Surfing the Sea

Since 1995

My Story… — Jul 7, 2015

My Story…

Since I haven’t introduced myself in the last post, I’ll do it right here.

My Art vs. Artist

My name is Sabrina Gardiner, born in 1995 in the north of green England. From the fledgling age of two years old, I always loved to put my pencils (or at that time, a felt-tip pen) on to pieces of paper to reveal the machinations of my imagination to the outer world.

Once I’d grown out of the phase of scrawling uncontrollably about all over my canvases (which included walls), I began to morph those marks into intelligible characters. My specialism was creating fan stories of my favourite cartoon characters, personifications with flags and educational books.

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The big change came for me when I turned 11 years old and moved to the far-flung country of Colombia. During the year and a half I lived over there, some of the mainstays of my characters would develop, as with a fascination with the months of the year that would last me a good couple of years.

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As I grew into my teenage years and returned to England, I needed to create more realistic characters while at the same time keeping that unmistakable fantasy feel. At this time, I had re-ignited my interest in geography after going on a road trip around the south of England, and so began on a mission to personify every place in every country, beginning with my green homeland.

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Completing (or mostly completing) my personification throughout England, the next logical step would be to go stateside and get on to personifying the United States. But I added a new twist that I hadn’t done with England – personify each state as well as the cities and towns they contained. This allowed me to explore even deeper into the country’s geography by looking at the cultures of each state to see what made each one different.


But the real passion of mine started with me taking a detour at the cinema when the movies I was watching got mixed up. From there, I came across Canada.

Initially creating just one character as I did not expect to become too interested in Canada, the country suddenly began to take over, effectively ending my exploration of the States. At first I did not want to become interested as I wasn’t too much into Canada, but it then grew on me, eventually becoming my most favourite country.

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As I began to work more and more with Canada, a personal goal of emigrating over there began to form, which I still hold today and hope to realize in the near future. Every new artwork I create for the country makes my wish stronger and more determined to make my Canadian dream a reality.

Although I’ve been drawing characters for as long as I can remember, I only recently started to bring them to life on the screen. Initially creating short animations to hone my animating skills, these then evolved into fully-fledged episodes, one of which I am hoping to create a voiceover for. My ultimate dream is that these will eventually transfer to the small and big screens to capture the imaginations and inspire generations of animators to come.

And live in Canada, of course.

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My Tenth Anniversary of Discovering Canada — Sep 20, 2020

My Tenth Anniversary of Discovering Canada

Ten years ago on this day, my life changed forever when I stumbled upon Canada. Since then, I’ve discovered so many wonderful things about this country, but also some not-so-wonderful things. Of course, if you love something, you also have to accept their flaws as well as their good side, and you have to love them through both good times and bad.

Although it’s an overused cliche, the past ten years have certainly been a wild rollercoaster ride of ups and downs – luckily, mostly ups. My love for Canada has helped me get through hard times and has given me a reason to see a new dawn every day, and a reason to keep believing in my dream of eventually living there.

Thank you Canada for ten wonderful years, and may our love continue for ten more years, and so many more!


Canada flag

When a Small Town Saved the World — Sep 11, 2020

When a Small Town Saved the World

Gander welcome sign

On this day in 2001, North American airspace was closed and aeroplanes grounded when the United States suffered a terrorist attack on its own soil. However, some flights which had been bound for the US were allowed to land – not at their original destination, but in the small town of Gander in Newfoundland, Canada.

Gander is a town of some 12,000 people, and has been well-known since the 1930s for its association with the aviation industry and being a refuelling stop for many trans-Atlantic flights. When US airspace was closed, many flights were diverted either to Gander or to Halifax in Nova Scotia, the nearest large city. 6,000 passengers were taken in at Gander International Airport – about 66% of the town’s total population. The then-Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, remarked that there were more people at the airport than in the whole town.

The 6,000 stranded passengers were well-catered for by the local citizens. They made their temporary homes in every building around the town; hotels, gyms and even schools were packed with stranded travellers. They stayed in the town for six days until US airspace could finally be safely reopened.

In the following years, many people have paid tribute to Gander’s role in helping travellers who were caught in the unfortunate fallout from the tragedy of September 11, and former President Barack Obama thanked Canada on the tenth anniversary of the attacks for their solidarity and friendship with the Americans for being their heroes on their worst day. The story of the 6,000 in Gander has even been turned into an award-winning Broadway musical, Come From Away, which has been shown in many countries around the world, including at the West End in London.

From a great tragedy can come great humanity, and Gander certainly brought out the best of its people on that fateful day.

Fogo iceberg

New Characters: Edmundston and St. Andrews — Aug 11, 2020

New Characters: Edmundston and St. Andrews

Edmundston Beaupre & St. Andrews Chandler
Edmundston Beaupre & St. Andrews Chandler

Meet the newest additions to the Canadian Boys family: Edmundston and St. Andrews! 🇨🇦


Edmundston is an Acadian man who is proud of his rich heritage and culture. He’s got the typical Acadian joie-de-vivre and cheerfulness, and he plays an active part in helping to conserve the Acadian culture for future generations.

St. Andrews

St. Andrews lives at a popular hotel and resort by the ocean. He’s a keen golfer and is a regular at the resort’s golf course, where he’s said to be the ever-reigning champion. When he’s not golfing or doing his duties around the resort, he loves to just relax on the beach listening to the rolling sea waves.

Simple Blackberry Pie — Aug 4, 2020

Simple Blackberry Pie


Recently, I’ve been getting into picking wild fruits, especially blackberries. Many sunny summer afternoons have been spent on nature trails and at parks picking these juicy berries – and they taste a lot better than those bought at the supermarket! With so many berries out there, they’re perfect for making jam, pies or even a suitably summery cordial.

Pies are relatively easy to make – you don’t have to be a five-star chef to make one, as all the ingredients are available whether in the wild or at the shop. After a day spent outside blackberrying, it’s always so satisfying to bake a pie and eat it, knowing that your labours have been duly rewarded. Once you taste handpicked wild berries, you’ll never want to eat store-bought again!

Simple Blackberry Pie


  • 2 sheets shortcrust or puff pastry
  • 2 apples, sliced
  • 450g fresh blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tray with butter.
  2. In a saucepan of water over a medium heat, combine the apple slices, blackberries, honey and spices. Simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  3. Place a sheet of pastry on a baking tray and pour the fruit filling in. Roll out the remainder of the pastry and cover the pie, sealing the edges by pressing down with your fingers. Draw a criss-cross pattern on the pastry with a knife.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve with either single cream or vanilla ice cream.

(Taken from this recipe on, with some slight modifications by me)

Blackberry pie with a dollop of cream

Steven Universe: Through the Years — Jul 27, 2020

Steven Universe: Through the Years

Although Steven Universe ended its six-season run back in March of this year, the wider fandom hasn’t wound down, with new fan art being constantly created. Looking back on the series, I was inspired to draw the show’s main characters in all their different incarnations to get a picture of how they’ve evolved – both physically and mentally – in one of the most character-driven animated TV shows to date.

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