8 min read

A Brush with Life - Issue #34 And The Winners Are

Oh did we think it was going to be that easy!? It seems to be a wee bit more challenging than I had anticipated to actually reach all of the recipients. More about this later on. We shall get to the winners eventually, but from the looks of my inbox, only one is likely going to be known in time for
A Brush with Life - Issue #34 And The Winners Are

Oh did we think it was going to be that easy!? It seems to be a wee bit more challenging than I had anticipated to actually reach all of the recipients. More about this later on. We shall get to the winners eventually, but from the looks of my inbox, only one is likely going to be known in time for this issue. In other Gallery news, a high five to the close of the Art of Terrill Welch Gallery at the end of summer season. What a great year we are having so far! Thank you all for your visits both in-person and online. Thank you for taking paintings away with you and offering them a special place in your home. You are the best! Together we make a great team.

New Plein Air Painting Sketch

A new painting sketch to share in celebration of my late August birthday this year which I have been studiously ignoring for personal reasons unrelated to getting older. However, as cards and calls arrived, I warmed to the idea of sharing a quick painting sketch I did while visiting with family on Salt Spring Island. So here is the latest small work filled with light and west coast charm...

“Arbutus Over Sansum Narrows Salt Spring Island” by Terrill Welch 10 x 8 inch acrylic on gessobord.

From now until the long weekend in May, I will be on painter’s hours... which means, if you really would like to see a painting or several paintings in-person, then your best option is to make an appointment with me. Generally, a few days notice is wise and offers you the best chance of success. But, if I am around and on island, I will respond right away and can most often meet you, usually within an hour. However, I am not always on island and have several trips planned this fall. So, call or send a text early on and we will see what we can work out.

There are always a few paintings up in the gallery’s winter studio but the table and the two of the walls (that are already covered in plastic) will often have blank canvases or work-in-progress. I am always happy to have you drop in whenever I am around and will put up the “OPEN” so you know I am in.

Okay... those winners...

I had Barbara McIntyre from Nomads Essentials (the shop that smells so good next door to the gallery) help me with the draws. One always needs an impartial selector for a draw and Barbara is a perfect candidate for the job. She stirred and stirred and fluffed a good fluff of all the strips of paper with email addresses for each newsletter subscriber. In the end, we had to get an even bigger bag than the two here just to make sure we could get everything sufficiently toss! This is about as fair as it can get folks and thank you Barbara!

Now for the disappointing part - I haven’t been able to make contact with all the winners as of the time of the publishing of this issue! Here is the scoop...

We have drawn two winners so far for the Art of Terrill Welch Gallery draws.

The first draw is for this 8 x 10 inch plein air painting sketch

Reef Bay Moment by Moment By Terrill Welch

The winner is: A subscriber from Richmond B.C. who declines to be named but says they are thrilled to receive the painting sketch and look forward to its arrival.

The second draw is for a new newsletter subscriber from July 12, 2019 forward to August 20, 2019 to receive 30% collector savings on an original Terrill Welch painting that is purchased before November 30, 2019.

The winner is: [I am still waiting for a confirmation reply - check your junk mail or promotions account just in case the winner is you]

Also, the same 30% collector savings for an original Terrill Welch painting that is purchased before November 30, 2019 is offered to the person who referred the second draw winner to the newsletter. If the person that referred them was me, then a draw will be made from the whole list of subscribers up to August 20, 2019.

The winner is: [on hold until the 2nd draw is claimed]

So darn! Nothing to share yet! Hopefully we will know more  by next issue.

Mayne Island Landscapes showing at Re/Max

Our local Mayne Island realtor, Brenda Dean, is sponsoring a solo show of my Mayne Island landscape paintings in her Re/Max office for the month of September. There are 14 paintings of various sizes in this show. Some of the paintings are from the recent Earth, Sea and Sky solo show in the gallery. Others are island favourites that go as far back as 2013. If you are on island, you may want drop by and have a browse.

Opinion Piece

I paint because I am a painter

Such a simple statement can smack of both arrogance and evasiveness - I paint because I am a painter. We would likely look questioningly if someone said...

“I log because I am logger”

“I build because I am a builder.” or

“I audit because I am an auditor.”

Logging, building and auditing do not usually carry the same romanticism as being a painter. Yet all three have methods, approaches, and skilled practices that require a certain amount of creativity and problem-solving to do outstandingly well - just like painting. The learning curve for all of these is endless and no two days are ever exactly the same.

But painting? Oh, if I had a dollar for every time someone said “at least it gives you something to do.” Imagine “the joy of the painter fluttering away her day in the sun with a brush in her hand dabbing at a canvas” while the rest of the world is working for a living. “How lucky to be following her passion” with no need to engage in the daily grind of survival. Must be nice! To be frank, these kinds of sentiments are enough to make the hair on this painter’s neck stand up like a German Shepard facing off an intruder! If my sense of politeness and decorum didn’t have such a firm grip on the collar of my indignation.... well, let’s just say it wouldn’t exactly be good for business and finding homes for paintings! To avoid boredom or to keep busy or play away the day, I certainly would NOT choose becoming a full-time landscape painter with a gallery to run! Nope! Wouldn’t even make the bottom of my list of choices.

This is why a painter might reply to your question about why they painted whatever they are painting with “I paint because I am a painter.” You see, there is no whining about how difficult it is and no apology for the effort in this statement. It is meant to be jarring - to strip away any romanticized idealism and lack of seriousness in the practice of being a painter.... and yes, you are going to pay dearly for the work, just like you do when engaging the services of any other trades or white collar professional. This is because landscape painting and painting in general IS HIGHLY SKILL WORK - if it is to be done well. However, if this work IS done with excellence, the viewer will hardly ever, if at all, notice the painter’s struggle or their lifetime of observing, studying and practice. We are left only with what is often described as MAGIC on the finished canvas. Part of this mystification, the painters themselves must take responsibility for contributing to the mystique. Painters love to share their best, most exciting moments, rather than the times when we struggle, are uninspired and still showing up in the studio or when a work fails miserably. So, it is no wonder others view the work as a way to fill the painter’s time and something other than “real work”. Of course, being a woman painter who is just over 60 years old doesn’t help either but let’s explore that aspect in another issue. The impression we painters often leave in our sharing of the painting process is one of pleasure, freedom and yes, leisure. With this approach, how is the viewer or observer to know otherwise?

Part of why I publish the A Brush With Life newsletter is to keep the hard work visible, without totally shattering our illusionary idealism of a life as a painter. I feel this fuller picture of the life as a landscape painter is my duty and responsibility to the paintings as much as to the painting practice itself. How am I doing so far? Can you hold both constructs in your mind at the same time? Can you hold the reality that painting is skill work AND also that there is pure joy (most of the time) in doing this work? That, in being a landscape painter, there is excitement, the unexpected, the magic and the discipline and hard work of a solid painting practice all in one?

The Prominent Vancouver Two Sisters Peaks

Sometimes, we get a chance to learn the old stories that have been passed down for thousands of years. Sometimes, for a short time, these stories get lost and then they are found again. Such is the story of the Two Sisters Peaks that are prominent on the Vancouver north shore skyline. I hope you enjoy this telling of their history by Canadiana that was shared with me by a fellow Islander whom I admire deeply for his ability to teach by allowing others to learn.

The Hidden Story Behind Vancouver's Twin Peaks

The Lions are two of the most famous mountain peaks in Canada. But they have a much, much older name that's tied to a story from long before the city was fou...

Note: be sure and open the description when you are finished watching the video and it will give you a link to the full story told to Pauline Johnson by Joe Capilano.... and also how to make donations to support further educational opportunities like these.

What has SOLD

How do you know if you have chosen the right painting for someone’s birthday? A clue might be when a far off cousin in New Zealand contacts me because the birthday person has been talking about my work and a specific painting so much that they wanted to purchase it for him as a birthday present. Only, when the cousin gets to the website online gallery, the painting is already sold. Unbeknownst to the New Zealand cousin, the painting had been purchased by the birthday person’s wife along with two other New Zealand cousins currently visiting Canada. I was able to connect the far off New Zealand cousin to the rest of the Canadian flock and, I am absolutely sure, the birthday present 14 x 18 inch painting is a perfect and successful choice. Now how fun is that!?

Well, this is a wrap for this issue. I am off traveling for a few more days but will be back midweek to catch up with you. My (almost 82 and 83 year old still-farming) parents thank you for sharing me with them for this yearly visit. I may or may not get some new plein air work done during this time. But the road trip, that will take me a full 900 km away up the Province of British Columbia, only to then backtrack that full distance again, is filled with gorgeous landscapes... so I might have a few photographs to share if nothing else. And yes, photos of the farm! I won’t forget. I promise.

Until 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.