended viewer. So, what is this important work that these paintings do?
Well, like Katrina, many “Terrill Welch collectors” are leaders in fields that they are passionate about – it is demanding work, meaningful work. The risks are often high and the learning curves steep because these individuals continually reach for what is just at the edge of their ability, simply because the positive outcomes for change, in individual lives and in community, are great. It is work that will matter ten years and even a hundred years from now. These individuals give everything they have and then find that extra 10 percent. In these situations, my paintings frequently provide a focus for reflection, a chance to regroup and build resilience, an opportunity to dream and problem-solve. They provide confirmation that you are enough – just as you are. Finally and most importantly – hope. The paintings are a touchstone and buffer. They are a reminder of our ability to endure and navigate significant losses and the trials we all must face in living a full life, one that is well lived.
We know this because firstly, it is the spirit in which the work is created and secondly, the paintings have been doing this work for so long that they excel in their partnership with the viewer to accomplish these tasks. In fact, Katrina attended and purchased her first work from my very first solo gallery show back in the mid 1990’s. Sadly, this initial painting was lost in a flood a few years ago. In 2016, wanting to replace the painting, Katrina did a google searched for me and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then she has carefully and thoughtfully added works to her “Terrill Welch collection” and I do trust and hope that these paintings will work as rigorously and hard as she does. The biggest bonus for me is that we have rekindled a friendship that now spans almost 25 years. The paintings consider this their valued-added contribution to the bottom line of life and community. The paintings can never guarantee this outcome but it is always a welcomed deliverable. As a painter, I think I love my work almost as much as the collectors and the paintings do! After all, we all have work we must do, that we cannot bare to walk away from or leave only half completed.
So, let us congratulate “Centuries of Seasons – Heritage Road, P.E.I.” on finding the perfect home and Katrina Elliot on her new stewardship of this work. May they both thrive, give their best and always know how much they are appreciated.
Painter’s notes about “Centuries of Seasons – Heritage Road, P.E.I.” 24 x 30 inch walnut oil on wood…
Centuries of Seasons might be said to have begun on a drive down the Currie Heritage Road on Prince Edward Island, Canada in May 2016.
It might be said that I only trust my brushes today and not my own words and convictions. This is true, though it is not uncommon, I would think, to seek the experience of wise counsel when processing ones own experiences.
It might be said too that I have begun with the first trees I ever painted. This likely is equally true because to know a tree well enough to paint it is to spend years in its company.
It might be said that the centuries of seasons in this painting have no beginning and no ending. This too is true as we can observe that the road has worn away from years of passage over its red dirt surface.
Regardless of what might be said, this is where the painting has come to rest with its centuries of seasons.
At the close of each year, Terrill Welch reaches back and picks up the best bits and tosses them forward, leaving stepping stones for the year ahead. In this way, she is fortunate because this year, she has so many solid and elegant gems for tossing.
In the words of the artist herself….
“Gathering a monk’s collection of polished simplicity, I find myself preparing for painting adventures with a traveling bag full of painting problems, desires, half-baked ideas and unknowns. My meager tools and methods are but a few hundred years old. Will they be enough? Am I enough?”….
After all, works of art are always the results of one’s having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, to where no one can go any further. (Rainer Maria Rilke – Letters on Cézanne, 1907. Published in English in 2002)
This quote opens up the introduction by Elena Maslova-Levin of the catalogue Conversations on Edgethat was published in the spring of 2018 for a two-artist show with Welch and Maslova-Levin in the Terrill Welch Gallery on Mayne Island in British Columbia. Excerpts of Maslova-Levin’s introduction about my work is one of the pebbles of observation I am tossing forward…
Landscape painting might not seem like a particularly dangerous
adventure: you take your easel, and paints, and a canvas, and go
outside, and paint what you see. What danger can be there?
It is the danger of seeing what nobody else has seen, the danger of shattering conventional and comfortable visual reality.
Paul Cézanne once said that Claude Monet was “just an eye, but what an eye!”
This remark may seem disparaging – unless you know what it takes to see what your eyes really
see. Every human being receives an infinite richness of visual
information every waking moment, but the brain habitually filters out
almost all of it, and builds a simplified picture of visual reality for
the mind to consume, based mostly on what we already know. This
mechanism is there to protect us, and it takes both courage and mastery
to switch it off, and to fully open your mind to the unspeakable
infinity of world’s beauty. To go through the experience of seeing all the way to the end, to where no one can go any further.
Although a student of Claude Monet’s in many ways, with an eye as
attentive and discerning as his, Terrill Welch is much more than an eye.
The space of her paintings is more than the familiar three-dimensional
space of visual reality. It encompasses not just vision, but all sensory
dimensions of human experience – the sound of silence, the smell of
distant snow, the cool touch of shadows, the taste of ocean water (and,
occasionally, a hearty winter lunch, too). This is how she inhabits the
multidimensional space of ever-present Now. That’s how she fills with
life and light what might seem like empty space to a lazy eye.
It is this multidimensional space that opens up from the deceptively
two-dimensional surface of her paintings. We see not only the visible,
but the invisible too. And this experience – a peak visual experience –
can expand your sense of vision, your perception of reality, and
ultimately, your consciousness, but only if you allow yourself to fully see how she feels her way into the space of a landscape and fuses it with her inner space.
Her paintings invite us to share in the treasure she brings back from where no one can go any further.
This excerpt is the criteria Terrill Welch shall use to select her personal, in no particular order, SEVEN out of twenty-seven BEST of 2018 paintings – these are the painting pebbles that she shall toss lightly ahead of her as she moves into the stream of a new year.
Best SEVEN Paintings of 2018
Restless Salish Sea –8 x 10 inch plein air acrylic sketch on gessobord
The day was fantastic! The waves were being whipped up by a good breeze
but it was still warm enough to be comfortable standing around. A
favorite kind of plein air painting day!
A small Emerald Bay Mayne Island BC – 24 x 18 inch oil on canvas – SOLD
The emerald waters in the bay sparkle with the clarity of gems as the
sunlight reaches over top of the hill. I stand in the calmness for a
while then cast my thoughts farther afield to the smoky skies across the
Oyster Bay Morning Rain – 8 x 10 inch plein air acrylic sketch – SOLD
As we stood, clouds gathered, until I had tipped my easel almost closed. Morning Rain. Oyster Bay, Mayne Island, British Columbia
Arbutus in the fog St John’s Point – 16 x 20 inch oil on canvas
The old arbutus on St. John’s Point tells the story of winds, dryness,
winter rains and endurance as it curls up and back over itself for
balance. The morning fog leaves its shape exposed and gathering more
attention than usual.
Sea and Shore – 36 x 48 inch oil on canvas – SOLD
Arbutus Tree Reaching – 36 x 48 inch oil on canvas
Late afternoon sun catches the curves of a grand old arbutus tree
reaching out into Campbell Bay on Mayne Island in British Columbia. I
want not to move or even shift my gaze for a very long time.
Winter with the Old Fir on the Ridge – 48 x 24 inch oil on canvas
The snow on the north side of ridge slows my progress because I need
to take several stops to catch my breath. But the climb was worth it! I
have the Mt. Parke ridge with its fresh snow all to myself! Just me and
this big old fir tree were there when the sun broke through the rushing
clouds and warmed our backs.
This could be many places in British Columbia in the winter and
certainly took me on a memory meander around the province when I later
painted the moment.
Now, standing at the easel, brush in hand, Terrill Welch shall step cautiously, yet confidently, forward with the advice of Mary Oliver in verse 4 of her poem “Sometimes”
Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
(from page 105 in Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, 2017)
Happy New Year!
What about you – what stones, pebbles and gems are you tossing forward for your journey in 2019?
Since the beginning of October, seven more paintings have left the Terrill Welch Gallery and the artist’s home studio for private art collections. We haven’t shared these departures for a while so we will also add in three other favourites from earlier in the year for a total of ten featured in this post that are now in private art collections. There are others of course. But one can’t share all the works going and have any room left for sharing the new work being released. So we shall stop there for the moment. These original works are characterized by a wide range of sizes, rendered in acrylic and in oil – each have Welch’s signature attention to place, light and movement. Starting with the smaller acrylic painting sketches and working up to the larger oil paintings, let’s see what we have…
Update November 25, 2018: Make that eight! Starting with the latest…
Salish Sea late August morning – 11 x 14 inch acrylic plein air sketch on gessobord by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. Waves rolled ashore creating a space to pause in the August Sun. What a day!
Then continuing as originally posted….
Orca Trail Cotton Park – 8 x 10 inch acrylic plein air painting sketch by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. A glorious day standing by the sea plein air painting for summer solstice. Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Afternoon Chairs – 8 x 10 inch acrylic plein air painting sketch by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. A pleasant afternoon spent painting under the trees in a fellow painter’s backyard.
Sea and Shore Study – 11 x 14 inch acrylic plein air painting sketch by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. Sweeping curves round above seal-shaped forms below. Light and shadow intertwine in a symphonic melody.
A small Emerald Bay Mayne Island B.C. – 24 x 18 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. The emerald waters in the bay sparkle with the clarity of gems as the sunlight reaches over top of the hill. I stand in the calmness for a while then cast my thoughts farther afield to the smoky skies across the water.
A Tall Tale of Autumn Stuart River – 16 x 12 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. These are my childhood trees – popular trees growing on the riverbank. They are my first subject of paintings. I cannot pick up a brush to render them without being transported back through time with its many stops before these trees. These are trees I met before there was even a field in front of them. These are trees I introduced my first lover and later others. Then much later my now husband. These are trees I walked beside while I carried my babies and then with them while they carried theirs. These are the trees that my mother and father have walked with me since they were younger than I am today. Painting the spaces of light and shadow in between is filled with the residue of many visits. It is a tall tale that gets taller with each telling. All I intended to do was to use up the paint leftover on the palette.
High Desert Dawn – 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. The morning light slices through the heavy storm clouds over the high desert in Orville Washington.
Long Beach Vancouver Island June 2013 – 48 x 24 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. There is nothing like a long stretch of sand on the west coast of Vancouver Island with the water and mist rolling at the same tempo. Untamed wanton desire whips up our wild side with such grace and ease we gasp, we cry and we laugh like the gulls.
And here are three more Gallery favourites from earlier in the year that have also sold:
Morning Along the Island Road Mayne Island BC – 20 x 16 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. The rising sun grasps at the branches of the arbutus tree and dashes across the old road and through the dry grass. My eyes and heart race to catch up while the brush makes swift marks on the canvas. An island summer plein air morning to be remembered.
Catching Waves at Georgina Point Mayne Island BC – 30 x 40 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. There is a brisk northwesterly wind stirring up the Salish Sea in the bright autumn sun. I step carefully down the sandstone trail to the shore below the lighthouse at Georgina Point. Looking out across the Strait of Georgia, it seems that the best thing to do is to catch a few waves. Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada.
And finally for the largest work which only hung in the Terrill Welch Gallery for a day before being personally delivered to the art collector….
Sea and Shore – 36 x 48 inch oil on canvas by Terrill Welch. In Private Collection. There is this small bay at the mouth of Active Pass as it opens into the Strait of Georgia where the tension between sea and shore is intense.
So there you have it! Just a few painting adventures for you as they leave the Terrill Welch Gallery or the artist’s home studio for your browsing pleasure. If you want to see more of her works that have sold or, more importantly, that are still available for purchase – drop on by the Online Gallery at https://terrillwelchartist.com/online-art-gallery. Or, if you happen to be making a trip to Mayne Island on the Southwest Coast of Canada, make an appointment and come into the Terrill Welch Gallery where it is the artist’s winter studio until the spring of 2019.
Large oil paintings of trees, mostly arbutus trees, grace the walls of the Terrill Welch Gallery from Friday, May 18, 2018 to Sunday, July 23, 2018. A very few smaller plein air sketches and studies provide balance and perspective to these larger canvases.
Trees: As we breathe is an invitation, a reminder to our human connect to trees for our very breath. Rendered in each brushstroke is Canadian west coast landscape artist Terrill Welch’s passion and pure pleasure in trees.
The paintings are about the elegance of this often forgotten relationship as we race towards deadlines, commitments, dreams, goals and personal expectations for human achievement.
This show is about giving a nod, taking a pause and being like the trees we so rely on for life. This show is about love, beauty and aging in place. This show is about loss, companionship and spirals of time.
The winter studio time at the Terrill Welch Gallery has yielded three new large oil paintings of trees so far. Each of the featured trees on the big canvases are in their own special landscape and light. Let’s have a look shall we?
Morning Coon Bay, Galiano Island, B.C. – 48 x 36 inch oil on canvas
At this northern tip of a boat access park, on the long narrow Galiano Island, there is mystery in the morning light catching sandstone and trees.
Winter with the Old Fir on the Ridge – 48 x 24 inch oil on canvas
The snow on the north side of ridge slowed my climb with several stops to catch my breath. But it was worth it! I had the Mt. Parke ridge with its fresh whiteness all to myself. Just me and this big old fir tree were there when the sun broke through the rushing clouds and warmed our backs. This could be many places in British Columbia in the winter and certainly took me on a memory meander around the province as I painted.
As we approach the end of the calendar year, we again select the artist’s choice for the best paintings of 2017. This year, we have decided on 5 out of the 29 new works that have been released – and three of those are just being released today in the online gallery! So be sure to check it out. The link is included below.
Here is the 1st and likely the public favourite…
Storytelling Arbutus Tree Bennett Bay Mayne Island BC
By Terrill Welch
Size (h w d): 60 x 40 x 1.5 in Medium: Oil On Canvas
In 2nd place for the artist’s choice of the best five paintings completed in 2017 is…..
Northeasterly Morning Strait of Georgia Mayne Island BC
By Terrill Welch
Size (h w d): 20 x 40 x 1.5 in
Medium: Oil On Canvas
In 3rd place for the artist’s choice of the best five paintings completed in 2017 is……
Early Spring Morning at Miners Bay
by Terrill Welch
Size (h w d): 12 x 24 x 1.5 in
Medium: Oil On Canvas
Then in 4th place for the artist’s choice
Winter Late Afternoon Georgina Point Mayne Island BC
By Terrill Welch
Size (h w d): 18 x 24 x 1.5 in
Medium: walnut oil on canvas
And finally, the 5th painting chosen…
Just Before Sunset Mayne Island BC
By Terrill Welch
Size (h w d): 30 x 24 x 1.5 in
Medium: Oil On Canvas
View all available work in the online gallery HERE.
Closing remarks for 2017 from artist Terrill Welch:
An outstanding career photographer who follows my work, who has been to some of the places rendered in my paintings and who has seen some of the paintings in person, as well as online, made this comment:
“The strength of your work is not always immediately evident. A person must often be willing to take time with it before its power becomes apparent.”
This is what I have come to call – exposing the mystery in an ordinary day. The energy of a piece is intended to reach our bodies before our eyes can decipher and translate what we are experiencing into cognitive thought – words. The paintings are intended to reach the viewer before they can edit what they are experiencing into what they think they already know.
These paintings are a good examples of this tension between the ordinary impressions of a day and the early 1800’s sublime or romantic. With the predictability of a labyrinth, we circle back to a new, yet slightly familiar, place. But for me this life/painting journey is more like a spiral that is so finely threaded I have have no idea whether I am winding inward or outward. Possibly, it doesn’t really matter.
My job, as I see it, is to capture the conversation between this earth and me and then translate these experiences into a universal language of paint. How else can we collectively gather ourselves around a shared purpose to change our ways and recognize our responsibility for our planet, for our stewardship, for our world and for our continued existence?
Yes, I paint what is meaningful to me, often without even sorting through the “why” of it. But this means nothing unless the viewer becomes passionate about the painting’s conversation and cognizant of their own urgency to engage, to act, to be and to love.
This a tall order to ask of a painting and of a painter on a mainstream global platform that is spiraling towards self-destruction – chasing shock and awe. Still, I must try because we deserve a chance and above all, I am not alone. You have come to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me, again and again, canvas upon canvas upon canvas. This 2017 year has been no exception. In just the last few days alone, the paintings have been viewed over 25,000 times. I can no longer count the vast number of views, comments, shares and conversations each year. On top of all of this, more than 20 original paintings, from the very large to small, were purchased and are now in private collections.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for embracing the conversation with the land, the sea and the sky…. and with each other.
Spring, summer, fall and winter – art shows always it seems! Next up is Art!Vancouver Fair, May 25 – 28, 2017 at the Vancouver Conference Centre, East 999 Canada Place. Terrill Welch is showing her paintings with three other Canadian artists in 30 feet of booth space sponsored by Artists in Canada. More about the Art Vancouver Fair HERE.
Northeasterly Morning Strait of Georgia Mayne Island BC, 20 x 40 inch oil on canvas, is one of the paintings that will be available.
Pre-sales are always welcome and further information is available in the online gallery for this specific paintingHERE.
The Gala Night is Thursday 25th May 2017 from 7-10 pm and this year has a Red Carpet dress code. Terrill has a few complimentary tickets for this evening event. If you would like join her, send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you sorted.
In other news, two more paintings have left the studio to join three other works in the home of prominent art collectors of Terrill Welch paintings.
Sold before it was ever featured on the website! Morning at Bennett Bay Beach Access, 20 x 16 inch oil on canvas
Sold! Oyster Bay Mayne Island BC with fresh snow, 16 x 20 inch oil on canvas
To view all other paintings currently available click on the Artwork Archives link below for Terrill Welch’s online gallery.
And more work is coming soon as Terrill prepares for a six-week solo exhibit opening June 30, 2017 on Mayne Island B.C. at Shavasana Art Gallery & Café. More will be available about this show later in May or early June.
From larger to small, oil paintings to painting sketch, five new works are being released. As you can see, the art studio has been a busy place since the beginning of 2017. Let’s start with the east coast of Canada first shall we?
West Point Lighthouse on Prince Edward Island is a storybook gem, complete with a resident ghost. Its compelling placement along the red sand shores and the rather unique black and white facade give rise to fancy.
West Point Lighthouse PEI 30 x 24 inch oil on canvas
Now coming back to the southwest coast of Canada and starting with our gorgeous Arbutus trees rendered on a magnificent grand canvas.
The earth turns and the sun comes up. The earth turns again and the sun goes down. This is one simple measure of a day. What time will it be tomorrow morning when the first light reaches the eastern side of the island? At about what time this evening will it be too dark to safely take the compost down the stairs and under the trees at the edge of yard without a flashlight? When will the snowdrops start to bloom on the southwest side of the house? What difference does a day make, or even a few hours? These questions are possibly best answered by trees. At least, this is what I am musing about today as I continue my inner travels.
Storytelling Arbutus Tree Bennett Bay Mayne Island BC 60 x 40 inch oil on canvas
To give you an idea of scale, here is a photograph taken in the warm pinkish light of the Spring Art Gala this weekend on Mayne Island. The window opening is about the same height as the painting at 5 feet tall.
It is definitely a painting a viewer can walk into, proceed down the trail and disappear into nature!
Next we have a smaller quiet seascape of Reef Bay on Mayne Island.
The moody violet mauve of a west coast winter afternoon resists the temptation to become bruised and pensive. Resting lightly on our awareness it holds us well within the confines of melancholy rather than just plain old miserable.
Following the winter’s late afternoon light drifts pass on its journey to the cloud bank quilting the Coastal Mountains. Our gaze crosses the Straight of Georgia and returns. We are called to the shore and sea as they perform a tango that is as old as as time.
Winter Late Afternoon Georgina Point Mayne Island BC 18 x 24 inch oil on canvas.
In other studio news, one very large Canadian landscape painting and two painting sketches have left the studio on adventures of their own.
Sold! Seaside Mayne Island 60 x 36 inch oil on canvas
Sold! High Winds Strait of Georgia Mayne Island BC 8 x 10 inch acrylic sketch
Sold! Strait of Georgia from Cotton Park 11 x 14 inch acrylic sketch
Also, you may want to starting planning to attend spring group show in Vancouver B.C. and a solo summer show of Terrill’s paintings.
Art!Vancouver Fair May 25 – 28, 2017 at the Vancouver Conference Centre, East 999 Canada Place. Terrill Welch is the lead artist showing her paintings with three other Canadian artists in 30 feet of booth space sponsored by Artists in Canada.
Solo exhibition “West to East Coast Canadian Landscapes in Paint” at the Shavasana Art Gallery & Café, Mayne Island, B.C. from July 1st to August 15th 2017. More about this 150 year celebration of since Canada’s confederation landscape solo show will be shared soon.
Of course, you can make an appointment to come by her studio if you find yourself on Mayne Island off the southwest coast of Canada or visit the online gallery listed below anytime.
Recent weeks have been productive, resulting in three new and two revisited works.
Northeasterly Morning Strait of Georgia Mayne Island BC – 20 x 40 inch oil on canvas. The cool winter light of early morning splashes with the waves in the high winds along the Strait of Georgia. Chilled to shivering, I stand transfixed. What if this were my last breath? Ah, but it would be a good one! View from Oyster Bay on Mayne Island in British Columbia, Canada.
Details and purchase information is available HERE.
High Winds Strait of Georgia Mayne Island BC – 8 x 10 inch acrylic painting sketch. Some days there is a wild dance between the sea and the wind along the Strait of Georgia. A quick acrylic painting sketch simply to enjoy the interaction.
Update: February 25, 2016: This painting is now sold.
Late Afternoon Georgina Point Mayne Island BC – 8 x 10 inch acrylic sketch. I come back repeatedly to find the perfect day with the most perfect light. Is this it? A quick sketch to explore the quality of an early winter evening by the sea.
Details and purchase information is available HERE.
Late September Sun on Vulture Ridge Mayne Island BC – 11 x 14 inch plein air acrylic sketch. Plein air painting up on Henderson Hill at Vulture Ridge is a worthy climb on September 28, 2014. Unfortunate a small correction did not happen to this work until late December 2016, resulting it a lengthy delay in the painting sketch’s release. However, the freshness of that day has no expiry date.
Details and purchase information is available HERE.
Arbutus on Mt. Parke – 12 x 16 inch oil on canvas. Morning lifts heavy mist from the highest places while the sun dances cheek-to-cheek with the late October shadows. As these arbutus trees extend themselves in prayer, angels dissipate into the warmth gathering on top of the Mayne Island Mt. Parke ridge.
Details and purchase information is availableHERE.