Happy New Year with Best 7 Paintings of 2018

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 Edge that 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 water.

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: 

Pay attention. 

Be astonished. 

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? 

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Happy One Year Anniversary to the Terrill Welch Gallery

We are wishing our Terrill Welch Gallery a Happy 1st. Anniversary this August long weekend. A huge high-five to the little art gallery that CAN! The candy dish is filled and the walls are sparkling with large and small original seascapes paintings.

Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and the holiday Monday 11 – 4 mid April to mid November at 478 Village Bay Rd. Mayne Island B.C. or, as always, online 24/7 at TerrillWelchArtist.com or go directly to the online gallery HERE.

There is always something going! This week Terrill  shares what it is like on Sunday’s in the gallery.

The painting on the easel that celebrates this occasion is now completed except for the usual painting of edges, adding the hanging wire and a final photograph.

“Shanti’s Sunshine Bouquet”
24 x 18 in oil on canvas by Terrill Welch will be released soon.

And a few words from the painter herself about this painting…

There are people we all know that shine just a little brighter in their ordinary everyday interactions with us. Shanti is one of these people. When I asked her to design a bouquet for the gallery in celebration of its 1st year anniversary, I had no intention of doing a painting of it. But as I sat there watching the sun come around and seeing the flowers light front from the gallery lighting and in the back from the sun, well there was no question. It had to be done – simply to celebrate life and loving kindness!

I started with a few photography sketches to understand the composition I wanted. Then I hesitated. It was a busy weekend in the gallery. Could I possibly paint and attend to gallery guests? My head said “no” and my heart said “yes”… so I painted. The heart almost always gets its way and the head must scramble to keep up attend to the tasks that will prevent disaster – such as monitoring the blouses about to connect with wet paint on the canvas or the person who was about to step back and trip on the leg of the French Box easel. Not an easy job in a small space but we did it!

The painting took two days. The first day to bring the painting to rest and ensure it was alive and breathing on its own. I am working on a painting progress video for my email newsletter subscribers because this painting could have gone in several directions at one point and it is fun to see the path it chose. Then a second day was used to “put the pearls on” and see that the canvas held together as a whole. Done, done, done!

Now on to the next canvas…..

Never Miss the Good bits! Sign Up Now for the curated editorial Terrill Welch newsletter HERE published on the 1st Friday of every month.


ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available

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Seven Tips for Buying Original Paintings

What are you going to put on those walls? – Seven considerations when buying an original painting.

Homes and offices are places we spend a lot of our life. We want and need them to serve us well. The walls and what we put on those walls are a big part of being in that space. At some point many of us feel we are ready to add a piece or two of original art work. But where do we begin?

I often get asked for advice about what to consider when buying original paintings. This is not an easy position to be in as an artist. However, I get that you want to know that you are making a good decision. Original work can be an expensive purchase and I appreciate that you want to make sure you are making the best choice. So here are my seven considerations for when you are buying an original painting.

1. Buy what you love. Yes, a painting can be considered an investment but that should not be the primary reason it is enhancing your walls. Many times paintings do substantially increase in value but there is always a possibility that they won’t. When considering the purchase of an original painting, I want you to imagine being able to enjoy the work for the rest of your life. You just can’t take your eyes off it!

2. Think about where the painting is going to “live.” What room will it be in? What will it add to this room? What purpose is the painting going to serve? For example, I often suggest a seascape on a wall where I feel the room needs opening up or some movement. Conversely, I will suggest a dense forest painting on a wall that needs more of a feeling of warmth or privacy. However, sometimes we just fall in love with a work and will create or organize a room or space to enjoy its company – which takes us back to consideration number one.

3. Stick to your budget with creative vigor. No one needs to be art poor. However, there is usually a way to have a few carefully chosen original pieces in your possession. First, decide on your budget. Next decide if you need to save for your painting or if you are ready to purchase now. If you are saving for an original piece, can you buy a card or a small print of the artist’s work to help focus your intention? This is a great way to support an artist and a successful strategy to eventually being able to purchase an original painting. I now have collectors of my work that started in this very way. Also, if there is a specific painting you just can’t live without but it is beyond your current budget – ask about purchasing on lay-away. I have done this with many buyers on what I call a three-payment-lay-away-plan. The buyer makes 3 equal payments on pre-agreed dates and when the final payment is made they take the painting home. Finally, consider making the artist a fair offer within your budget. Pricing is of art work partially subjective and many factors are taken into consideration. I have been known to accept a reasonable offer below a ticket price simply because I knew the work was going to be appreciated. Often, I make a counter offer that adds value without reducing the price significantly such as delivering and helping to hang the painting or paying for part of the shipping costs. Or I will add in my art book or calendar that also features the work. I have even included a magazine where a painting the buyer was interested in purchasing was on the front cover. You may even want to remember to ask if your work has been featured anywhere. These are fun additions for both buyer and the artist.

4. Ask to take the painting home on trial. Sometimes it is just too hard to decide if a painting is right for your home or office space. You are almost sure but you need to “see.” Many artists and galleries will let you take a painting home on trial for a few days. You pay for the painting by cheque or by leaving credit information and it is not processed unless you go through with the sale. Further, with online purchases of my original paintings I offer a 30 day satisfaction guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase it will be fully refunded when, at the buyer’s expense, the painting is returned to me unharmed within 30 days.

5. Know the quality of what you are buying. By this I mean the physical quality of the products used to create the painting. For example, I use premium quality canvas or mounted boards and good quality water-miscible oil paints. Sometimes artists, out of necessity, will use economy grade or poor quality materials such as much appreciated Canadian artist Emily Carr (December 13, 1871 – March 2, 1945). If it is not obvious what was used – ask. A painting, on good quality material and using good paint, should offer more than one life time of enjoyment. However, poor quality products can be fragile and a painting will need extra care for preservation. You still may choose to buy it but it is best to know ahead of time the quality of the materials used.

6. Take your time. Be prepared to wait for “your painting.” I have often told this to patrons of my work. It has sometimes taken months and even years until “their painting” was painted. The deep smile of knowing “this is the one” is worth the wait. Of course some buyers become collectors and they have purchased a handful of paintings. For some reason it seems to get easier after the first purchase.

7. If you don’t see exactly what you want ask about commissioning a piece. I have only one word of caution. Do not ask the artist to paint something just like the one that is for sale only in colours to match your couch. I once had a buyer do this and my response was “have you considered buying a new couch to go with the painting?” Also, not all artists do commissioned work. This is always a good first question to ask before making a request. Sometimes you may be looking for a larger or smaller piece than what is being exhibited and the artist will have what you are looking for in their inventory. Ask for what you want because you just might be able to get it.

So there you have it. Now, what are you going to put on those walls?

Terrill Welch’s work can be viewed and purchased through several venues. These listings are provide for your convenience.


ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available.


Oceanwood Inn –  STUDY OF BLUE, opened June 30, 2011 and closed July 27, 2011, Mayne Island. As of February 2012, only 4 of the 15 paintings shown are still available for purchase.

Working in progress BLOG –

Creative Potager – first place new work is unveiled. Subscribe to stay current.


If desired, original work  can often be purchased directly from Terrill Welch. Please contact Terrill for personalized service.