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.

myartvsartist
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.

mydictionaryfc aagxmaswrap

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.

lnm07 lnm08

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.

swimmingpoolppl sheffieldliverpoolblackpool

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.

ab18statesshowjellies

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.

vanburn seavansky

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.

parrsborodance antigonishstomp

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Father’s Day 2019 — Jun 16, 2019

Father’s Day 2019

Father’s Day Card 2019
Father’s Day Card 2019

In celebration of fathers and father figures everywhere, I’ve made this special card starring some of my favourite fatherly characters. Fathers are often absent in popular media, but I’m working to reverse that trend.

The first father-and-son are Stellarton and Pictou, giving each other a good hug. I previously made another card starring these two for last Father’s Day. Stellarton is probably the most eminent father figure in all my works, being with Pictou since his birth and even his conception (as seen in my novel Once Upon a Time in Canada).

Second are Harold ‘Hal’ MacKinnon and his son Sydney ‘Syd’, my personifications of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. The reason I made Cape Breton the son of Nova Scotia is because, though it may be connected to the mainland by a bridge, Cape Breton has developed its own unique culture from its strong Celtic roots. I like to think of it as a province within a province. Syd also has red hair just like his father and his grandfather Scotland, but he doesn’t have the bushy ginger beard and sideburns like his dad.

The last father-and-son of the day are Kemptville and his son Kentville. They both have extremely similar-sounding names, which can cause confusion and even embarrassment for Kentville, who always has to rush to correct the mistake. Unlike the other fathers and sons here, Kentville is more of the caretaker, as Kemptville is rather weak physically and emotionally due to his old age. He always has to learn to be around his father when he has his breakdowns, but Kemptville also acts as a dispenser of elder’s wisdom for his son, like all good fathers are.

For dads everywhere, Happy Father’s Day!

👨‍👨‍👦👨‍👨‍👦‍👦👨‍👨‍👧👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👧

Truro and Yarmouth’s Wedding Outfits (2019) — Jun 11, 2019

Truro and Yarmouth’s Wedding Outfits (2019)

Truro Deuville & Yarmouth Clements
Truro Deuville & Yarmouth Clements

It’s getting close to the big day for Truro and Yarmouth. After their engagement in February on Valentine’s Day, countless days and nights have been spent eagerly chatting up, planning and painstakingly thinking up outfits for their upcoming June wedding. Now I can reveal what they’re going to be wearing for the day when they finally tie the knot! 💒💍

Their wedding outfits are a lot like their everyday clothes, but more muted in tone for the formalities of the occasion. Yarmouth’s bright yellows are replaced with neutral yet warm shades of beige, while Truro’s stands out with its rich tones of red and blue. He wears thin azure leggings under his navy trousers, just as he does in his everyday look, but his light blue boots are suitably replaced with black loafers and light blue cotton socks. Yarmouth wears his suspenders under his blazer, so they’re not immediately visible, but the possible heat of the summer day might just make him take it off. Both wear black bowties and coattails that will flow elegantly behind as they walk up the aisle, along with their rings, which are ruby and citrine jewel rings in gold to match their outfits. Their lapels are decorated with small flowers – possibly roses – in pastel pink and yellow.

I was somewhat inspired by the wedding of Ruby and Sapphire in Steven Universe, which has been hailed as a landmark moment in the representation of LGBTQ+ characters in animated media. This being Pride Month and a traditional month for weddings and marriages, it’s fair to say Truro and Yarmouth have set a great date for the first day of the rest of their lives.

👬🏳️‍🌈🌈

theweddingrubysapphire
The Wedding of Ruby & Sapphire
MerMay Summary of Art 2019 — May 31, 2019

MerMay Summary of Art 2019

With MerMay 2019 swimming off into the sunset, now’s a great time to look back at all the fun under the sea we’ve had over the last 31 days. There’ll be more at the same time next year! 🧜🏻‍♀️🧜🏼‍♂

MerMay 2019 Extravaganza! — May 21, 2019

MerMay 2019 Extravaganza!

The mermaid mania continues! This time, it’s a double feature under and above the sea.🧜

Under the Sea
Nova Scotian Merfolk Undersea Scene

It’s better down where it’s wetter, so sings Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, so that’s why I’m starting off under the sea. This was actually based on a sketch I did in my sketchbook during my latest travels in Colombia last Christmas, but obviously with some mermaids and mermen thrown in to connect it with MerMay. As expected, there’s also a great array of marine life, with fish, dolphins, starfish and even sharks (!) swimming happily alongside the mer-people. Resident pirate Oak Island even seems to have hit upon some treasure, his ultimate dream – though he may want to keep it a secret, as it may be cursed…

Nova Scotian Merfolk on the Beach
Nova Scotian Merfolk on the Beach

Even mermaids and mermen need to come up to land every now and then for some rest and relaxation. As underwater, some seaside friends have joined the mer-people above the waves, including dolphins and whales, and even a flying fish. I even cleverly threw in a Little Mermaid reference with Jollimore’s pose on the rock and the waves crashing behind him, as if he wants to be where the (ordinary) people are. Dartmouth doesn’t feel the same, however…

I now have an idea for another MerMay artwork – a parody of the scene in The Little Mermaid where Ariel famously climbs onto a rock with the ocean waves splashing behind, saying “I want to be where the people are”… but Dartmouth, being a teacher in the land world, instead says “I wanna be where those stupid kids aren’t.”

Jollimore’s reply? “Under the sea!” 🌊

MerMay 2019: Nova Scotia Merfolk — May 1, 2019

MerMay 2019: Nova Scotia Merfolk

Nova Scotian Merfolk
Nova Scotian Merfolk

What is MerMay? It’s a month-long celebration throughout May of mermaids – and mermen! 🧜🧜‍♂️

Joining in the maritime festivities are the entire cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life (ANSWOL), who – as if by magic – have all been transformed into mer-people. Their outfits and tails each take their colour from the outfits they usuallty wear on land, though a bit more fishy and scaly.

You may have noticed that some of the Nova Scotian mer-people look a bit different from others, be it their tails or outfits. Some have tails in several colours, while others wear what look like fisherman’s nets around them. The nets mean they’re a fisher-person, although not all fisher-people here wear nets (see: Mahone Bay and Lockeport). Truro has a red and blue tail to represent his overshorts and leggings on land, while Westville has a shining rainbow tail representing the colourful umbrella he’s often seen jumping in puddles with. Stellarton has a star on his tail (possibly a starfish) to represent the star he has on his shirt in the ‘real’ (land) world, and Riverport has an anchor chained to him to represent his former duties as a sea captain. And of course, Jollimore has his rainbow lei, made famous by my story, Life is a Beach.

My personal favourites:

  • Jollimore
  • Oak Island (pirate merman!)
  • Riverport
  • Wolfville
  • Truro
  • Amherst and Springhill
  • Joggins and Parrsboro
  • Pictou
  • Stellarton
  • Westville
  • The Cape Breton fiddling trio (Judique, Campbell and Lime Hill)
  • Mabou
🎶 Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it’s better
Down where it’s wetter
Take it from me
Up on the shore they work all day
Out in the sun they slave away
While we devotin’
Full time to floatin’
Under the sea! 🎶
– Sebastian, The Little Mermaid, 1989
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