Surfing the Sea

Since 1995

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
Nova Scotia Girls (2019) — Mar 8, 2019

Nova Scotia Girls (2019)

Nova Scotia Girls
Peggy’s Cove Clampond, Liverpool LaHave, Port Mouton Latham, Mabou Duncreigan, Middleton Parsons & Port Hawkesbury Birchwood

On this International Women’s Day, I once again celebrate the female gender in my art, this time with the girls of Nova Scotia!

In a recent artwork, I noticed that there were only six girls lost in a sea of men and boys, which is a very high male-to-female ratio. While a few new characters I’ve added is working towards a gender balance, the female portion of the cast remains almost minute.

For now, we can celebrate this small community with some celebratory artwork. From left to right, these characters are:

  • Peggy’s Cove Clampond
  • Liverpool LaHave
  • Port Mouton Latham
  • Mabou Duncreigan
  • Middleton Parsons
  • Port Hawkesbury Birchwood

As a kind of nod towards the notion that every woman’s wisdom and talents can be passed on to the next generation, Port Mouton appears to be holding Mabou’s hands as she dances, in a kind of supportive gesture. Mabou will one day be a grown woman herself, and she’ll hopefully teach her traditional Celtic ways, songs and dances to her daughters and granddaughters, and great-granddaughters.

I’ve also made an alternate version of this artwork with a background, and a suitable greeting:

Nova Scotia Girls with BG
Peggy’s Cove Clampond, Liverpool LaHave, Port Mouton Latham, Mabou Duncreigan, Middleton Parsons & Port Hawkesbury Birchwood

Whether it’s a mother, aunt, sister, girlfriend, fiancee, wife, niece, cousin or daughter/granddaughter/great-granddaughter, we all have that special woman in our lives. Give her your appreciation today!


Valentine’s Day 2019 — Feb 14, 2019

Valentine’s Day 2019

It’s the day of loving! And this Valentine’s Day is a bit more special than others, because…

Truro Deuville and Yarmouth Clements' Engagement
Truro Deuville & Yarmouth Clements’ Engagement

…Truro and Yarmouth (of A Nova Scotian Way of Life) are finally getting married! 👬💗💍

They are the second couple of mine to get married, after Amherst and Springhill a few years earlier. In celebration of their upcoming marriage, several other (already) married couples – namely Amherst x Springhill and Port Hawkesbury x Stellarton – have gathered to witness this historic moment, as Yarmouth goes from being Truro’s long-time friend and boyfriend to his fiancé. This is also an historic moment for me, as I’ve never really drawn a couple in the process of proposing before; up to now, you’ve only really seen the aftermath (of sorts).

I chose the ruby for Truro’s ring so it could match his jacket, but the red colour also suggests love and passion, which is what today is all about. As if he’s opening up a box of his love for Yarmouth, I appropriately stamped some hearts that appear to be emerging from the box – and possibly even the ring itself. They’re planning to have their wedding in the summer on a beach overlooking the big blue sea.

This from Truro himself:

“Happy Valentine’s Day from me – and my soon-to-be-husband, Yarmouth!”


Nova Scotian Valentine Cards — Feb 10, 2019

Nova Scotian Valentine Cards

’Tis the season to be loving! In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I’ve made a collection of Valentine cards starring the cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life (ANSWOL). They can be downloaded, printed out and sent to your Valentine, or any loved one!

Love doesn’t just have to be of the romantic kind. :love:

small heart - pink small heart - hot pink small heart - red small heart - orange small heart - light orange small heart - yellow small heart - light yellow small heart - lime green small heart - green small heart - teal small heart - aqua small heart - blue small heart - dark blue small heart - darker blue small heart - purple small heart - magenta  Flag of Nova Scotia Emoji


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