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A Brush with Life - Issue #95 An Easel Suspended In Mist

A Brush with Life - Issue #95 An Easel Suspended In Mist
By Terrill Welch Gallery • Issue #95 • View online
Fog and mist shroud the island as temperatures rise to above eight degrees celsius. With the days getting slightly longer and the snow melted, it feels more like proper southwest coast winter and studio painting weather. On the edge of a cliff, flanked by tall firs with windows on three sides, it has felt like my easel has been suspended in mist. With this less-than-ideal south exposure, these conditions are actually beautiful light to paint under. So let’s see what we have…

Two out of Five Commissions Completed
Poppies in Seaside Mist still in the easel by Terrill Welch
Poppies in Seaside Mist still in the easel by Terrill Welch
The weather outside and that in the painting are a perfect pairing. I remember catching a brief break in the rain to get the references of these poppies on Galiano Island and this is the third time I have painted them. As with the second time, this too is a commission. 
Sold - “Poppies in Seaside Mist” by Terrill Welch 18 x 14 inch walnut oil on canvas.
Sold - “Poppies in Seaside Mist” by Terrill Welch 18 x 14 inch walnut oil on canvas.
Canadian painter Robert Genn used to tell his daughter Sara Genn (who is also a painter) that it was ideal to leave something on the easel unfinished at the end of the day so that you would wake up with a place to start in the morning. I was reminded of this the other night as I was trying to push through with a studio lamp only to finally have to stop because I could no longer see the hues clearly. I had the next commissioned painting of a sunrise at Reef Bay is started on the easel.
It was later than usual when I was washing my brushes at the kitchen sink and happen to look up towards this colourful end to the day with a clearing sky.
Evening light in the studio by Terrill Welch
Evening light in the studio by Terrill Welch
I stopped what I was doing, grabbed my phone camera, slipped on my garden clogs and went down to the shelf below the house for a better look. By the time I got there, the sky was even more brilliant.
Sunset in the valley by Terrill Welch
Sunset in the valley by Terrill Welch
The next day the sun drifted in and out of the studio as I worked on the painting until it came to rest.
Sunrise Bliss Reef Bay still in the easel by Terrill Welch
Sunrise Bliss Reef Bay still in the easel by Terrill Welch
This painting will shift continually with whatever light is available at the time. Some paintings do this more than others and this one is one of those.
Sold - “Sunrise Bliss Reef Bay” by Terrill Welch, 12 x 24 inch walnut oil on canvas.
Sold - “Sunrise Bliss Reef Bay” by Terrill Welch, 12 x 24 inch walnut oil on canvas.
Both of these works still need to dry and have their edges painted before they will be off to their new homes. In the meantime, I will lift the next large 30 x 42 inch commissioned canvas onto the easel and see where it takes us. Hopefully, I shall have something to share with you on its progress next time.
New Release
In between painting commissions, I also ventured further into my Red Line Series. This work rips through an earlier painting from about four and half years ago. It took painting more than the red line to get it to work but I think I got it…
Artist notes: There is often an unbelievable blue to southwest coast of Canada. We know it as sunshine, warmth and energy. But it often surprises the viewer in a painting - that blue, could it be true? And then there is the red line danger of climate change that is visible to anyone who cares to look. Heat domes causing massive die off of shell fish. Atmospheric rivers causing severe flooding that fills the Mayne Island shores with uprooted and broken trees and silt. This addition to the Red Line Series is about the tension between our human activity and the beauty of nature. 
More information at the link below..
By the Shore Mayne Island BC Red Line 06 by Terrill Welch | Artwork Archive
Winter 2022 an Artist’s Island Life
As I put water in the kettle to heat for coffee on a Sunday morning, the sky was soft with colour and the promise of sunshine. After the first cup, I sent a note to a friend that I would be coming through the trail in the park to pick up eggs that I had ordered the day before.
I love that moment of blinking awake and seeing the start of a new day from the kitchen sink. It doesn’t matter the time of year or even the kind of day. There is just something about connecting directly to nature from the first moments of each day that are soothing and invigorating.
The trail still has some snow left but it is warm enough to be melting and the light patterns are delightful.
After visiting together along the trail on the way back, with her sweet dogs in tow, I left my friend to return the way she had come and I continued on home. I showed David the eggs before putting them in the fridge.
Are they not just the most beautiful things!? We usually buy local farm fresh organic eggs from a few different places on our small island. I don’t think it really matters which place but there is something very satisfying about being able to walk to pick them up. It is almost ceremonial or zen-like or something. I won’t ever raise chickens as I am not able to clean the hen house without having an allergic reaction - something I discovered as a teenage when I decided to have chickens. But this is the next best thing. And I got in a visit with a friend at the same time!
This past Sunday’s egg pick up saw the snow gone and the fog thick between the trees. The old road in Glen Echo Park has its own charms and beauty with a foggy day being one of my favourites. The ferries gave off their long fog horn whistles as then maneuvered through thick haze in Navy Channel and Active Pass. Small forest birds chirped and rustled through the underbrush distracting me from the monotonous whirling of the radar tower overhead.
The fog has drifted in and out of the valley for several days, revealing and hiding the view in a leisurely draped blanket of mist.
I wandered down to the sea for a while. There is a sincere kind of quiet stillness down at Reef Bay.
The weather reminds me of the one misty fog painting that I still have available from a few years ago…
Road To Everyday by Terrill Welch | Artwork Archive
This painting is hosted at my daughter and son-in-laws home and keeps one of the other of my fog paintings in their own art collection company.
Breaking Through by Terrill Welch | Artwork Archive
For all the quiet beauty though, this is not easy time. There are endings such as dismantling the original gallery room. This task is made easier with the help of friends. There is a medical imaging trip to the city that requires an overnight stay at an inn due to unpredictable ferry cancellations because of staff shortages from the spread of the Omicron variant which is also catching up with our family members and friends both near and far. Our island community-wide booster clinic was done about two weeks ago but we have many island residents in the higher risk category of over seventy years of age. We are alert and cautious to keep each other as safe as possible.
While eating an early supper, we look out at the bright lights on the hauntingly quiet five o’clock streets of Sidney. I muse about the state of things.
We have been over two years now at the mercy of the pandemic. Supply chain disruption notices come in daily along with rampant inflation. These are not all a result of the pandemic alone but have been exacerbated by severe flooding in our area and global staffing shortages. Backlogged parcels are still coming in that were shipped in December. Unlikely missing items create unusual empty spaces on grocery shelves. Nothing urgent really. But noticeable.
Our behaviours have adjusted to continual changes in expectations. I am asked to show my vaccination passport to be able to accompany and assist David with the process for his contrast imaging MRI of his heart. We answer a long list of question to confirm we are both healthy and to the best of our knowledge have not been exposed to anyone with Covid-19 during the past ten days. We are handed new masks to put on even though the ones we are already wearing were fresh when we left the car. We say nothing about how squeaky clean they are and quietly make the change knowing that we will discard the hospital masks at exit and clean our hands to hopefully leave anything we were exposed to behind.
The hospital staff are patient, pleasant and measured in their exchanges. We do our best to make things as easy and seamless as possible for them knowing that it has been a long hard couple of years for them as well.
When we leave, we head straight to the ferry and secure a ticket for the first boat home. We get a light late lunch and hot drinks while we wait. The cafeteria has oddly opened up indoor seating again and there is no longer a one way flow of customers.
I always bring a down quilt and our pillows in the car for winter travel and our books all year around. The windows steam up but we are cozy.
I read for a while and then drift off to sleep. We are taking the long way home with one stop at Lyall Harbour on Saturna Island. The reliable Mayne Queen ferry leaves right at 3:10 pm and we can be pretty sure it will arrive right in time at Village Bay Mayne Island at 5:00 pm. There should be just a hint of daylight to accompany us the rest of the short drive home.
We are right at the back of the ferry looking out at where we have just been. The islands are still shrouded in an insistent fog that has been keeping us company for days.
I read news updates on the Russian and Ukrainian tensions and then return to my House of Spies novel by Daniel Silva. It is the second one of his books I am reading this winter for entertainment purposes only. These distractions are punctuated by more bleak reading consumptions such as Four Reasons Civilization Won’t Decline: It Will Collapse by Craig Collins originally published by Counter Punch, August 10, 2020. I will give you the link but with a warning that it is not a easy read and only marginally hopeful.
Four Reasons Civilization Won’t Decline: It Will Collapse - Resilience
I share this long rambling note because an artist’s life, even an islanders artist’s life, is not lived continuously in a harmonious zen tranquility. There is a mix of highs and lows pumping through the veins of each day that warrants our support for those needing a hand of various kinds from financial to smiling eyes and a wave. Some island small businesses have been closed for several days or weeks, sometimes for winter vacations and sometimes due to illness. The gallery remains open by appointment. But we get by don’t? We count our blessings and we find the most beautiful moment in each day to anchor us into the next day.
I pick up my $45.00 worth of four small tubes of paint that I recently purchased and I pull up the next canvas with a dry ground. I was recently told how fortunate I am to have such defined tasks to complete and it is true, though not necessarily easy. Most times, working through the hard things is worth the effort. If you are finding these recent weeks challenging, for any number of good reasons, hang in there! You have lots of great company. We shall get through this, one minute, one hour and one day at a time.
I sometimes go to my still life paintings from spring and summer as a way of remembering better days ahead. Here are two of my favourites that are still available…
Amber's Peonies by Terrill Welch | Artwork Archive
Katherine's Sunflowers by Terrill Welch | Artwork Archive
Featured Work
It is an usual time of year in a most unusual year! Therefore, rather than launching a new show, I decided to go through our represented works by various artists and pull up some links to paintings that strikes my fancy. So, in no particular order, here is my personally curated collection for this 21st of January 2022…
Elena Maslova-Levin | Landscape dissolving (conversation with Cezanne) (2018) | Available for Sale | Artsy
Glenda King | The People’s Log (2021) | Available for Sale | Artsy
Jody Waldie | Piggot Reach (2020) | Available for Sale | Artsy
Annerose Georgeson | Forest floor 3 (2019) | Available for Sale | Artsy
Jennifer Peers | Taking a Stand (2019) | Available for Sale | Artsy
Terrill Welch | On Edge At Cape Bear PEI (2016) | Available for Sale | Artsy
And there you have it. Paintings to cozy up to and enjoy while we are waiting for the days to get longer and warmer.
Until Next time
The next time I write it will be February and the first month of 2022 will be behind us. I will hopefully have had long hours at the easel and something new again to share with you. In the meantime, all the best at noticing the beautiful moments in each day. Thank you as always for the pleasure of your company!
Warm regards as always,
Terrill 👩‍🎨🎨❤️
Canadian Contemporary Terrill Welch Gallery, West Coast Landscape Paintings
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A Brush with Life is the good bits! Insider stories, discoveries, snippets, opinions, new works and shows for fans and art collectors of Terrill Welch Gallery paintings. Published every 2nd Friday.

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Terrill Welch Gallery, 428 Luff Rd., Mayne Island, B.C., Canada