tofino

West Coast Swell - Colouring Page

I’m a little blown away that it’s the end of March already. Feels like this winter was pretty amazing. Only 6 weeks of stormy weather this year, falling during that stretch when Finlea, my older daughter, came home for Christmas. She only barely ‘tolerated’ boat life so the stormy stretch was Murphy’s Law like timing. Now being almost April, and I feel the urge to decorate the boat with spring flowers and hopefully soon start slapping some Cetol on the cabin sides. I also get to show you all a BIG SECRET next week that I’ve been holding close to my chest for a YEAR now.

This colouring page was taken from a poster illustration I did recently for this years CSA Canadian Surf Nationals competition. I had some fun colouring it so I figured you would too.

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The 'Otter Side' of Tofino

Yes I know… the river otters again, but they’re so cute to watch until they start crapping all over the dock. I still love them. The last few days, as I have returned from the shower, they’ve just sat there... blocking my passage to the boat. They stare at me as if to say, “where do you think YOU’RE going?”  I don’t back down. I just snap back at them... “move over varmits, mind your manners!” There are 5-7 of them at a time... a pretty big wharf rat pack if you ask me. I think it’s time I give them names.

These characters HAVE had me thinking how cool dock life is down here at Fourth Street though, and it is about time I gave you all an introduction to the ‘otter’ side of Tofino (har har)… the side that isn’t often thought about when you think about this magical place. Tofino (according to Google images and most media articles) is a place of wilderness and mile long beaches, beautiful sunsets, clustered specks of surfers in the waves and world class food. It is a tourism destination for sure, and a perfect place to unplug and get out of one’s busy city life. Visitors to Tofino flock here from all over the world, saving their pennies for months for their annual (or singular) visit, and they need to book ahead (like MONTHS) or they will be out of luck for prime accommodation here. Annual rainfall aside, I never to take for granted my daily beach walks, or dockside sunrises and sunsets, as it fills my creative well on a daily basis.

Fourth Street Docks inhabit a micro-culture of its own here in Tofino. For wildlife, we have river otters (as you well know by now), raccoons, sea lions, eagles, ravens, crows, seagulls, kingfishers, swallows and a myriad of other birds (of which my daughter’s besties Cedar and Toby are the local birders and can tell you more than I can). We even have Orcas visit the harbour on occasion too which can be a treat in itself.

Wildlife aside, there are many interesting people with really unique backgrounds and cultures of their own too. We have a whole dock full of crab fishermen who are up before the crack of dawn, and still going well into the evening. You’d never guess you were in Tofino when their day is wrapping up as the smells of spices in their cooking and the chatter and laughter on the docks at the end of the day makes you feel like you are stepping into another country. In the summer months there is a constant coming and going of sport fishing and whale watching boats. Gangs of eager tourists in their big floater suits with their “zoot, zoot, zoot…” (like a loud pair of corduroys) sound is all you hear when that wall of bright red comes piling down the dock. We have a brilliant silversmith who makes beautiful First Nations jewelry on his boat, THE Tofino choir conductor and her little dog Peepa, heaps of oyster farmers, T’aaq-wiihak/Commercial fishermen, as well as smaller dinghies and skiffs from offshore and/or off grid families who commute to Tofino regularly or head off to other islands for work. Our finger is usually pretty quiet (except for the otters and the guys who head off to Vargas to build the new Cedar Coast Field Station each morning), but in the summer months bigger sailboats and power boats will start to show up. Only the hardy ones come here as it is a really long way from the popular cruising grounds of the east coast of Vancouver Island. Oh… and there is Luke and Maddy who are running the harbour and navigating this eclectic crew of people (bring them donuts…really… they deserve it). I am sure I am forgetting a TON of people (sorry if you are reading this and I missed you), but these are the ones I see most regularly down here and came to mind. I could easily go into more detail but I am by no means a writer and I wouldn’t do them justice! Essentially, Tofino Harbour may seem quiet compared to everywhere else in town, but it is a busy working harbour. Between the float planes, and all the boats zipping off to wherever they are going, there is no end to entertainment down here. This is my home and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

So here are some otters… and a cameo of my ‘six knot studio’. ;) This colouring page can be downloaded for free here or on Tourism Tofino’s website, as well as in the pages of Tofino Time magazine’s March edition. Enjoy!

Winter Hideaway - Colouring Page

Happy New Year! As the holiday season wraps up, many of us in these cold, damp and stormy climates start dreaming of 25 degrees, warm bones and a hefty shot of vitamin D. It is also a time to clear the slate, and buckle down and prepare for the upcoming season. With lots of new projects happening in 2019, I am definitely looking forward to this year (although those who know us know we always seem to be in a state of flux)! Thank you all for your support in 2018 and prior, and I wish you all a fresh new year full of juicy adventures, wild experiences, wow moments, big changes, creative mind blows and general awesomeness!  

Here is a peaceful underwater scene for your colouring pleasure… a little more chill than the stormy surface it had been lately here on the west coast!

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'Tis The Sea-Son Colouring Page

River Otters. We have a gang (or ‘romp’) of about 6 or 7 otters that hang out on the docks here at 4th street. They can be an intimidating at times as they don’t scare easily and are very familiar with all the folks down here… not to mention they seem to enjoy making messes on everyones boats. I discovered something interesting about them today though… did you know that River Otters sometimes eat BIRDS? I startled one this morning munching its breakfast on the dock. I couldn’t recognize what kind of bird it was but it was brown, and almost the size of the otter itself. It stared me down for a while, then quickly grabbed its breakfast and plopped back into the ocean so I could pass.  

This holiday themed colouring page is dedicated to my furry little ‘friends’ that are part of the population of 4th street dock. My instagram video the other day showed a darker side of them, so I figured I otter lighten it up!

Happy Holidays everyone!

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Coastal Ravens - Colouring Page

A little break from Inktober madness for a colouring page as we have storm force winds heading our way today for the first storm of the season. I figured its getting time to cozy up with some pencils and get at it. Drawing line work on a rocking boat provides its own challenges, but I still enjoy looking out the wheelhouse windows and seeing the weather stir up the clouds and the seas. I always know storms are coming as there are flocks of grounded seagulls on the breakwater. Around the docks you’ll find plenty of birds… Seagulls, Crows, Ravens, Eagles, Kingfishers, Herons as well as a ton of smaller birds. Ravens are one of my favourites. They are beautiful and mysterious birds, but don’t turn your back on them. They are known to unzip back packs, open coolers and take your snacks away. Smart as a whip these tricksters are!

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September Steller Sea Lions - Colouring Page

This summer has been a bit of a whirlwind and I cannot believe I am working on Septembers page already. I do apologies for August's LACK of page in Tofino Time. Between my brief holiday escape and some important articles that needed the space, I missed a month! No worry... back on track here. #tofinocolour

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Guiding Light - Colouring Page

Happy December... It's that time of year again when we eat too many mandarin oranges and chocolate! It has been a busy fall for me with LOTS of design projects and holiday market preparations. With a record busy Tofino Winter Artisan Market for me yesterday, I think I will lay low today, bake some treats, get out for a good run and maybe throw around a little holiday cheer in the place with Rowan. Seems like a good time to also share my December's colouring page. This image in colour is also available as a Holiday Card in my SHOP. Let see how you choose to colour it with #tofinocolour! Enjoy the holiday season!

Riding The Tube - Colouring Page

Surfing is a big part of Tofino's west coast culture. People come from all over the world to try their hands at navigating the sheer power of the cold Pacific Ocean. During the summer they, often in hordes and equipped in their 'wetsuit uniform', are seen zipping around on their bikes (with boards on their racks) or standing in line ups at the Co-op, Wild Side, Tacofino or Tofitian just waiting to get out on the big blue and experience it for themselves. Wet, cold wetsuits are NOT fun to get off and on so I can understand why they just leave them on (one of the big reasons I rarely get out). Surfing isn't easy though... the pros make it look that way, but it takes hard work and dedication to make it look as romantic as they do. Tofino is home to some of Canada's best! Women, men and even the groms are making global headlines as they train for the next Olympics.

This is the time of year when as the surf gets bigger, the braver tend to venture out so it's a great time to don your cozy sweaters and rain gear, grab your hot chocolate and watch them from the beach. :)

'Riding The Wave' is inspired by all the wicked surf photographers and surfers who get out there in the freezing waters year round to capture the beauty of the ocean from a tubular perspective! You can download it here, or catch it in Tofino Time in November! 

Springs and Hidden Things - Colouring Page

March was a REALLY wet month... so wet that I feel like a grape. Lots of soggy dog walks and indoor cabin (or tiny boat) fever feelings! Now it's April, and I actually see warmer temperatures in future weather forecasts! I heard the Robins sing this morning and that made me stand a little taller and walk with a little more 'spring' in my step! Its time for the Salmon to start showing up a little more frequently in Clayoquot Sound. Its time for chocolate Easter eggs, sunshine, blooming flowers and actual signs of Spring! Whoa am I ready for that (as I am sure all Tofitians are)! My new colouring page can be found with the rest of them on my freebies page as well as in April's Tofino Time magazine. I am getting closer to enough for a colouring book so they will only be available a little while longer... get them while you can (and then feel free to support me one day by buying a book when its done... haha)!

Lots of exciting things to look forward to. We are in the process of buying a bigger boat... a beautiful wooden gaff rigged motor sailor with SO MUCH MORE SPACE than our Cheoy Lee. Last winter was a challenge... a true testament of stamina for really small space living (it was hard, but we all still love each other... haha). We decided with the girls being bigger, it meant time for a bigger boat. We are bringing her up here very soon, then have a little work to do to get her ready to move aboard... hopefully before Adam gets smoking busy with fishing charters!

I also thought it would be great to try something a little different this spring and broaden my skill set. I have taken on the position of coordinator for the Tofino Saltwater Classic fundraising fishing derby. Really excited to be part of such a great event in Tofino. This will be the 8th year in a growing event. It is hosted by NHL's Brendan Morrison and I get to be a part of a great team or organizers, sponsors and volunteers. 

We have signed up for the Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race with our good friends as a team of 4. Although I used to paddle and ride a ton, I haven't been in a kayak for ages, nor a mountain bike, so this is going to be a challenge but also heaps of FUN! Living on a boat means only needing to take 3 steps from one thing to the next, so this'll kick my butt back into gear thanks god! Wish us luck!!!

Natural Elements - Downloadable Colouring Page

October is the beginning of surf season in Tofino (#tofinosurfmonth) and the Queen of the Peak kicks it off with the annual all women's surf competition. This months colouring page was inspired by all those hard core queens and princesses that brave the cold waters of Tofino to shred the west coast waves. All the colouring pages can be downloaded on the FREEBIES page now (just to make them easier to find)! 

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Tofino Boardwalk

The Tofino Boardwalk (put on by the Tofino Arts Council) is a collection of 20 embellished surfboards created by 20 of Tofino’s Local artists. The project aims to bring together ART, SURF and Business in a creative partnership that expresses our community’s love of the ocean. 

The boards are located throughout Tofino in various sponsored locations (August to October's Tofino Time contains a centerfold map). In early spring 2017 the TAC will be hosting a gala where all the boards will be auctioned off. Proceeds will go to further the support of arts in Tofino, to kids surf and ocean based programs at Wickaninnish Elementary and a small portion to the artists. More information about the Tofino Boardwalk can be found on the Tofino Arts Council website

Fluid Forest is the board I painted for the project and is located at Storm Light Outfitters on Main Street in Tofino. 

Surfboard Art... A new kind of board for me

The Rip Curl Pro was this weekend in Tofino and hundreds of wave watchers came to our little town to watch some of Canada's best. There were plenty of Tofitians in the mix, both young and old and some out of towners also venturing out in our frigid west coast waters.

I was asked to attend the Rip Curl Pro Photo Showdown event at The Shore as essentially an art installation painting a surfboard live during the event. Of course I was a little nervous as I had never painted live... Even in the 12 years of creating chalk art signs, I NEVER did them on site! Luckily a couple of pals loaned me their boards so I could practice, so once the event came I felt confident enough to pull it off in those conditions. The problem now is that I absolutely love painting on them so I have a feeling there will be many more in my future!

(Scroll to 1:48 on the video below for a teenie cameo of me! haha)

Painting this beautiful new Aftanas to the sweet sounds of Vince Vaccaro... For a while he was jamming with Tom Curren who made a guest appearance to the event. A very different work environment than my little studio!

Painting this beautiful new Aftanas to the sweet sounds of Vince Vaccaro... For a while he was jamming with Tom Curren who made a guest appearance to the event. A very different work environment than my little studio!

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