One year and 28 issues later brings us to the first anniversary of “A Brush With Life”. Together, we did this hard thing! Because of your encouraging notes, passionate comments and purchases of my original paintings, I never wavered on my commitment to bring the best bits to you, in this curated newsletter format. Thank you, with all of my heart, for being part of my inner circle of serious fans and art collectors of my work. I am humbled and honoured that, in your busy, and frequently overstimulated lives, you still find time, every second Friday, to read what I have written. That you pause and browse the images and paintings that are shared is a blessing. Every artist should have such a dedicated audience! Thank you!!!
I have nothing specifically planned for this issue and will pulled together what I normally do, along with a special guest submission, for your discerning consideration. But, please, do take a bow as I applaud loudly in appreciation for your readership and patronage.
Now back to business as usual!
The Power of Paintings and Poems
After reading about the latest tree painting in the last issue, I received a note that has led to permission to share a couple of poems written by an avid fan and collector living in New Mexico. These poems were inspired from her time hiking in forest canyons. In the spirit of collaboration, though not directly connected, we will begin and end with one of my paintings. Enjoy!
The canyon walls of granite stand above
a singing stream that tumbles down
its meandering, boulder-littered course
lined along with oak, aspen, maple and pine.
Those shear gray walls are scored by time
and veined with beige and pink, lichen-lined
with cracks and crannies barely holding
huge boulders, poised to take flight and fall.
The lone sentinel, a tall ponderosa pine
watches over still, leaf-filled pools
and stands beside the running, rowdy path
among the rocks that guide the waterway.
Up further in the canyon a miniature waterfall
crests huge boulders and takes flight
into waiting pools, laughing as it leaves
its course to begin anew below.
And even on the ridge high above the stream
the music wafts up, sometimes pianissimo tinkle,
to remind the hiking wanderer that the
music of the stream comes from obstacles.
By Gini Smith and published with permission.
The ravages of forest fire
once stripped your long and lovely limbs
of their lush and verdant dress
so that now you stand
with bared, exposed head.
And at your feet the rain
and tremors of the earth
have cleared supporting soil.
You stand with roots open
to the sun, no protection there.
Along the darkened, sharpened arms
I see new green, new branches
growing in bold laughter at the ravages of time.
And your legs have grown
new covering and strength,
taking larger, firmer stance
among the rocks and over them.
You are present to the world
In new beauty, power and grace.
So, too, are we who walk this earth
exposed to fire and trial;
and, too, our foundations shaken
by change and shifting force.
As challenge and fresh pain
strip us raw and barren,
so we must reach down to where
life flows to start again.
When the world we thought we knew
moves our support aside and off,
so must we continue on
digging deeper with our toes
to bedrock which will keep us firm
and steady in great wind of change.
Thus, our exposure, too, will evoke
great beauty, power and grace.
By Gini Smith and published with permission.
Though our geography changes and is unique to each place, the power of any landscape to awaken our sense of awe and wonder has remained consistent for all locations. Thank you so much Gini for sharing your poetry with us!
When I am truly, really a famous artist
There will be no dinner served on this table tonight or for the next week! But, the edges are painted on the five latest paintings. 😉
I told my partner David that someday, when I am truly, really a famous artist, there will be a studio the size of our house with this long row of tables that can be set up in the middle for painting edges, along with three studio/gallery assistants employed full-time.
One assistant, will be painting edges and putting on hanging wires and writing provenance information (size, medium, title, name of artist and inventory number) on the back of each painting stretcher when the work is dry. Another, will be adding new work to the online inventory program and going through my old notes about each painting to write up a spiffy description. The third assistant, will be organizing new shows for my own gallery while seeking out fresh exciting opportunities for me to consider in other locations. We won’t even consider an opportunity that doesn’t arrange shipping both to and from a venue - just so you know in advance. 😉 After that, someone will follow up on interview requests, create marketing copy, send in ads, review and approve ads and writing the posts on social media, the blog and the website.
Then, there is the follow up on purchase inquiries with those that have shown interest in this or that work. It won’t matter which one of these three assistants do various tasks because they will have all been trained in the fine art of building relationships with serious fans and art collectors. They not only easily remember which paintings various collectors have in their art collections but also the names of their spouses, dogs, children and even grandchildren. They remember who is moving, building a new home, getting married or divorced, graduating, been successful in their latest interview, retiring soon, has recently lost a much loved parent or partner or,... finally won the lottery. They know that purchasing a “Terrill Welch original painting” is often done at a special time to mark a celebration or commemorate a loss. They know how to open a space for consideration on these occasions - without being pushy or too forward and intrusive. They know that the Terrill Welch Gallery thrives because we actually caring about others, not just finding great homes for paintings. They can easily communicate that, though I occasionally do a commission, most of my work develops in the same way it has since I was fourteen years old and sold my first painting. Canvases are developed from my love of the landscape and my belief in the mystery in the ordinary. These valued assistants know I wish to paint great art that inspires the common viewer to gaze upon the canvas and whisper - “I am there. I have stepped into the canvas!” They and the art collector both understand that this may one day be all we have left of our ordinary day in my beloved landscape.
And what will I be doing? I will be hiking trails, mostly within the region but sometimes far away on another shore or hillside, and gathering references materials through frequent painting sketches and images. Later, I will return to a large bright, north-facing studio with its floor-to-ceiling windows (there is not a dining room table within viewing range) and I will start to work on a large canvas that one of the three assistants will have already prepared the ground on weeks in advance so that it will be dry and waiting for me. Later, I will make a cameo appearance at the gallery that has tripled in size and is now open seven days a week. When someone asks me how long it took me to paint the large 36 x 48 inch canvas hanging on the gallery wall, I will smile and honestly say - why, not very long at all!
In the meantime however, we will finish our supper on our laps and I will paint edges on the table we should be eating at - until late into the evening, long after my day in the wee Terrill Welch Gallery has finished. David will read out loud short stories he wrote years ago to keep me company while I work. We will laugh and chat about this character or that one in his missives, as he leans casually against the kitchen counter and my brush is filled with more paint for the next edge.
It is a good life and I wouldn’t have it any other way... at least not until I am truly, really a famous artist. 😉
Newest painting is still “resting”
So many of you enjoyed the inclusion of the painting process in the last issue that I thought you might like to see it again for this latest painting. If you wish to have a look, I am including the link for where it is located on the Creative Potager blog. Enjoy!
The day delivered breadth and inspiring beauty as so often happens on my walks. I came home with a much clearer mind and a lighter heart than when I left. Just how I like it! 🙂 Now to render those same fingers of light and sea onto a canvas. This particular Sunday in the Terrill…
See you next time!
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.