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A Brush with Life - Issue #118 We Have Successfully Migrated

A Brush with Life - Issue #118 We Have Successfully Migrated

With the ease of a flock of Canadian geese heading south, our "A Brush with Life" newsletter has migrated to a new delivery platform - Ghost. Thanks to some technical Ghost concierge services, preformed by a lovely human named Paul, it feels a little like we have always been here! Past issues can be browsed and revisited as you wish and these will remain part of my "free" offerings in the future. For your information, I will keep to the every second Friday publishing schedule until January 6, 2023. At this time, we will move to once a month on the 1st Friday of each month for our free offering and have an additional subscription option avaible on the the 3rd Friday of every month. As I get the details worked out, I will share them with you here. For now, the process and content are the same as before our migration to the Ghost platform. I would also like to welcome our new subscribers from Pennsylvania US, United Kingdom, Germany and Canada. I hope these issues live up to your expectations. So let's move on to show updates and other art and gallery news...


ISLAND TIME ART has a new sign

I finally had a chance order a new sign for ISLAND TIME ART to replace the old temporary “Terrill Welch Gallery” sign. The island is quiet but it will still be good to have it up for the future. It should do the trick for now anyway.


Speaking of quiet, we have extended "Blues and Greys" with work showing by Jody Waldie, Jennifer Peers, Glenda King and myself until December 12, 2022. You are most welcome to take another browse in person or on line at:



We had about 40 visitors to the Terrill Welch Gallery Pod during the Made On Mayne Fall Tour 2022. I want to take a moment and say a huge thank you to Arts On Mayne for organizing this event and to all my fellow courageous creative beings who shared their work.

I also want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the many visitors that have found their way to my gallery pod in the woods at 428 Luff Rd that is far off of the main travel routes. You are amazing adventurers! It is so wonderful to be able to host you again in a phycial space and show you 24 new and favourite paintings in this unique, warm and cozy self-browsing space where I can slip out and say a quick “hello” and leave you to explore.

I am so impressed with how the gallery pod actually works! In a recent newsletter issue I wrote:

If a large gallery space were like a novel, then the gallery pod’s modest size is like poetry. There is a desire and a need to make each painting exactly the right choice in precisely the right position with no more and no less artworks than what is necessary to complete each show. Poetry, yes?

If you are on island and haven't made it over yet, please drop in between 11-4 Thursday through Monday until the end of November. From December 1st to sometime in February the gallery pod will still be open by arrangements and there will be what I call a "flow show" of my work in place with paintings being shifted and changed around as needed to accomodate the drying of tacky edges and simply ones that I want to see and take out of the studio loft storage area. I will have the gallery pod heated and work on the walls so don't hesitate to contact me to pop by and browse. I just need to step out of the door and walk over and turn on the lights and it is all yours for browsing.

NEW PAINTING SKETCH and Winter Light is a Painter's Light

Last week, I painted a night scene from a late ferry ride on our much loved Mayne Queen on that Monday...

Though the daylight hours are limited, it is the winter light that is most promising to my painter’s aesthetic. It is that moody warmth and abundance of soft edges that grasp my brushes into its clutches.

From morning to the end of the afternoon, there are days that only seem to have a glow through the fog.

This was my yesterday. I did work in the studio but by 3:30 not even the studio lamp helped much. It is on my to-do list to make arrangements for a track lighting bar to be installed. Soon I tell myself. Soon. In the meantime, I was painting a night scene from a late ferry ride on our much loved Mayne Queen on Monday. The Mayne Queen will be retired from service on November 20, 2022. There is a farewell gathering at the terminal but I am not sure I will go. In fact, I am pretty sure I won’t. Public goodbyes are really close to being beyond my capacity at the best of times. So instead, I put all my memories into one quick painting sketch from our last ride starting with a few swift brush marks to find my way into the composition.

And here is “Last Ride on the Mayne Queen” by Terrill Welch, 11 x 14 inch acrylic on gessobord.

Artist notes: We got our own private goodbye with the Mayne Queen this evening. There was no cake but the Big Dipper was present and the steady rumble of that diesel engine gently lulling us across the calm water. I will miss this old gal and the views she offered up with humble assurance. Good night she whispers softly just ahead of the crackling of the announcement – This is Village Bay Mayne Island, Village Bay… and the deck lights come on. Safely home on this sturdy old ferry boat for the final ride. Thank you for your many years of service Mayne Queen as your November 20th 2022 retirement day draws near. ❤️🥂🍾

This reminds me to tell you about a stormy winter day when the wind was whistling a wild tune. All the big ferries were holding and waiting out the weather. We didn’t think we were going to make it home. But after a slight delay, we were loaded on the Mayne Queen. The deck hands told us to put on our parking breaks and go upstairs and sit down. After a few minutes the captain came on the loud speaker and repeated the same message. Make sure the parking break is on. Stay up stairs and do not walk around unless it is necessary. To say the least, that was some ride!

But getting back to painting, in order to sympathetically render such winter day or night light, one must be a colourist. This is because all of the greys and darks are leaning towards some other colour and it is not the same colour they are leaning towards everywhere. Once a painter starts to understand this, and paints with this in mind, then the paintings seem to come alive on their own within the directional brushstrokes. Yes, painting takes practice but also study, knowledge, applied understanding and then finally forgetting so that the painter can work intuitively from a solid foundation. Rendering a subject in paint is not particularly challenging. A painter can be like a copy printer from life or some photographic image. Yes, you still have to understand colour and composition to make a decent replica but it is usually not particularly difficult and requires limited investment of the painter’s vulnerable self. However, to render a subject with vitality and inner feeling racing across the surface in a way that engages a viewer who has no experience with the subject, that there is magic! There is a barely controlled expressive rawness to such work. Even quiet peaceful paintings can have this. It is the secret something that allows a work to stand strongly on its own once it comes off of the easel and is removed from its creative context. The moodiness of soft winter light gives a painter an advantage in being able to access this special magic. At least, this is how I experience winter light.


ArtWork Archive original paintings and acrylic sketches currently available

Redbubble painting and photography prints and merchandise

Website: TerrillWelchArtist.com 

Winter Light is a Painter's Light


There are two paintings currently in the "For the Love of Trees" show that are exclusively showing online. I thought we could start with a room view of them both together and then a link to each of the paintings.

The Gallery Pod just isn't large enough to hold all my portraits of arbutus trees at the same time. This is my solution. When there is an overflow of work that belongs in a show, I will include them as "online exclusive only" with the option to make arrangements to visit the home studio for in-person viewing. Pretty clever solution, I thought. 😉

Click the image for a direct link with more information about each of these paintings.

Storytelling Arbutus Tree Bennett Bay Mayne Island BC by Terrill Welch

Morning With Arbutus Trees by Terrill Welch

As I was preparing this issue earlier in the week, the rain was keeping us cozy inside with the fireplace on trying hard to resist putting the lights on as well. I decided that these two paintings were the best c0mpany for a day like this. So here they are! The Storytelling tree is in our great room right now and the painting of the morning with arbutus trees is still tucked away in the loft waiting for someone to request a personal viewing.


For more than a year I have been working on the Red Line Series. There may be more paintings that will be added to this series in the future but for now I am done. Following a deep dive into the impacts of climate change I have come to accept that, though we need to keep trying, the earth's enviroment may possibly be past a tipping point for the survival of humanity in a nearer future than we expected or would wish. The war in Ukraine continues to bring out the worst and the best in our capacities to both hurt and care for one another. I have a small painting of the ugliness of the war in Ukraine and a larger one about hope and possibility. The pandemic is still with us of course. Yet, I have done what I need to do in getting us fully poked with all shots and boosters available and taking precautions with extra layers of protection as necessary. In all of this, I have for now come to terms with what is and isn't within my sphere of influence. In between my first and last breath of 2023, I have decided on a new regenerative and resilience focus and a new series - Thriving In Place.

Thriving In Place: 1st draft of an idea:

My overal focus is to prepare for semi-retirement in 2023 and much less time online and in front of a screen. I am in the process of creating a THRIVING LIFESTYLE as apposed to development and growth. This is about living large in small ways.

What this means for my life and painting practice:

For a variety reasons, we will be staying mostly close to home and primarily on Mayne Island during 2023. I am seeking a way to open up and deepen my relationship with this familiar landscape. I will mostly paint smaller works punctuated with compelling subjects for a very few larger paintings. I will take the approach of no expectations, no judgment  - just acceptance and love.  I am confident in my painting abilities and now I want to relax into these skills and integrate new learnings from my study of contemproary landscape painting over the past 18 months. I see it as a living and painting meditative practice. I will repeatedly ask myself what my painting subjects need from or of me.

A 65 second Video Summary Example for November 2022:

Because of the cello music interpreted and preformed by Yo-Yo Ma that I chose for this video, it cannot be embedded and must be watched on Youtube. However, if you click on the link provided or the image below, it will take you directly to the 65 second video location on my YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/pM1tVfGRZ5w

Thriving in Place November 2022 by Terrill Welch

This new "Thriving in Place" series follows my deepest desires at this time and I am hopeful that you will find it as fulfilling as I anticipate it will be for me.


For example, just yesterday morning, I was out on the Saint John Point trails. It was definitely a morning that demonstrates the power of thriving in place. As I get to the first view point, a mink swims across the small quiet bay while a little farther along a raven called out from the forest canopy. It is just after 8:00 am with small forest birds twittering through the branches of the trees. The day has begun with sunshine following the heavy rains from the day before. I move along unhurried as I drink in the crisp forest fragrances.

I breathe easily with rhythmic steps over the rough ground finding solid contact between slippery roots and rocks.

The pleasure in the warmth of early morning winter sun folds around my shoulders in one of nature's greatest hugs.

This place sees its share of highwinds which snaps the tops off the big old fir trees with predictable frequency. Still they continue to grow.

I reach the point and hear an eagle cry. Looking up from carefully placing my feet, I see three porpoises surfacing in Navy Channel. There is no point in trying to get photographs. I am hiking with just my phone.

Instead, I shall stick with capturing the trees. Sitting on the rocks next to the water, I can hear the sealions over on the Belle Chain Islets. At this very moment there is nothing that needs doing, thought about or accomplished. My mind and body rest.

All too soon, I am back at the car and it is close to 10:00 am. To my surprise, I'm still the only vehicle in the parking lot. I leave as unhurried as I arrived. Along Horton Bay Road, I move into tthe other lane and wave at friend who is likely returnig from a morning run. Close to Miners Bay, I wave at one of our local potters cycling along the road to work. I then wave at a fellow photographer and trail hiker as I pull into the bakery to bring David his mocha and breakfast sandwich. As I come in, I get to meet one of the newest Mayne Islanders who is only few weeks old. The bakery staff knows David's order and we chat easily while I decide what I want (which is not so easily anticipated) and everything is being prepared. He has just gotten up as I walk in the door exclaiming about what a glorious morning it was out there!


If you have received this latest issue on our new platform it means you have been a regular and often avid reader of this newsletter. I want to thank you for this. It is with deep pleasure and gratitude for your ongoing interest and support that I prepare each issue.

I wish you all the best of what life has to offer as we near the darkest time of year here in the northern hemisphere. It is my time of lamps, candles, stews, red wine, cello music, wool sweaters, books and painting. Here on the Southern Gulf Islands we call it the cozy season.

Terrill:) 🎨❤