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.

parrsborodance antigonishstomp


Canadian Thanksgiving 2019 — Oct 14, 2019

Canadian Thanksgiving 2019

Happy Thanksgiving! Why am I saying Thanksgiving this early? Because I’m talking about Canadian Thanksgiving! 🇨🇦🍁🦃

Nova Scotian Thanksgiving Feast
Nova Scotian Thanksgiving Feast

While it’s often thought of as the quintessential American autumnal celebration, Thanksgiving in Canada actually predates the arrival of the pilgrims to America by about half a century. It’s said that Martin Frobisher first observed the celebration on his 1578 voyage to the famed Northwest Passage, the gateway to Asia from Europe. His celebration was soon copied by French colonists and Americans who remained loyal to Britain, who brought over turkey and pumpkins from down south, making Thanksgiving the occasion it is today. Canadian Thanksgiving is observed a month before its southern cousin, every second Monday in October.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers and followers, and take pride in the fact you celebrate Thanksgiving first! 😉😄

Inktober 2019 — Oct 7, 2019

Inktober 2019

Inktober is back for another year, and this time I’m fully getting into it! This will probably be my most complete Inktober to date. 🖋️

This gallery will be updated as I work through the 31 days. If you want to participate in Inktober as well, the official prompt list is below the gallery:

Inktober 2019 official prompt list

Autumn’s Arrival 🍂🍁 — Oct 1, 2019

Autumn’s Arrival 🍂🍁

The temperatures are coming down, and so are the leaves on the trees. Autumn has arrived! 🍂🍁

After the heat of the summer, cooler days are back again. But the cold of winter hasn’t set in yet, so it’s the perfect time to have some autumnal fun in the forest!

To celebrate the new season, I’ve drawn not one, but two artworks. While the characters differ between each one, they are basically the same, both being in the same forest. These are a sort of follow-up to the artwork I drew for autumn last year, but with more focus on the natural environment.

The Big Canadian Three's Autumn Adventure
The Big Canadian Three’s Autumn Adventure

The first picture stars the big Canadian three – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. I’ve tended to be drawing them more in recent months, in an attempt to go beyond Nova Scotia and the Atlantic provinces. They’ve also received a major re-design – Toronto is now of South Asian descent, and Vancouver is of English and Chinese/Korean descent, which more closely matches their real-life demographics. Montreal, while still staying white, now has some Irish and Scottish in him in addition to French Canadian, and he now wears Montreal Canadiens hockey wear. They all have suitably warm yet breathy clothes for the cool autumn breezes. In his hand, Montreal holds a red maple leaf – the everlasting emblem of Canada everywhere. 🍁🇨🇦

The Denoons' Autumn Adventure
The Denoons’ Autumn Adventure

The second picture stars the Denoon family – Pictou, Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton, Like Montreal, Pictou also holds a leaf in his hands, but it’s three leaves rather than just one. I like to think that there’s one leaf for each member of the family. 😁

All the leaves were drawn by hand, so no two are the same, giving each one a unique shape. They were also each coloured individually, vividly creating the fiery reds, oranges, yellows and earthy browns of autumn – the last burst of natural colour before the greys of winter.

I’m posting this on the first day of October, which means it’s also time to get spooky! 🎃👻

Day-Trip to Oxford — Sep 24, 2019

Day-Trip to Oxford

I’ve been spending the weekend in Oxford! Well, not really the weekend – it was only for half a day – but it was still at the weekend.

Known the world over for its university, Oxford is older than the Aztec Empire. Its relative closeness to London (about an hour and a half by car) makes it perfect for a day-trip out to see the architecture that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times. As expected for a university town, people come to see the university buildings, but its industries also range from publishing (the world-famous Oxford Dictionary of English is printed by the university press) to car manufacture.

Oxford Montage 2012
Oxford Montage 2012

Oxford was one of the few English cities to avoid the Blitz in World War II, though it was one of the main centres of evacuees fleeing from London, which suffered the most damage. In more recent years, mostly thanks to the university, Oxford is one of England’s most diverse small cities, with immigrants mostly from South Asia bringing their distinctive cuisine to the city’s restaurants. And I had food from immigrants when I first arrived in the city, with pizza. 😁🍕

Because we had arrived rather late in the day (it was around 2pm when we got there), we didn’t spend much time in Oxford, but it was just enough to see the city centre and some of the attractions. The high street was bustling with markets, buskers and street performers, including a fiddler on a tightrope (sounds dangerous) and a saxophonist. Alongside all the modern chain stores and traffic, there was a lot of historical architecture – some dating back to the time of Elizabeth I. The historic Welsh College sits right in the middle of Oxford High Street.

At the end of the high street is a massive park, with what appears to be a traditional English country house and garden, and a church building. A willow and maple tree hanging over the river gave a Japanese-inspired flavour to the gardens. With the coming autumn, the climbing ivy turned a rich shade of scarlet, providing a dramatic contrast against the beige brick walls – perfect for a photo.

As I said before, we didn’t stay long in Oxford, but before we went back, I got to stop over at one of the markets on the high street, and added two more members to my ever-growing crystal family: a lapis lazuli teardrop and a white lace agate. (At least I think it’s lapis, it looks blue enough.)

I may have only been in Oxford for at least three hours, but it’s already attracted me with its big-city feel cosmopolitanism blended with small-town hospitality and closeness. To quote the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator films:

“I’ll be back, Oxford!”


Books on Crystals — Sep 16, 2019

Books on Crystals

Continuing from my previous post, here’s some useful reference books for those who – like me – are just getting into the crystal scene. 💎

Brunching Bookworms

Since I’ve been down, unsure about life and stressed I’ve been trying lots of new ways to calm myself, ground and centre me. I’ve taken up yoga and meditation classes which are helping a lot, and also taken a keen interest in crystals and crystal healing. I’ve always been interested in crystals my first one was a rose quartz then I got some blue algate, then people gave me some crystals and after beginning meditation my collection began more and I wanted to gain more knowledge about these beautiful and powerful crystals.

IMG_6668The Power of Crystal Healing
By Emma Lucy Knowles

This book was the perfect “starter” book, it gave simple ways on how to cleanse, use and purchase crystals. The book has beautiful imagery and photography throughout. Emma lists lots of crystals and also alternatives which have similar properties. The one thing I didn’t like about this book is…

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