Surfing the Sea

Since 1995

Independence Day 2019 — Jul 4, 2019

Independence Day 2019

Happy Fourth of July to all my American readers and followers! I just hope your country can get out of its nightmare soon enough and once again become a good dream. 🇺🇸

American flag blowing from pole against a blue sky


Canada Day 2019 — Jul 1, 2019

Canada Day 2019

Today marks 152 years since Canada was born – on July 1, 1867. Originally called Dominion Day, Canada’s birthday was renamed Canada Day in 1982, after the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution) was ratified, essentially granting Canada independence from Britain. (They are of course still part of the Commonwealth, a leftover from the days of the Empire, which means they have the Queen of England as their monarch – you can see her head on the back of Canadian coins. 💷)

Happy Canada Day to all of you, be you Canadian or even wishing to be Canadian!

(I know I am!)


Canada Day 2019
Canada Day 2019
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!


Green — Mar 17, 2019


In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re celebrating the colour green here at Surfing the Sea!

Steven Schwartzmann at Portraits of Wildflowers
Steven Schwartzman at Portraits of Wildflowers

One of nature’s most common colours (after blue), green is associated with the environment and its conservation (hence the phrase “going green”), freshness, vegetables, gardening, and envy. Due to its lush green fields and hills, Ireland is often called the Emerald Isle, and the colour green has become associated with Ireland, Irishness and the Celtic culture as a whole.

Lime, emerald, bottle, jade or forest – what’s your favourite shade of green? I’m more partial to the darker shades of green, but I do like bright splashes of lime and chartreuse for that fresh citrus twist.


via Green

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!


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