tofino artist

Feathers and Fins - Colouring Page

We’ve had a convocation of about 6-7 Bald Eagles flying around in the harbour often these days. It is very distracting from work as it is really fascinating to watch them (it also seems to be making all the gulls a little unsettled). They all seem to be full grown, so not sure why there are so many that seem to hunt/fly together as I know they tend to be alone or in pairs. Anyway they are beautiful regardless!

Summer has been busy with work, and sadly not enough play as of yet. I am also thick in prep and painting for the Pacific Board Art show coming up mid August, which is a really fun change and having a studio space actually makes it possible to do! Lots of client projects and busy Saturday markets so its nice to do a little something for me.

Pacific Wild will be receiving 30% of all art sales at the show so in the spirit of the wild (and inspired by all those eagles), here is August’s Colouring page for you! Look out for it in August’s Tofino Time magazine too!

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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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Black and White - Colouring Page

Killer Whales, Orcas, or Kakawin (in Nuu-chah-nulth) are making headlines these days. The Southern Resident Killer Whales (comprised of J, K and L pods) that live in the waters off BC’s Gulf Island’s and Northern Washington are threatened. With their populations dwindling, efforts are being made to educate the public on how to help protect these beautiful creatures. Threats include toxins in the ocean, noise pollution and reduced Chinook salmon stocks (their preferred diet). In the spirit of #oceanoptimism, some ways you can help the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) : https://www.whaleresearch.com/orca-conservation

Here in Clayoquot Sound we often get visited by Bigg’s (Transient) Orcas. Unlike the larger family groups of Resident Whales (which show up on rare occasion), Bigg’s Orcas travel in smaller family groups and hunt marine mammals (seals, sea lions, porpoises etc.). Sometimes, we are lucky to get front row seats as they cruise by Tofino Harbour!

I decided to celebrate these beautiful marine mammals for February’s colouring page. Keep an eye out in next months Tofino Time magazine and on the Tourism Tofino website.

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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Inktober 2018

Starting a few years back a cool illustrator named Jake Parker started an Inktober Project. The purpose of this project was 31 days and 31 [ink] drawings based on different prompts through the month of October. Each year people post their #inktober drawings on instagram and other social media platforms, and every year I just watch and get inspired by them. This year I decided it was time to take on the challenge myself and here are a few of mine. I only made it about 21 this year (you can see them all on my Instagram feed @clairewatsonart), but I plan to make it to the end in 2019!!!

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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Celebrating Our Oceans - West Coast Colouring Page

World Oceans Day is coming up on June 8th, and it is a time to CELEBRATE our connection to the oceans no matter where we live. This months colouring page is inspired by just that. In the spirit of #oceanoptimism, I’d like to share what I LOVE about the ocean and why it is so important to me…

I have spent most of my life around or on the ocean and these are just some of the things that really stand out for me. The smell… all of them… even the stinky ones. The sound of eagles, wailing seagulls, whining crows, barking sea lions… even float planes and boats have a sound of people living and working on the sea. The excitement on small children faces as they fish off the dock for little perch. Fishing for and eating fresh caught wild salmon or cracking into Dungeness. Walking the beaches and watching the waves. Watching dogs race across the sand as they experience a true sense of freedom. Fond memories of sailing at night when pacific white sided dolphins come like rockets to a bow wake with phosphorescent fairy trails. The wind in my hair and the tangled mess it leaves behind. Paddle boarding in quiet bays where there are no people. Feeling the weather changes in the pressure of the air, and the water movement in the ebb and flow of the tides. Seeing whales jump and feed, or bears digging under rocks at the beach looking for snacks. Drawing ocean creatures and trying my best to capture the essence of them as best as I can (since I do not have gills of my own). Even my fair share of frightening moments on the ocean too… yet I come back for more. I feel so lucky to be living the life I have, and I have the ocean to thank for that.  

Whether we live on the coast or deep inland, the health of our oceans affects every one of us. Being aware of the value of our oceans and the current challenges that they face is our responsibility as human beings. With all the media out there talking climate change, ocean plastics, melting glaciers, oil spills and salmon farms it can be overwhelming. We can’t fix it all today, but we can pick one. Start with one. It is our responsibility to protect what we love and I feel the best way to do this is to inspire others to love and respect it too. I encourage all of you who haven’t seen the ocean, or who live deep within concrete walls to make a trip to the coast. It is the only true way to understand. It is only a matter of time before we reach the tipping point where little actions become normal behaviour and they impact the world in a positive way.  

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Birds Eye View - Colouring Page

I always default on ocean themes, but after spending a week at an Island (and bird sanctuary) in Mexico I have started to appreciate birds just that much more. I always know spring is coming when I hear the Robins in the morning. At the docks, we see Gulls, Crows, Ravens, KingFishers, Barn Swallows, Herons, Bald Eagles and so many more that I don't even know the names of (my daughters birding buddies would be able to list them all off). Bald Eagles are significant in so many first nations stories and legends across BC, and I love that we are lucky to see healthy populations of them here in Tofino and Clayoquot Sound.   

Feel free to download May's colouring page (a little early treat). It will also be in May's Tofino Time magazine. Enjoy! :)

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The Coastal Wolves - Colouring Page

Coastal wolves share our space here in Tofino. They are different from the inland Grey wolves you find on the mainland of BC. They tend to be smaller, they swim and primarily eat fish. As much as we love viewing wolves, they tend to become easily habituated with the amount of human interactions that take place on the coast (camping, garbage etc.) If you see a wolf, briefly enjoy its beauty and then scare it away. You will save it in the long run! #tofinocolour

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Decembers Colouring Page - Free Download

For those cold and crispy (in our case a little soggy) December days! You'll find this free holiday colouring page in Tofino Time Magazine December Issue. If you want the chance to win a print at the end of the month then go ahead and colour in the page, snap a photo and upload it to Instagram with the #tofinocolour hashtag. You can also download it, along with other months on my FREEBIES page! This image is also available as a colouring Christmas Card in my shop if you want to give it as a gift. Ho ho ho!

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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