What might I imagine it means to paint within infinite time? I might remain forever curious, knowing that each work is a long movement within an endless space of observation and experience. How does this show up in my practice as a landscape painter? Well, let’s see....
Layers of time angled up and twisted are exposed during the low tide. A Mayne Island afternoon stroll in the park. It wasn’t always this easy.
The tension between sky, sea and shore are often brilliant.
Or, standing in the feeding ground of otters and eagles with the crunching of crab shells underfoot noticing the influence of the muddy Fraser River filled with spring runoff spilling into the Strait of Georgia.
Sometimes, just to be within our infinite time, I take my easel out even on an overcast day...
What is on my easel?
Tell me, what are you saying “YES!” to?
It is a simple enough question on the surface of it - a favourite during my time as a leadership coach actually. The answers are sometimes surprising, especially if we assume we already know the answer... let’s be open to being surprised and ask the question from that most illuminating place of the unknown or not knowing. What are you saying “Yes!” to?
Having just listened to four versions of “hallelujah”( two by Leonard Cohen, one by Rufus Wainright and another by Katie Lang) I believe my answer might be that I am saying “yes” to embracing our greatest sorrows with expressions of love - a personal yet universal journey.
This is frequently the place where my brushes refuse to be silent and their rattling will only cease once my inner weeping has transformed itself into pure joy upon the canvas. This joy is not an end but rather a method, an approach or a journey through a space in time. In the results, one might not even notice with one’s eyes. Yet, possibly, a feeling will envelop the viewer. There is an opportunity, an invitation even, to say “yes” and step into the landscape, savouring, sniffing, wondering and enjoying.
This, my friends, is my life, my passion, and one of my greatest joys as a landscape painter, particularly on a rainy misty day like day, on a small island off the southwest coast of Canada.
I share these thoughts in memory of Barbara Marx Hubbard (December 22, 1929 to April 10, 2019) and her vision for conscious evolutionary potential, as practiced in this plein air painting session.
Other times my observation practices are more integrated into community and family life. Such as a stroll through our Japanese Garden. The cherry blossoms are just about finished but it is this combination of burnt orange of young leaves and the soft pinks that I most love - catches in the back corners of my tongue next to my throat, sort of like eating lemons or toffee or both together.
Or the first picnic supper of the season down next to the Salish Sea at Georgina Point. A gorgeous evening! Just so you are not fooled, I still have on an undershirt, an over shirt, a sweater and a vest while sitting in the sun with only a slight breeze stirring... but still! Pretty special.
And a total of five more canvases with their grounds drying await...
What if we are enough and we have enough?
I have this almost counter-western-culture proposal - what if we are enough and we have enough exactly how and where we are? This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t and can’t reach for something more. On the contrary, I propose this possibility as a way to reach further into what is yet to become than we might otherwise be brave enough to attempt. My proposition is simply a reminder that we are not “less than” in our current state, today, just as we are.
What if we started each day from this place of reference? We are enough and we have enough? How might our experiences and decisions be different?
What if I were to paint and you were to view paintings from this same place of reference? What might we notice?
What if I was to live and you were to live as if we are enough and we have enough - right now, today. It may seem, at first, a radical notion or magical thinking. However, when we consider the proposal carefully, we can start from no other place - than who we are and what we have. I figure, it might as well be enough then ;)
What has Sold...
Winter Freeze Up Stuart River BC
walnut oil on canvas - 18 x 24 inches
There are places to crouch low and listen to the river as the ice floats tighter and tighter together - its soft notes reminding us about the coming of winter.
This painting was part of the first show of the season opening on the long weekend in May. We have another painting now to take its place.
Until next time!
I will be off on a painting adventure next week with a new island to explore. With a bit of luck, we shall be viewing some new plein air paintings and reference images in our next issue. The first show of the season is hung and opens starting May 17th for Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11-4 pm. The gallery polished and ready to go! Yeeeehhhhaaa!
Enjoy whatever you are doing until then! Terrill :)
Canadian Contemporary Artist Terrill Welch - Landscapes and more by impressionist painter Terrill Welch
Canadian landscape painter, Terrill Welch, exposes the mystery in an ordinary day, reminding us that there is only one moment – this one.