Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guest Post Terrill Welch (artist)

I met Terrill Welch at an event she organized to celebrate International Women's Day. After our short chat, I had a feeling that I had met a dynamic woman, who is living in a life of abundance.

I'm pleased to introduce Terrill.

Where did you live before coming to Mayne Island?

Naming the string of places I have called home would make a fairy ring around Mayne Island. We most recently lived in Pedder Bay on the far side of the district of Metchosin outside of Victoria. I was born in the farming community of Vanderhoof, British Columbia in the year 1958.

Why did you come to Mayne Island?

My partner and I could live anywhere in the world. David is retired and my business is flexible and international in scope. We quickly decided that we wanted to stay in Canada. Prince Edward Island was a strong contender on our list of choices. Fortunately, we found our home first before deciding on any particular geographic location and it just happened to be on Mayne Island. We moved to Mayne Island in May 2007. We now live in a beautiful eco-friendly strawbale timberframe home that was built by Tracy Calvert. To the relief of our collection of eight grown children, we have settled on the south west coast instead of across the country!

Why do you stay?

We are comfortable with the semi-rural life-style and feel like a valued part of the small community here on the island.

What do you do for fun on the island?

My most favourite island activity is to hike around exploring cliffs and seashores with a heavy digital cannon camera slung over my shoulder. My second most favourite thing is to have friends and family over to visit.

What are you employed at?

I am a full-time creative being between impressionist nature paintings, photography and writing. 

When did you first dip a brush into paint?

My first memory of painting is with powered pigments mixed into water colour paints when I was seven years old. I remember being very frustrated with them and the big brush I was using because nothing would work itself into what I had been imagining for that big sheet of paper.

If we had peeked over your shoulder, what would we have seen on your canvas?

I would have been painting horses, cows, trees, fields and a barn. These were things from my everyday world. We lived 80 miles outside the nearest town and were about 20 miles from the nearest hamlet with a store, gas station, post office and a school. This was the year I was homeschooled.

How has your subject matter evolved over time?

Now that you mention it, I am still painting what is around me. I love painting trees, the sea and sky.

How did you develop your talent?

Like any creativity, photography and painting talent comes from a love of doing something. I invest myself in developing my talent by practicing. I practice. I read. I study. I learn. Plus, I am part of creative communities where it is fun, satisfying and enjoyable.

How old were you when you had your first art show and where was it?

Leanne you are taxing my memory. (Oh, my friend, no one said this was going to be easy. : ) ) Let's see, the first big show I remember was entering a submission in a regional exhibition where works of art were juried and chosen from the smaller communities to be represented in a provincial show in Vancouver B.C. I was around fifteen years old. I remember submitting an oil painting of a sunset of some trees hanging over a riverbank. It was a scene I was deeply familiar with as it was right outside my door. I was so proud of that painting. I remember getting it framed and my mother driving me from our farm outside of Vanderhoof all the way to the city of Prince George B.C. to drop off my submission. I also remembered how disappointed I was when it wasn't selected. I think the worst part was that there was no feedback. No one said how it could be improved or what they thought I had done well. I didn't cry but I sure felt like it. The ride home was longer than usual that day.

What would you have whispered into that young artist's ear?

I learnt a valuable lesson when we went back to pick up that painting from the regional competition--always paint or photograph or create, first, for your own sensibilities. I would have whispered into that naive young artist's ear "just do what you love and must be done. Never mind what others think becasue in the end it is not terribly important."

Your art graces many homes--in which countries are these home located?

It is so much fun to have my work out there globe trotting in a way I have never been. Let's see there are many pieces in Canada and the United States but also in England and Switzerland. My new little coffee table book Precious Seconds -- Mayne Island in paintings and photographs is the one that has surprised me the most. It has been purchased all across the United States from central U.S. and then one coast and then all the way to the other coast. But I am still waiting to sell my first copy in Canada.

Where can we buy your art?

My work can be purchased directly from my home studio, several local venues such as the Green House Restaurant, the Oceanwood Resort or the Farm Gate Store and through a variety of online venues. The best place to view work that is currently available and to link to the various outlets is through my online gallery Terrill Welch Artist at

You have a very popular blog. What are your future plans for it?

The Creative Potager blog with its inspirational sprout questions which is attached to each post certainly does host a lively community of creative beings. The readers who comment and share in response to these posts provide a rich and self-sustaining platform for my new photographs and paintings. This works well for me and it seems to work equally well for others. Therefore, I shall keep posting Mondays an Fridays with the occasional special project such as the three October Sunday posts -- Salish Sea Sunday Studio Savings that is offering savings on featured work for one hour.

Parting words

Thank you for asking me such thoughtful questions Leanne. May we remember, no matter what we do -- creativity is the emerald of our success.
This breathtaking photo graces the cover of Terrill Welch's new book
Precious Seconds--Mayne Island in paintings and photographs

Short Biography:

Mayne Island artist and photographer Terrill Welch's distinctive palette, quick sure painting strokes and photographic images capture forest, sandstone, sea and sky. They remind us that there is only one moment --this one.

Born in the village of Vanderhoof in north central British Columbia, Terrill's art training came at an early age and continued more in the European style of mentoring and tutoring.

Terrill Welch's work in water miscible oil paints and her photography printed on canvas showcase the beautiful, mysterious and rugged southwest coast of Canada.

A complete artist's biography is located on Terrill's popular Creative Potager blog.

Terrill Welch
artist, photographer, writer

Online Gallery
Creative Potager blog
Photography at redbubble