Christmas Letter 2016

Dear friends and family,

THIS year was particularly busy as my second year in my new  downtown Nantucket location .  I opened for the summer and fall with some good results: reconnecting with clients and friends alike is always a good thing .  I had spent the winter months of February , March and April in my studio in Arles, France .  It was a very mild winter in Provence and I was able to visit friends what are scattered throughout France : Normandy and the Rhone Valley and the Côte d'Azur .  I painted very regularly when I didn't have houseguests,  All the while preparing for my fall show in Giverny in the Galerie Blanche near the American impressionists museum and Monet's gardens .   Also had some nice commissions to work on . 

In late August , I departed for a cruise that started in Venice and ended up in Rome .  A wonderful ten  day overview of the coast of the Adriatic countries ; Slovenia , Croatia , Italy, Montenegro , Malta , Sicily with visits to incredibly old and beautiful cities.  Dubrovnik , Split, Kotor, Catania, to mention a few.

Then, back in Arles to put the finishing touches on my canvases and Watercolors for Giverny .  Piled in the car, I drive the 550 miles, hang the show , Have my opening on September 17th (drizzling cool rain again)...  Nice turnout of locals and a few visitors to the town.  Then I spent time with good  friends in Vieux Port on the Seine Riverbanks renting a thatch-roofed , half-timbered cottage to share with three American friends who paint.  We toured in Normandy, taking leisurely day trips to Rouen, Honfleur , Verangeville and Le Havre . 

Then, back to Arles for a month of painting, combined with a trip to Umbria and the tiny renovated town of Borgo di Vagli- outside of Cortona for a week in a time-share given by a good friend.  Fantastic sights, tastes, and people.  LOVE Italy!  Hope to go back more often.

Back in Nantucket , open for the Stroll weekend, then packing the car for a long trip South.  First stop is Washington DC (3 days with fiends and museum visits); second stop in Raleigh to see our Sconset Chapel Minister and partner, third stop in Atlanta for three nights , and  lastly to Fort Lauderdale for winter studio work. 

Having Christmas cheer and New Years with my sister Sherrey  in Venice Florida . I will be having a show opening for the weekend of January 27th at the Venice Yacht Club . Maybe some of you Florida snowbirds can make the Friday eve opening . 

That brings you fairly up to date on my wanderings.  I hope you have a wonderful sparkling holiday full of old memories and creating new great memories.  All the very best of the season.

Cheers and HNY 2017

Bill Welch



Bill in St. Remy - April, 2016

Bonjour ami

Here I am at the asylum where Vincent Van Gogh was housed after his ear-y experience in Arles. All is in bloom and the olive trees are beautiful . It's a very restful place with a good reputation for helping mentally ill persons . Don't worry, as I intend to keep my ear and other bits intact. Hope you are having a really nice spring in the USA . I'll be back in Nantucket to open the gallery on Easy Street the 16th of May.

Cheers and bonne sante!
Bill


Greetings of the season 2015!

Hello friends and family!

Well, it's holiday letter time!  My year in review is a chock full one.  Starting out in Key West for a solo show and a great 2 plus months working at the Frangipani Gallery !  In January I signed a lease in Nantucket on a new gallery at 5 Easy Street downtown Nantucket .  You may remember that I had 18 great years there further down at 14 Easy!  '86-'04!  Happy to be back!  More connected to the art scene and the public after 7 years out of town in Sconset.

In April I went to Arles, France and had a show in Giverny  that was a nice opportunity and had good results.  Stayed and painted in Paris as well as along the banks of the Seine River and in the fantastic gardens of Monet's home.  Back in Arles to paint and visit friends, I came back to a very active summer in Nantucket.  It was a good season!  I had many commissions that will take most of the winter to complete.

This fall I went back to Arles and had a solo show (my second ) at CIRCA Gallery there. Opening October 2nd and it ran till November 22.  It was a pretty good turnout and I was happy with the results and my friends from Key West and Palm Beach came over.  That was special . I stayed on through mid- November , coming back to Nantucket for our Annual Christmas Stroll.  Great fun but unseasonably warm. 

I then packed up the gallery and put the paintings in storage as I really don't want a repeat of the flood there in '91 due to the No-name Storm (aka the Perfect Storm!).  I drove down to Florida via I -95 with a stop to see a friend newly returned to Washington, D.C. , then the auto train to Sanford Florida .

I'm hoping to have a little quiet time in a rented house in December and visit my sister Sherrey for the holiday week and New Year's Eve (a tradition with us).

I'm healthy and happy and I hope this letter finds you the same.  All the very best for a joyous and renewing season with fun, friends and family!

Cheers and hugs,
Bill


William Welch's Impressionism Returns Downtown


Click Here to read the aticle in the Mirror Newspaper, July 23 2015


William Welch in the Tracks of the Impressionists!

Second Exhibition in Arles planned for October 2nd opening and running through November ! (more later)

William Welch's show opened on April 26th and ran until May 22nd in Claude Monet's home of Giverny, at the Galerie Blanche and the first night saw four sales! Very nice opening.

In the weeks that followed , Bill painted in the streets and alleys around the town and in Vernon as well. He visited, at the invitation of the present owners, the home and gardens of famous post-impressionist Pierre Bonnard. He painted along the Seine River and a view of the famous balcony of the artist whose show at the D'Orsay museum he took in during his week in Paris painting. "What an experience! " says Bill, " to be at his home from which he rarely strayed, paint, and then see his blockbuster collection at the museum was just terrific!"

The artist then continued in the footsteps of the painters he admires and visited and painted the towns of Veteuil (Monet) and Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh's last stand). Many of these works will be seen first in French shows.

Three more sales capped Bill's success at Giverny , and he has been asked back next year in May-June for another exhibition.

"I'm working up ideas for a Seine River Series as well as the water gardens at Monet's home," said Bill. "I'm excited." He plans to return to his work in Arles for the Fall sometime in September.

Place des Vosges
done in the Square by Bill
One of the gems at the D'Orsay show for Pierre BonnardVan Gogh's painting of the church at Auvers-sue-Oise

Cuba Trip a Huge Success!

Well, my artist retreat to Cuba was a huge success! We all agreed that it was a beautiful destination with warm and welcoming people. The first three days were at the Hotel Los Jazmines in Vinales on a ridge overlooking rich red clay and sand soil ideal for the growing of tobacco. We painted the limestone gumdrop-shaped mountains, had salsa lessons, hiked through farmlands, visited an incredible botanical and medicinal garden, tasted exotic fruits, visited a tobacco farm and saw how cigars are made by hand, toured a grotto/cave in a boat with incredible limestone formations, ate very well at country paladors , heard terrific music, visited an artist in his studio, and on and on. Oh yes, I painted several small works with the group of six artists.

On our trip to Havana, we visited a botanical garden Orchidiae (Orchids!! 600+ varieties), presented brochures to the Director that were produced by the Tree Institute of Florida. WE arrived at Hotel Parque Central right in the middle of Havana. It was filled with international tourists and, not surprisingly, several cultural exchange groups like ours from many museums and schools. Hotel rooms and meals, service, all aspects were impeccable. We painted in the Cathedral Square, on the Prada Boulevard, in the streets, had lovely walking tours, went to several museums: Museo de la Rvolucion, National Art Museo, Arte Universale Museo (unbelievable collections of Greek, Roman, and Spanish art as well as many surprises - two Gilbert Stuarts of Washington!, a Childe Hassam, many Romneys, Joshua Reynolds, etc.- a world class museum to be sure!)


Other highlights included: a visit to Hemingway's house in the country, several more artists' studios, great paladors, some shopping, a horse and carriage ride, a tour in old classic convertible American cars to dinner, an evening with Buena Vista Social Club musicians, and just lots of fond memories!


Well, I'm happy to be back in Key West. I'm now working on my upcoming show here in the Frangipani Gallery opening February 6th. "It's a Small Island" is the theme and will feature miniature watercolors and acrylics of Key West Streets as well as scenes from France and Cuba!! Should be a nice showing for me. I'll post new works for 2015 in the Private Viewing Section on the home page soon.

For now, hasta la vista! Bill

Greetings of the season 2014!

Well dear friends and family, it's that season again - and I bring you tidings of my wanderings around the globe (well here and there actually; not around the globe .)

For me, this has been a year of quite a few changes and events revolving around my crazy life in the art world . January saw me flying to Key West for three months- painting and working in Frangipani Gallery (1102 Duval, open daily 10-6) :-). I had a nice show in March and was given an award from the Anne McKee Fund for work in the arts community there. A real surprise ..

Back to Nantucket to quickly set up the summer gallery in Sconset and then off to France for two months in Arles . Highlights: painting of course, had a group of painters in Arles and around for a good week. Had my dear friend Louise from Provincetown visit and paint with me . Also, a great friend and gourmand chef Jud from Harvard Massachusetts stayed with me also . Louise and I went to visit my friend Karolyn in the Luberon ,( she runs the best immaculate B&B in Montsaliers east of Apt), visited painter friend and wonderful artist Francoise Valenti in Roussillon village (gallery with her name there is the best), spent Easter and lovely days after with friends from Nantucket , Bill and Mike who have a gracious home high in the hills behind Cannes with an unbelievable view! Also , I went to the 70th anniversary if the Dday celebration, hosted in VIP style by friends from my days in Normandy (Gallery Guillaume you may recall 1999-2004) Candy and Dave. They are wonderful hosts and such fun. Candy organized a little art show for Sunday after the VIP ceremony (saw Obama and Hollande at twenty feet away!) . I had my show with another artist , sculptress, in the Mairie if the village in the Seine River. Beautiful weather and a few sales! I also lined up a show in Giverny next Spring - opening for a month at L'Atelier Blanche April 26th, went to the CŰte d'Or and toured the vineyards of fabled burgundy wines on the way like Chevrey-Chambertin , Nuits-St. Georges. Wow !!!

Back in Arles to catch my breath in June , went to a fantastic French wedding in vaison-la-romaine area. Good friend Jean-Claude married a delightful lady Martine , and I felt like family after three days if fetes! Hosted by a good Irish hostess Carmel a friend if Candy's.

Back in the USA for a busy summer of good times and work in the gallery .In the fall I came back to Arles and have been painting in my apartment rental here (pix below ) in preparation for my show(s) in 2015 here in France ! Giverny I mentioned , and another show upcoming next fall in Arles at the CIRCA Galerie with and opening October 4 for a couple months. I had fun with Key West friends who came to visit and tour-great times. I have room in the apartment next October-November for visitors :-)!! Think about it.

For the rest of this year, back to Nantucket for a quick week of the Christmas Stroll. Then going to Key West for the winter. So, that's about it for an update on my wanderings. I want to wish you all the best of this holiday season and hope that you spend it In lovely moments and memories with friends and family!

Happy New Year 2015!!!

Bill

 

 

Bonjour everyone!! ACT NOW FOR CUBA!! I wanted to resend the information on our CUBA TRIP, JANUARY 9-16, 2015. We have a few spaces left and would very much like to have you along.

I just had a very successful painting week in Arles France with a group of lovely folks. It was great. In addition to the upcoming trip to Cuba I have decided to organize a group of artists and others to paint for a week in Giverny. Giverny is the hometown of Monet during the last decades of his incredible life, featuring the Monet house and museum as well as the gardens and ,of course the famous lily pond. Tentative dates are Sunday, April 26- May 3. If any of you are interested in painting in Paris with me, I will be planning a stay there from May 6-13. So, let me know if you want to be kept in the loop. All details will follow on the French trips. Hoping you are all well and painting prosperously. Remember to ACT NOW on the Cuba getaway! Cheers Bill Welch


Dear friends and family:
I have been to France many times, as you may know. During my last two trips, I spent a great deal of time in Provence, painting, touring, and enjoying the treasures of that beautiful region. Last year a friend introduced me to a gallery owner in Arles who saw and appreciated the little water colors and pastels I'd done on location, and offered me an exhibition opportunity this fall. I've been working very hard over the past few months creating new works for this show. I will be heading over to Arles in late September to set it up, and am excited that my sister and several friends plan to attend the Artist Reception on October 5. If you are in the area at that time Ė or want an excuse to travel to France Ė I would love to have you join us! Details regarding the reception are included on the invitation (see below). Attention all artists & former students -- I also am in the process of planning a mid-May 2014 painting tour, based in Arles for eight glorious days. If you are interested, please let me know.
Cheers!
Bill

Arles Show!

Summer 2013

Bill Summer 2013Hello to all from Nantucket Isle, foggy misty humid and delightful. Well, right now I am rensconsed in Sconset Studio preparing for my October show in CIRCA Gallery in Arles France. I have been to Arles now two times: April May last year and this. I showed my work to a friend of a good friend and she happened to own this lovely gallery in town. She was impressed with my watercolors and pastels of the local streets and sites in and around the Bouches du Rhone area.

She had an opening this fall and my work will be on display there through November. A few friends from France I've known over the years are coming as is my dear sister Sherrey and many good friends from Key West. It'll be quite the celebration. I'll be back in New England till mid-November then on the road south to the keys.


I wanted to let you all know that I am planning a painting seminar and retreat to Arles for May next year. Probably the second week. I'll keep you posted, but do let me know if you are interested.

Happy Summer
Bill


In Cuba!

The trip to Cuba was fantastic!

It's been a very active winter for me here in Key West. The trip to Cuba in January was fantastic! A group of eight artists and 15 total including non-painters went to Cienfeugos in the south-central coast near Trinidad. We arrived in the small airport and went to the Botanical Gardens of Cienfeugos. A guided tour with many incredible palms and fruit trees, Brazil nut trees, almond and hibiscus trees, a rare and beautiful collection that the Tree Institute (our visa sponsors) have helped revive and promote to the ever growing tourist industry. We had four glorious days in a lovely beach resort; we painted in Trinidad and Cienfeugos, did a bit of swimming and snorkeling, went to a Cuban disco, saw acrobats and costumed Coca Cabana type dancers performing at the resort, were treated to a georgious choir who sang the American Song "Shenanoah" for our benefit!

We finished off with three lovely days in Havana,where the changes are so apparent in the renovation of stupendous colonial Spanish architecture; some into new hotels and restaurants and boutique shopping. We were in the Saratoga Hotel Inn with a view of the Capitol Building outside my room. My favorite spot where I did 2 paintings with the group was The Cathedral Square. The palador restaurants at night were fantastic and delicious, a far cry from my last visit 7 years when our daily fare was mostly pork, beans and rice, affectionately dubbed the Holy Trinity.

I have two winter shows here which keep me very busy!! My first "Up All Night" opened at the Stone Soup Gallery (508)296-2080 last week. It featured several night scenes of moonlit Key West Streets as well as some French pastels. The show is on until mid-March at 802 White Street. My other show is called "That's Me All Over" and basically is a travelog in paint and pastels of France, Italy, Key West and Cuba, with a couple Danube River scenes from last August's cruise. That opens April 5th, first Fridays on Duval, at Frangipani Gallery , 1102 Duval Street (frangiapnaigallery.com, and (305)296-0440) I'll post more pictures in my 2013 New Works as that draws nearer.

Leaving for the French adventure April 14th after a quick trip and hasty pacing in Nantucket. More later in this column.
Cheers!!



CHRISTMAS 2011

Dear Friends:

Well, here it is another year come and gone: another holiday season upon us. Time goes so much quicker it seems - - I guess that because I get less done during the average day then I used to. Oh, well, itís to laugh and letís just get on with the show. This has been a very active year for me. No travel other than back and forth from Key West, but itís been a very productive year in my studio on Nantucket Island. (The roses are still blooming everywhere and tulips poking through the soil as I write . . . Climate, it is a-changiní!) Most of the summer, I was in my little studio painting from many photos on a nifty monitor system with photo CD player so all my pix looked just like being there only in small scale. I had a better chance to connect with the public and clients since I hired no workers. I was delighted to see old clients, friends and patrons, (supporters) come in to see me . . . lovely reunions and great conversation. And so turns the wheel! I also gave private lessons and spent some time outdoor painting in the fantastic weather. Iíve never seen such a perfect year for sun and moderate temps and less rain.
From late October til now, Iíve been in my North Truro studio off-island working on my show for Key West at the Stone Soup Gallery, 802 White Street, opening January 2nd. A bit pressuring but I got quite a bit of nice work done in those 7 weeks. So, Iíll be off to the Sunny South on Dec. 11th. Iíll be there until March 26th. Then, Iím flying to France for seven weeks of paining and absorbing the good culture, food and wine of that country that I love so very much. Iíve gotten a house through a friend in Arles (where Vincent Van Gogh painted. Iím reading a book that just came out that claims new research indicating that the artist may have been done in, hopefully not by a disappointed or jealous artist friend. ) This is my birthday present to myself for which Iíve been saving my euros for quite a while. From a month in the Midi Iíll be traveling to Normandy near where I had the apartment and ďGallery GuillaumeĒ in the late 90ís, you may recall. A week in Honfleur in a house right on the old boat basin where Monet, Boudin and the gang of impressionists were. As ever Iíve done in the past on my travels, Iíll have a great time pretending to be the itinerant artist of the late 1900ís!
For now, I want to wish you wonderful folks a happy and healthy holiday season, and a (more) prosperous and peaceful 2012. As we all have to age (and hopefully gracefully) just remember: ďAge is only a number, and mine is unlisted!Ē Wish I knew the author of that quote . . sounds like Oscar Wilde or Bette Davis. Stay well, keep the optimism up and stay in touch. Iím blessed to have you in my life. Thank you.

With affection, Bill


Summer Outdoor Watercolor Painting



Bill in Les Jardins de Giverny (CLAUDE MONET'S HOUSE AND GARDENS)

Hello!
I hope this letter finds you and yours in good health and of good cheer. An election process we never thought would end has produced a potentially excellent team to run the ďmachine.Ē We should all give them a good chance to succeed. We certainly donít even want to dwell on the negatives. . . enough said.
Well, as usual, Iíve been leading a pin-ball existence Ė changing locales with the season and plying my wares to all those yearning to have a little ďartĒ in their lives. (Of course, Iíve had to convince them that they are yearning more often than not.)
After a wonderful winter between Key West, Florida, painting and teaching "open-air" outdoor workshops with the six-color palette, I returned to Nantucket Island and opened a new studio in the little village of ĎSconset on the east end of the island. It is steps from the beach where the first light of the Millennial New Year appeared. (I missed that party Ė Oh, well.) The space is in a shared building with a revered Nantucket artist, Barbara Kauffmann-Locke, whom I have known since the early 80ís! Sheís a great friend and weíve had a ball this summer. I had a little ďopeningĒ in the fog on August 2nd Ė it was really foggy, and I think a few people got lost along the way. heh! heh! It all worked out well; and I will be back next year. People are finding me again after being a bit absent for four seasons. Right now, the gallery is newly painted, the works are covered and tucked away for the winter, and Iím packing the old van (í97 Plymouth Villager van Ė not very sexy, but VERY reliable! Who wouldnít settle for that?)
My sister (who had us down to Venice for Christmas) and I went to bonnie Scotland for 11 damp days in September. We island hopped on ferries (will I ever have a life without ferries? (sic)) and I think it was the most beautiful scenery I have enjoyed to date. The panoramas of hills, heather, sheep, water, shafts of brilliant late-day light will always be in my mindís eye. Our hosts were the best. . . we drank great whiskey (duh!) had haggis (donít ask- wonít tell), stayed in a real Scottish Baronial Castle (I got lost in it), were spoiled to death by it all. We had the company of several delightful Brits as well as a galfriend of my sisterís who was charming and added spice and humor to everything. We want to return soon! Iíd like to paint outdoors if it stops raining long enough. Lovely people, wonderful game, lamb and duck, freshest salmon, oysters, scallops Ė all so good from the cold pristine lochs and bays. Found a little gem island called Bute, with a town called Rothesay that was a Victorian treasure. And the castles, manors Ė grand! All spectacular!
Well, off to Florida soon. Spending the winter in Key West teaching and painting!!
Stay well and stay in touch! All my best wishes for a great New Year!
Big hugs, Bill


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