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A Brush with Life - Issue #64 Art Crush in a Pandemic Market

As we move firmly into the fourth quarter, it is time to reflect on the calendar year and assess wher
A Brush with Life - Issue #64 Art Crush in a Pandemic Market
By Terrill Welch Gallery • Issue #64 • View online
As we move firmly into the fourth quarter, it is time to reflect on the calendar year and assess where we are at and what opportunities might be ahead. What a year! Some have been devastated by the impact of this pandemic. Some have done better than usual and still others aren’t sure yet how they are doing… maybe okay and maybe not. This is generally the sense I get from fellow artists who saw shows and residencies cancelled, galleries closed and fewer collectors knocking on their door. This often meant a complete stall in revenue for artists and galleries alike for many months. But then there were those that somehow motored on, kept painting and kept finding homes for those paintings. New opportunities were found and new relationships built online with audiences who still wanted art for the homes that they were now spending more time in because they could no longer travel or were working from home. Original art became part of these art collectors resilience strategies, their comfort place and their hope. 

A small sampling of the many “Terrill Welch paintings” sold in 2020
A small sampling of the many “Terrill Welch paintings” sold in 2020
The Terrill Welch Gallery has fortunately, so far, been one of art businesses that has kept going and doing well. In fact, quite well. With 36 new paintings released and 27 paintings of my work finding homes, along with a couple from the new artists we represent, we have been able to recover the costs of doubling our physical gallery space and securing high quality online gallery space while still managing the usual operating expenses. Let’s just say that this is quite a few 🔴’s! We have launched new shows to be viewed by appointment and kept painting by distancing plein air events and now by zoom to support our studio time. It definitely hasn’t been business as usual and the in-person gallery visitors are less that 25% of the year before and supplies have been a wee bit harder to come by. Getting professional, custom made, canvases has taken months and sometimes even paint pigments are on back order. But overall, things have gone unexpectedly well, considering the circumstances a pandemic creates.
Now for the big questions about what to do next and can the Terrill Welch Gallery count on this trend of art collecting to hold in the near future? I have little idea what the answer is to either of these questions even after doing a fair bit of research. Can we go by past history of recessions? Should we be looking at just our experience specifically? Is the scramble for more online exchanges going to disrupt the relationships with our current collector base? As an art collector myself, what should I be looking for and expecting during these times? Can we expect differences in the primary art market (first time an artwork is purchased) compared to the secondary art market (purchased at auction or privately from an art collection)? 
So many questions! Here are some interesting quotes at a time when nothing is really conclusive and quite frankly, we just don’t know. 
“… I think there’s all this talk about digital everything, digital marketing, digital catalogs, digital viewing rooms, you know online auctions. And I think that actually we’re probably not spending enough time thinking about the recasting of live experiences. At the end of the day, all of us would agree who love art and follow it, that being part of this community, being able to experience things, experience art you know, physically, is very important and is not fully replicable, at least so far, in an online environment. So we’re also spending a lot time thinking about what the future of live experiences, you know, looks like.” - Conversation with Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart, May 2020 https://www.privatebank.bankofamerica.com/articles/conversation-with-sothebys-ceo.html
“Primary market contemporary artists—particularly young figurative pre-crisis market darlings—will lag more established artists. Middle market galleries and museum acquisition programs will likely take years to recover, and some will close. Well-capitalized mega-galleries should emerge stronger and the art fair calendar will likely shrink. We expect virtual sales rooms, online auctions and digital channels to boom, but ultimately the art market could return to its social, tactile roots in Phase III (vaccine willing).” - Art Market Update, June 2020 https://www.privatebank.bankofamerica.com/articles/art-services-market-update.html 
“Since the pandemic began, many of the world’s top collectors continued to purchase artworks—adapting quickly to online initiatives from auction houses and galleries alike—often in an effort to help artists in need of attention as well as the struggling ecosystem around them. As Arthur Lewis and Hau Nguyen, newcomers to this year’s ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list, said, ‘There has always been a focus on emerging and underrepresented artists in our collection. It simply became more urgent to support artists and smaller galleries more directly.’” - Collecting in challenging times, October 6, 2020 https://www.artnews.com/art-news/market/top-200-collectors-list-introduction-2020-1234572437/
“One explanation for the resilience of the art market is its unique ability to self-regulate supply and demand. When there is relatively high liquidity in the market and the economy is healthy, art changes hands more frequently. In more uncertain times, the owners of expensive artworks, who are among the the wealthiest in the world, tend to hold on to their Warhols and Monets until markets become favorable once again. As a result of the reduction in supply, prices tend to remain relatively stable for works by established artists, while contemporary works with shorter histories experience more price volatility.” - Art in a financial crisis, November 18, 2018 https://resources.masterworks.io/2018/11/15/what-happens-to-art-in-a-financial-crisis/ 
As you may surmise, the gallery is going against the usual curve of things in the art market in general. There may well be many primary artworks at lower than past prices in the near future as galleries close and more works become available from sales that didn’t happen earlier in 2020. But these will NOT likely be “Terrill Welch original paintings,” unless you all decide to sell your collections immediately, at a loss. Currently, there are far more Terrill Welch original paintings “sold” than there are “available”. I can only create around 40 new pieces in various sizes each year… and about two-thirds the number of works created were sold from the inventory so far in 2020.
From past years, you know what this means, right? So, with a deep breath and slow exhale, I am telling you that all available works are about to increase in price. And if I am making a wrong-headed move, we will likely know within a year and, if necessary, I will most humbly admit and correct my error. Because, from what I can tell, no one really knows what is going to happen and everything is shifting and jiving in interesting ways. I have done my homework. I have reviewed the recent specific past of the gallery and the longer history of the art market as a whole and I will necessarily take my chances. The only thing I can promise you is that I will try to keep the increase as modest as possible. You will still be able to purchase at current prices (and with your usual collector savings if you have one or more artworks from the gallery already in your collection) until around the middle of November. By that time, I should have the price increase in place. You are most welcome to share this brief window of an opportunity to purchase at current prices with family and friends. But keep in mind, there are only about 125 paintings currently available. If you are going to purchase one yourself, you might want to choose yours first. 😉
Here is the directly link to my full body of currently available paintings. Remember to click on “available” at the top to save you the frustration of going through “sold” paintings (which is four of the latest six released).
Art by Terrill Welch | Artwork Archive
New Solo Show Opens...
Stepping out into nature and traversing across the landscape offers a bridge between our outer and inner world for landscape painter Terrill Welch. Her brushstrokes render movement and experience as a first impression in these seascape and landscape paintings, whether it is winter storms or a quiet slack tide. 
“Travel Within”, a solo show with west coast landscape painter Terrill Welch, opens online and in our physical gallery’s Garden Room on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 and will close on February 21, 2021. The physical gallery can be visited by appointment, 2 people maximum from the same household, masks required and hand sanitizer is provided. The gallery is located at 478 Village Bay Rd, Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada. 
We are also offering VIP video call visits by appointment through various platforms such as Zoom, FaceBook Messenger or iPhone FaceTime for both the gallery’s Garden Room and Arbutus Room. This kind of distance visit seems to work surprisingly well as you can ask questions, get us to go closer or back to a painting you want to see again or view the work from a different angle. A video call visit to both gallery rooms takes between 30-45 minutes.

Travel Within | Terrill Welch Gallery | Artsy
Contact the gallery today to schedule either in person or online visits.
This show can be visited during a day ferry trip to Mayne Island from Vancouver or Victoria British Columbia. Of course, we are always pleased to assist you with online purchases as well. Whichever method works best for you will work for us.
What Has Sold
We are pleased to congratulate the art collectors on their new painting and also artist Jennifer Peers on the sale of this fine oil painting!
Jennifer Peers | Blazing Sunset on the Pass (2020) | Artsy
No Mayne Island business is an island unto itself. We all need the assistance of each other from time to time. The outstandingly creative Vania Williams (you should see her haunted house display) owner of the Dragonfly, which is right next door to the Arbutus Room, came to my rescue in wrapping an art collector’s painting that he is giving as a gift. I did the protective layer. Not so pretty. Vania did the outer layer. Look at this lovely recycled paper, compostable, reusable wrapping extravaganza! Wow! Thanks Vania!
Vania Williams, owner of the Dragonfly wraps painting for Terrill Welch Gallery
Vania Williams, owner of the Dragonfly wraps painting for Terrill Welch Gallery
When Originals are Beyond the Budget
Smaller budgets can still benefit from decorative art reproductions and useable art products. This year I just couldn’t, in good COVID-19 safety consciousness, participate in the studio-to-studio moving around for our local Mayne Island Studio tour. Instead, I am marketing my Redbubble Storefront items in my online networks. I know there will be protocols in place for the Studio Tour but it is still more risk level than I can live with for our household. I have encouraged my usual participants to order the smaller art products directly online that I generally bring into the gallery for the Studio Tour. This is also the time that I generally share the same information for my wider online national and international serious fans and collectors. Manynof you are use to seeing these opportunities float up in my posts in October. However, after reviewing the hefty increase in these online sales during the past six months, I thought I would make an effort to give the rest of you who subscribed to the newsletter a chance to consider these decorative products. Below is the general link for all products related to over 600 images of my work and I will follow the link with a few examples just to give you an idea about what is available. You can search the offerings by using filters such as “shop products” or “explore designs” (which is the images) at middle top. In addition, the filters that run down the left hand side are searchable by “collection” or by specific product. It takes a few minutes to sort out how it all works but you will get it… or you can send me an email and I can help out.
TerrillWelch Shop | Redbubble
These are just a few of the many examples that also include totes and journals, pencil cases, phone cases and much more. The reproduction prints and products are produced on-demand in the country or continent that is closest to the shipping address. How it works for the artist is a predetermined percentage for each sale is deposited into the artist’s PayPal account once a month. So it is a great way to still support your favourite artists and have beautiful and often usable decorative art products, particularly when originals are just a little beyond reach at this time.
Several Small Paintings in “Close to Home”
The Terrill Welch Gallery is about more than just one artist and we have a stunning collection of smaller paintings in our Arbutus Room group show. Jody Waldie, Jennifer Peers and Glenda King are a dedicated group of painters with many works of their own having found homes over the past few years. Browse the whole show from the link below or click one one of the specific paintings featured underneath the show link.
CLOSE TO HOME - Arbutus Room Group Show | Terrill Welch Gallery | Artsy
For between $260 and $400 each plus taxes, one of these original small studies could be keeping you company this winter or possibly a family member or friend. They are small enough to sit on a shelf or a desk or next to a work table to view when you look up from your writing or need a visual break during a zoom call. I love these small gems along with other paintings in the show, and if truth be known, I am just holding back a bit to give you a chance before I consider adding a piece or two to my own art collection. Go ahead and have a good browse!
Glenda King | Mt. Baker (2020) | Available for Sale | Artsy
Jody Waldie | Piggot Reach (2020) | Available for Sale | Artsy
Jennifer Peers | Rocky Shores (2020) | Available for Sale | Artsy
Unsolicited Notes From an Art Collector of Terrill’s Paintings...
In private collection - “Salish Sea No Separation” by Terrill Welch, 18 x 24 inches.
In private collection - “Salish Sea No Separation” by Terrill Welch, 18 x 24 inches.
“The other day I was looking at one of the paintings that we purchased from you. My thoughts turned to the fact that you were standing in front of this canvas applying the paint, only after exploring—walking to that point that first caught your attention, then photographing, sketching it out, &c. to fully connect with what your eyes were seeing that spoke to your spirit and the original intentions that were then translated into actual brush strokes. What struck me then was your intention to let go of the painting—which is really your translation of what you perceived. By this I mean that you were gracefully allowing me (in this case, though this applies to anyone viewing your work) to then translate your work so as to make my (our) own connection. If one takes the time to really look at your paintings, the scene, the brush strokes, the layer of paints, &c. one experiences you as a person, your life experience that culminated in that work. In a manner of speaking, we experience you from the moment you perceived the scene through the moment you laid down your brush, stood back and nodded that there was no more to add. We experience the emotions, the intentions, the thought process, the flexibility, joy and frustrations involved to achieve the fixed goal.  I may not fully grasp the entirety of these movements, the layers of moments rich with who you are, but I can grasp enough to look over your shoulder and allow you to speak to me (the viewer) and hear you say, This is who I am in this particular time and space. Now who are you (the viewer)?” And then, as the viewer, I have layers of moments because with each viewing I see and experience different feelings and thoughts in response to the scene.
Available- “Arbutus Tree in Breaking Sun” by Terrill Welch, 36 x 48 inches.
Available- “Arbutus Tree in Breaking Sun” by Terrill Welch, 36 x 48 inches.
I don’t know if this will make sense to you but I think art as an encounter between the artist and the viewer begins with curiosity that takes both on an inward journey that then turns us outward again with new insights into what plays upon our senses. For myself, I think this is one aspect of the beauty of “Arbutus Tree in Breaking Sun,” among numerous other paintings by you. You allow the viewer to experience the sensuality of nature, its seductive power, then challenge us, or at least me, to re-experience those moments when I was so touched, and compel the viewer to “open your eyes to see.”
The Covid crisis too often so overwhelms us that we turn inward in a way that blinds us to our surroundings. I know this is true of me….”
…………………….
A special thank you to this art collector from the United States. These thoughtful observations were neither expected nor anticipated which just increases my experience in reading them. To have our work really “seen” is the ambition of almost any artist. Yet, to be so nakedly observed as described in these notes is a rare and treasured exchange. ❤️
Until Next Time
Thank you all so much for your ongoing patronage and taking these paintings into your lovely homes and workplaces. These paintings are thrilled to work hard to provide hope and resiliency during challenging times. Our hearts go out to the many who have fallen on hard times because of the pandemic and the spin off financial and opioid crisis. We have lost loved ones and our ability to grieve these losses in our usual traditions and gatherings. Many have lost their jobs, business and homes. If you find you are weary, fatigued and sometimes temporarily terrified, I believe this is a reasonable response to our current situation. The key is not to build a house around these feelings and take up permanent residence. We continue to make regular donations every time we grocery shop to our local food bank and we have offered a very modest financial donation to an affordable housing initiative. We believe in both the power of original art and decorative usable art and also of offering financial support or our time where and when we can. It is an ongoing practice of “both/and” rather than one of “either/or”.
As always we wish well. ~ Terrill 👩‍🎨🎨❤️
Autumn in the Mayne Island Japanese Garden by Terrill Welch
Autumn in the Mayne Island Japanese Garden by Terrill Welch
Terrill Welch Gallery | Artists, Art for Sale, and Contact Info | Artsy
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Terrill Welch Gallery, 478 Village Bay Rd., Mayne Island, B.C., Canada