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A Brush with Life - Issue #39 Begin As You Mean to Continue

How we prepare to begin a task often sets our compass directions for future actions. Not always of course but often enough so as to make it worth contemplating. Recently, a subscriber wrote and shared this saying with me that had been given to her by her grandmother - begin as you mean to continue.
A Brush with Life - Issue #39 Begin As You Mean to Continue

How we prepare to begin a task often sets our compass directions for future actions. Not always of course but often enough so as to make it worth contemplating. Recently, a subscriber wrote and shared this saying with me that had been given to her by her grandmother - begin as you mean to continue. The words resonated and have stayed with me as I mull over the ideas for the “Arbutus Tree Project” paintings that I will to begin this coming January. The thing is, before I even start, I know it will likely be a long journey... possibly taking several years even. In fact, I am not sure there is a reliable ending to this project.... maybe though, it will be like one of those robust hiking trails, full of promise that then just peters out into an old overgrown deer trail along the top of a ridge. I have no way of knowing for sure at this point in the adventure. Yet, I want to try. Could it be something we would work on together? Something shared? I have a rough draft for the project design sitting at the edge of my easel, waiting for a quiet moment to review. But how do I mean to continue? There is another saying by Laozi, an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, that says - a journey of a thousand miles beings with a single step (or, starts beneath one’s feet).” I suppose, this is my first single step then - telling you what I am musing about -  in all its first vague rough brushstrokes that have yet to reveal the shapes and forms of what is to come. More on the “Arbutus Tree Project” should become clear over the next couple of months. I am afraid, it is still just a seedling of an idea. For now, what other gallery news do we have?

What has sold

I don’t usually start an issue with what has sold but it seems it is as good as any place to begin this time. Two painting sketches in the latest “Paintings of the Salish Sea” solo show of small works were both purchased by newsletter subscribers and both paintings will eventually have homes in the United States.

This first painting sketch will be added to their portfolio of my paintings by two inspiring International art collectors. They happen to have a soft spot for Canadian painters and landscape paintings in particular. When one of them wrote to me about purchasing this specific work below, he shared the following words...

“For me, nature, particularly trees speak in the loudest whispers. When we take the time to listen, we can hear the most wonderful songs. As I look at your paintings, particularly those we purchased, I find myself experiencing both your sense of connectedness to the scene, and the communication you experienced as you painted. It fascinates me to listen to the dialogue. Being pulled into that conversation is a wonderous moment. The same can be and is experienced when wandering a museum; taking the time to stand in front of a painting, seeing the artist touch the canvas, knowing one is standing in front of the canvas she/he stood before, seeing what they felt and saw, and looking at the brush strokes is a participation in their internal thought process—the inner dialogue.”

I think this work is going to enjoy its new home. ;)

“Oyster Bay Morning” by Terrill Welch - SOLD

The second painting sketch is a gift for a family member and will also be going to live outside of Canada.

“Miners Bay Mayne Island study” by Terrill Welch - SOLD

Paintings in an Art Collector’s Home...

This art collector has generously shared another two of my paintings that are in her own collection and hung in her home. I love seeing where the paintings are living! Don’t you? I am told with this first one, if you turn left from our vantage point of viewing the painting, there is a view of sea. So this painting in a way continues that view into the room.

The painting looks happy there to me and seems to be enjoying doing its job rather well of bringing our natural world inside.

The second work is a plein air painting sketch of a place that is special and important to the collector and was the first painting of mine that she ever saw and was given to her as a gift. And so it all began...

There we have it! A little glimpse into the lives of paintings that have gone off on adventures of their own.

What I am Reading...

I have two pieces I would like to share and neither are directly related to painting. However, painting doesn’t happen in isolation and a painter is always part of the larger context of their historical specific environment. I strongly recommend both of these reads and reading all the way to the end. I would say “enjoy” but that only applies if you enjoy solving big puzzle challenges ;) Note: you can read this first article in full as my guest by continuing to read without becoming a member.

“The great paradox of our time: everything is both better and worse than ever before” by Rob Wijnberb with The Correspondent


“What would a city built by women would be like” by Stephanie Hegarty with BBC and is actually a video but you will need to read subtitles as it is a film about the beautiful city of Barcelona in Spain https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-50269778/what-would-a-city-designed-by-women-be-like

I spent a week in Barcelona in 2014 and had the good fortune to experience one of the Super Blocks that they are creating. I was so impressed! Barcelona is big and noisy with cars, trucks and motorcycles in abundance. However, this Super Block cell was relaxed, social and most pleasant. Parks and green space are in short supply in this city (compared to say Vancouver B.C.) and this seems like a meaningful solution that will benefit all, not just women. In fact, citones change dramatically when cars are kept to a minimum or removed. My first experience of this was in the cities of Peru in the spring of 2002 and then again later on in Europe, where whole segments of cities were built and existed long before vehicles. We sought these old city spaces out during our three months of slow travel. I didn’t the like cities much before I experienced these spaces. I wonder what would be different if women designed our non-city public spaces too such as those on Mayne Island? Would we think to make our bathrooms big enough to get a stroller inside - both men’s washrooms and those for women? Would we consider designing our parks and play areas differently? Would we consider putting in more benches and seating areas? I wonder? Something to puzzle about while I set the gallery up as a winter studio again after the last show or while I am wondering around getting reference images like these from recent hazy and foggy days...

Evening at the Brickworks Dock Mayne Island by Terrill Welch
Fog rolling into the sunrise across the valley by Terrill Welch
Slicing through where sea and sky meet by Terrill Welch

The Mayne Island Springwater Lodge was established in 1892 and began hosting lodgers in 1895; it is said to be the oldest continuously operating hotel/bar in British Columbia.

In the early 1900s, Canadian Pacific Railway Ferries would stop at Miners Bay, next to the Springwater, while traveling between Victoria and up north to the Fraser River and Caribou gold rushes.

It has continued to grow and develop over the years into the Springwater known today, featuring a restaurant, pub, and waterfront cabins. As they note on their website there is a fabulous deck for late summer evenings sunsets or afternoon ferry watching.

The Springwater Lodge reflecting in a still morning sea by Terrill Welch

And let’s close with a Mayne Island iconic place - the lighthouse at Georgina point...

Beside the arbutus tree at Georgina Point by Terrill Welch

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.

P.S. Just a quick reminder before I go - to those considering purchasing an original painting in the near future, prices will be increasing in early December. So if you are close to making a decision, this information may be of importance. If not, carry on and I would love to hear from you either way. Terrill :)