The West coast blues turn soft, swaddling our newborn summer with hope and anticipation. July! Even in late July our brief summer seems endless as the warm evenings and early mornings catch a distant sea-breeze and lift the edges of our linen sheets, thrown askew while sleepy limbs reach toward open windows. Youth invite distancing caution warnings from the Provincial Health Officer as our flattened curve starts to rise. The front balcony deck holds a large 40 x 60 inch canvas while I render a golden to twilight hour seascape just for the pure pleasure of moving paint across the canvas. We will remember this summer as the one we prepared more carefully than usual for the long winter ahead. We won’t be fooled by these soft blues and warm evenings. We understand the natural state of our infinite impermanence. In this issue of A Brush With Life I introduce the new large canvas, dive deep into the work of Glenda King and share moments where work and family life meet in their wholeness.
Painting Process for Infinite Impermanence
The start of this work was slow and measured. Two plein air studies were completed and several photo sessions accomplished before the large canvas was set up on the centre balcony deck of la casa de inspiracion. Then a few rarely used pencil lines were made to guide the composition and followed by a full colour underpainting this lays out the intention for the work.
I paint into the cool of the evening until my arm and shoulder are screaming at me to put down the large brushes a quit for the day.
Painting outdoors under natural light is never without its uncertainties but sometimes a painter wishes nature wasn’t quite so literal in its natural causes.
A warm wind had come up the next day and blew small bits of the forest floor onto the wet paint. Each piece had to be carefully lifted off the canvas with a palette knife and no further painting was done on this day. But the next day...
and the next day after that, I continued to slowly build up the paint.
The work is “resting” now and waiting to have its edges painted.
Once it is fully dry to the touch a final photograph without shiny spots will be much easier. But it is here and very much breathing on its own.
Backstory Behind “Standing Strong”
There is this painting in the new Arbutus Room which I have shown you more than once, maybe even more than twice. This is because it intrigues me on several levels. The painting is “Standing Strong” by Glenda King. I have watched Glenda’s oil painting skills develop over the past four years. But that doesn’t mean I know her backstory or that kernel of inspiration which makes us decide to be painters. So I set about asking a series of questions in an interview to see if we could learn more....
Terrill - Glenda you seriously started your oil painting practice four years ago and have been showing and selling your work every since. Yet, I believe your exposure to fine art has been much longer than this. Can you tell us a little about your parents and the original art and fine art prints that were in your childhood home?
Glenda - Reflecting back on my childhood memories of our home back east, my memory is jogged of a few 'fine art prints' and various others that my dad had painted in oil. My mother was an artist as well, although she would have argued that, but her strength was much later in life with stained glass. A few of the prints we had were 'The Blue Boy' by Thomas Gainsborough of the 1700's and 'Pinky' by Thomas Lawrence, also of the same era and a rather large print that has stayed with us to this day by Thomas Faed. Upon some deep research, it's been discovered that this piece has had several sketches done by others and goes by 2 names. Thomas Faed named it 'Scottish Settlers in North America' though his painting and the one we have are slightly different. The other is 'Sunday in the backwoods of Canada'. The original painting for the print we have is still a mystery to us.
Terrill - What were you thinking about as you painted this familiar arbutus tree?
Glenda - This tree and many others on Mayne seem to 'hang on the edge’ of rock walls or cliffs and I am always amazed at their strength as to how they manage to survive all types of elements and bring us pleasure constantly.
Terrill - We can see the strengths of your brushstrokes in these details. Do you have any painterly secrets for finding those core colours in your subject?
Glenda - I am not sure that I have any painterly secrets in finding the core colours. When I first started oil painting, finding the ''right' colour was really important to me. I spent a fair bit of time practicing and studying videos on colour mixing and feel that over time things came together. I find it much easier now, although I still make mistakes, I can correct them easily. Learning to paint without a tube of green was also one of the best things for me as well. I recognized the control I have in getting the exact colour I need by mixing it myself.
Terrill - What is one thing about your life as a painter that most people don’t know about?
Glenda - I doodled. I never took art in school nor was I self-taught. I took a set of lessons many years ago in watercolour painting with the understanding it was the most difficult medium. After completing that 30 hour course, I decided if the opportunity arose to try oil, that's what I would do next. When you offered a trial painting class in the spring of 2016, I knew I had to jump on it and I stayed with you until the end of what was a totally awesome experience for me. I learned so much.
Terrill - How would you finish the following sentence... “If I could have only one tube of paint, it would be.....”
Glenda - If I could have only one tube of paint, it would be a very large tube of French Ultramarine Blue. :)
And here is the direct link below to learn more and inquire about this painting....
An arbutus that weathers everything as it lives on the edge and appears to just be hanging on. Currently represented by the Terrill Welch Gallery. Please c...
Let’s hope that with her love of colour it never comes down to just one large tube of Ultramarine Blue. But if it does, I have no doubt she will make the most of it. I hope you have enjoyed both getting to know artist Glenda King and her painting “Standing Strong” a little better through our interview and the detail images of the painting. Do let us know if you have any other questions or would like to purchase this work for your art collection.
The best thing is when some of my favourite people climb up into my favourite tree! We had an awesome distancing visit in a park the other day while we waited for our car to be serviced.
These two rough-and-tumble boys play hard outdoors, like my children did and like I did with my sibblings. They are muscled, strong and confident along with being dust-covered, scratched and bruised. Part of their high comfort level outside is that their parents are out there with them everyday, rain or shine, and they have a huge backyard with lots of unorganized and lightly supervised time to play on their own. This, along with extremely limited and highly scrutinized screen time, has been just right for these two. They both have big personalities and the extensive time outdoors gives them space to safely find and set their own boundaries with the guidance of both mom and dad encouraging them to be kind and gentle. It isn’t always easy and they definitely have their moments but yesterday we caught them at their best and it was just what we needed!
This was my first visit with them since coming home together from our vacation in Tofino at the beginning of March and was a treasured day!
Next, I thought would share this short video about the building of a spiral staircase. The foreman and carpenter is someone some of you will recognize. This is my son Kris on the job, doing what he loves to do and that is something different all the time. The spiral stairs are in the turret of an energy efficient home building project that you can learn more about on the company’s website. This is one of his very rare FaceBook appearances and hopefully I have done the connecting link correctly for you to be able to watch the video on their public post.
Enjoy the process ✨ Our Foreman Kris working his magic on the spiral staircase at our Waterfront #Netzero project in White Rock. Emojis by openmoji.org/
Naikoon Contracting Ltd. has some fascinating building projects and recently won nine awards including Builder of the Year for both Metro Vancouver and British Columbia.
Then there was somebody who turned 75 recently.
Here he is a couple of days ago eating an individually wrapped chocolate from the box a friend left for him for his birthday.
As an extreme introvert with no online community, these past few months have been harder than David had imagined. His usual casual engagements at our local bakery have been put on hold and I have had to do our shopping. This has left him with mostly just me... and though this is not a problem, well, it also is just not quite enough interaction with our fellow human beings either. So for his birthday, I posted this photo on my personal FaceBook profile. To my amazement, over 100 people, including family, old friends, new friends and people he had yet to get to know from around the world, stopped by to wish him happy birthday and on occasion tell “a David story”. It took us two and half days for me to, as promised, read all the birthday wishes aloud. But what fun we had! Next year however, I think I will give him socks and call it good. 😉
I do truly belief that there is more to life than working, even when we love the work we do. Taking time to check in and notice what our families and friends are doing and HOW they are doing is important. Not just for them but for us as well. These are challenging times for all of us and for some even more so than we may realize. If your doing well, reach out and check in with others. If you are not doing so well, still reach out and check in with others.
What Has Sold
Another small painting sketch has sold to a young couple celebrating their second wedding anniversary. The Terrill Welch Gallery wishes them many years of enjoyment of both the painting and their lives together.
Until next time!
The gallery artists have brushes flying across canvases in anticipation of having new west coast landscape paintings ready to show in the Arbutus Room this the fall.
A quick reminder that the gallery is currently open by appointment and all available works can be viewed and purchase arrangements made online.
The best of our endless summer as we play safe and stay safe with few faces in big spaces and close to home!
Canadian landscape painter, Terrill Welch, exposes the mystery in an ordinary day, reminding us that there is only one moment – this one.