March means warmer temperatures (finally), Tofino businesses coming out of hibernation (yes...Sushi!), tourists starting to come back in droves with spring break. Of course it is also when we welcome the whales back up to our coast with our annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival!
We have been nailed by storm after storm this January... literally and figuratively it seems. I have been enjoying the energy in the clouds, the heavy rains and violent seas (aside from the Tsunami warning at 2am), but I have definitely spent more time indoors than I like to. The interesting thing about storms is that aside from shallower waters where the sea floor gets churned up, the deeper ocean remains calm amongst the chaos of the surface. I decided this colouring page should be dedicated to the subsurface hunters, the wolves of the sea, the Kakawin (in Nuu-chah-nulth)... one of my favourite mammals, the Orca (the largest of the toothed whales... actually in the dolphin family). Orcas are highly intelligent, pack hunters with strong family connections that can often be found on the coast here in Tofino and often come into the harbour to feed.
Even though the "whales" are black and white, there is no reason you can't add a little colour of your own to them! Feel free to download this page, or find it in February's Tofino Time magazine soon. #tofinocolour
January is around the corner and of course this brings a new year. Some folks enjoy the holiday time to just chill and get to everything in January, but admittedly I like to spend that last week of the year clearing the clutter and catching up so on January 1st I can start with a fresh clean slate! For Christmas this year I was given a Vitamix and a copy of Tim Ferriss's Tribe Of Mentors so I am well armed... ;)
This colouring page was inspired by one of my dearest friends... my dog walking, ½ marathon training, tea slurping, chocolate eating, business brainstorming partner in crime and passionate oceans and clean beach advocate - Michelle Hall of Surfrider Pacific Rim and Cedarwood Cove.
It will be showing up in Tofino Time for January as well, so if you feel so inspired (by someone or something), print it, give it some colour then hashtag #tofinocolour on Instagram and tell me about your inspiration or aspirations for 2018!
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!
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!
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
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!!!
Pluviophile. a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days. (LOVE this)
Its February... and although I tend to feel compelled to follow the seasons with my colouring pages, I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day. Its a 'Hallmark' branded holiday designed to get suckers (sorry if you are a sucker, or a business owner who sells to suckers) to buy cards, chocolate and flowers for their loved ones... a perfect marketing ploy as far as I'm concerned (Hang on! Should I be making Valentines cards too?). Maybe I'm just lucky that my guy (after 21 years together) doesn't need a 'day' to remind him... haha! Instead I am reminding us why we should LOVE the rainy winters. Rain is the source of life here on the coast... like it or not.
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!
Its that time of year again... holiday cards now in the shop with free shipping on orders over $25 until December 15th!
Also Available at:
The Make Merry Market - November 24/25
Winter Artisan Market - Sunday, December 4th 11-4pm
Lovecraft Gallery in Tofino
Coming again this Halloween, the epic dance party at the Shore. I love cracking out my inner horror flick lover on these posters.
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)!
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.
September is my absolute favourite month in Tofino. As much as I love the energy and weather of the summer months (and having my kids around to play with), the fall brings 'space'. The busy streets and beaches start to thin out once school starts, the weather is often fabulous (albeit not THIS week), and you no longer have to wait 40 minutes for a coffee if you want to hit your favourite spots out for one. With the kids back to school, the boat clears out during the day and as much as I love leading a spontaneous existence the 'routine' is welcome for damage control after a busy summer season. Catching up on some client projects, and prepping the boat for the winter feels some what productive again!
One of the latest projects I am working on is a collaboration with Tofino Time magazine. Each month (started in August) I will be putting in a themed colouring page for your meditative, west coast colouring pleasure! It IS newsprint so pencil crayons are recommended, but if you want to hit it with markers than just download it here and print on your favourite paper. Eventually I will put together a book when I have enough drawings, but for now they are free for you to enjoy!
If you want to take it a step further, once you are finished just snap a photo and pop it up on Instagram with the hashtags #tofinocolour (or #tofinocolor if you are south of the border) and @clairewatsonart and there may just be some prizes and you could be featured! I really want to see what you guys pick for your west coast colours!
Coming VERY SOON to the Tofino Saturday Market and the online shop! I've been wanting to get into apparel for a while now and I finally jumped and ordered some shirts for printing. Stoked.
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)
For all you potential retailers out there, I put together this catalogue of my available prints and art cards. Spring has sprung so let me know if you feel my work would be a good fit!
Living aboard can be the most amazing lifestyle choice about 90% of the time. We have done it now with our family of 4 for over a year now. I feel so much more in tune with environmental changes and weather systems than I ever did living in a house. I feel more aware of my footprint as we consume less when living aboard… less power, less water, less stuff, less space, less waste. Most general tasks tend to take more effort so I feel less complacent and more appreciative of the little things (ie. laundry machines and showers). The desire to get rid of ‘stuff’ is addicting (except art supplies of course). The feeling of freedom from carrying less is invigorating and every day feels like an adventure. I hope we can inspire those who think that could NEVER do it.
There is that remaining 10% though. When back to back days of hard rain hit, or when the condensation and leaky drips increase, or when 40+ knot SE wind storms last for days, or when teenager/parent battles happen (luckily there aren’t many), or when the momentary need for space gets overwhelming, or when the dock is an ice rink, or when the public showers are disgusting or worse… broken, or when Adam really needs to watch the hockey series and there is no escape from the yelling, or when the laundry machines are busy… or like this past 2+ weeks of a full on dock power outage during a wicked cold snap! Those are times when we wonder how and why we do it.
I suppose it is all about ‘perspective’. We are happy, healthy, strong and have all we ‘need’. I have so much gratitude to Adam for his willingness to get outside to fire up the generator in sub zero temps first thing in the morning while we all huddle under our blankets (and of course for everything else). I am thankful to my girls for their patience, understanding, resilience and hardiness. I am grateful to my friends who offer support, kindness and a hot shower when needed. There are so many people facing hardships of all kinds as we all welcome in a new year and this is nothing compared to them.
So here’s my wish for the new year… sorry its a bit late (preoccupied by 'life'... haha). I wish YOU all good health, profound happiness, financial freedom, full bellies, deeper perspective, mind blowing inspiration, free flowing creativity, eternal gratitude, epic adventures and true love for 2016 and on. Cheers!
(Now if you'll excuse me I need to wash my hair in my studio sink since the power is still out and the water hoses are frozen at the dock... hahahaha!!!)
A fun side project come market time... hand painted hats. Some foam truckers and some cotton, all are done in acrylic with a clear coat so they can resist Tofino weather!
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Make Merry Market over the weekend. It was a great event and kick start to the holiday season!