Surfing the Sea

Established 1995

Remembrance Day 2018 — Nov 11, 2018

Remembrance Day 2018

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. At 11.11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice was signed in a tank, putting an end to the battles which had raged around the world for four years.

Every 11th of November is a day to remember all the troops which fell during the war, and in all wars after, including World War 2 and more recent wars. The poppy is the symbol of remembrance, its bright scarlet petals said to represent the blood which was spilled as the soldiers fought for their – and our – freedom.

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning… We will remember them.”

poppy meadow


Nova Scotian Trick-or-Treaters (2018) — Oct 31, 2018

Nova Scotian Trick-or-Treaters (2018)

Nova Scotian Trick-or-Treaters
Nova Scotian Trick-or-Treaters

It’s time to be spooky! Continuing from the last exhibition, it’s time to see the Nova Scotians in their Halloween costumes out in action!

To keep things a little simpler, I didn’t include all the costumes from the previous artwork, but a select few which I thought were the scariest or the most Halloween-ish. The kids all carry pumpkin pots, ready to collect any treats which they hope to collect from willing neighbours, while the adults join in the fun with costumes of their own. Night scenes are somewhat difficult because everything is darker, especially when drawing traditionally, but on top of my Bonfire Night artwork from last year, it’s good practice.

In case you’ve forgotten who’s who, here’s a small-ish rundown, going from left to right on each row:

  • Halifax – Old Clock Tower
  • Westville – Georgie from It
  • Dartmouth – zombie teacher
  • Jollimore – Hawaiian vacationer (his legs must be cold with just those shorts on!)
  • Tatamagouche – cow
  • Parrsboro – dinosaur
  • Joggins – archaeologist
  • Pictou – Highlander
  • Port Hawkesbury – witch
  • StellartonStellarton Starman
  • Wolfville – grapevine
  • Oxford – blueberry
  • Berwick – apple
  • Kentville – pumpkin
  • Mahone Bay – scarecrow
  • LunenburgBluenose II
  • Riverport – sea captain
  • Liverpool – witch
  • Cole Harbour – hockey player (modelled on Syd Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins)

Before I leave you to enjoy your stash of candy you’ve probably been going trick-or-treating for, a little history lesson:

Halloween has its roots in a Celtic festival called Samhain – pronounced So-when – which is when the spirits of the departed were said to come out and roam the world of the living. Halloween itself is a shortening of All Hallows’ Eve, the day before All Saints’ Day (first day of November), which traditonally marked the beginning of winter. The celebration of the dead is why Halloween is associated with spooky stuff.

With that all said, have a very Happy Halloween – and don’t overdo the candy!


Nova Scotian Halloween Costumes (2018) — Oct 12, 2018

Nova Scotian Halloween Costumes (2018)

‘Tis the season to be… spooky! 🎃👻💀

Halloween has arrived again, meaning ghouls, ghosts and goblins are all out in full force. Wacky costumes are making the rounds, and no-one’s more ready for it than the cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life.

I’ve concocted a witch’s brew of terrifying Halloween costumes that are set to make this scary season a memorable one, at least in the province of Nova Scotia. Each costume is connected in some way to their hometowns (with the exception of a few), furthering their purpose as geographical personifications. This work is split into two parts.

Part 1

  • Halifax – Old Clock Tower
  • Dartmouth – zombie teacher
  • Jollimore – Hawaiian vacationer (inspired by Life is a Beach) 🌺
  • Cole Harbour – hockey player (birthplace of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Syd Crosby) 🏒
  • Waverley – jellyfish
  • Sambro – Highlander
  • Peggy’s Cove – lighthouse
  • LunenburgBluenose II
  • Mahone Bay – scarecrow (annual scarecrow festival, usually held in September-October)
  • Riverport – sea captain
  • Bridgewater – lobster 🦞
  • Liverpool – witch 🧙🏻‍♀️
  • Lockeport – fish man 🐟
  • Yarmouth – lobster (largest lobster fishing grounds in the world 🦞)

Part 2

  • Berwick – apple (apple capital of Nova Scotia 🍎🍏)
  • Kentville – jack o’lantern (pumpkin festival 🎃)
  • Wolfville – grapevine (wineries 🍇🍷🥂)
  • Truro – train station attendant (railway hub 🚂🚆🚉🛤)
  • Masstown – lobster 🦞
  • Amherst – Esther Cox (the Great Amherst Mystery 👻)
  • Springhill – miner (former mining town ⚒⛏)
  • Joggins – archaeologist (fossil cliffs 🐚🦖🦕)
  • Parrsboro – dinosaur (Fundy Geological Museum 🦖🦕)
  • Oxford – blueberry (blueberry capital of Nova Scotia 🍇)
  • Pugwash – Captain Pugwash (get it?)
  • Tatamagouche – cow (dairy farms 🐄🐮🥛)
  • Pictou – Highlander (high Scottish population and heritage 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿)
  • New Glasgow – New Glasgow Nebula, from the Stellarton Starman cartoon and comic series
  • Stellarton – Stellarton Starman, of the eponymous series
  • Trenton – The Tin Man (steel mills 🔩⚙🔧)
  • Westville – Georgie, the boy who is kidnapped by the clown Pennywise in the Stephen King book and movie It
  • James River – beaver (because his last name is Beaver Meadow)
  • Antigonish – Highland warrior (Highland Games 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏋🏻⛳🏌🏻)
  • Arisaig – also a Highland warrior (as above)
  • Port Hawkesbury – witch 🧙🏻‍♀️
  • Judique – moose (high population of moose 🦌)
  • Campbell – Doesn’t celebrate Halloween, so he just wears his formal outfit
  • Lime Hill – Also doesn’t celebrate Halloween, so he just wears his formal outfit.
Inktober 2018 — Oct 5, 2018

Inktober 2018

I’ve decided to participate in this year’s Inktober!

(If you don’t know what Inktober is, I’ve written this handy post. It’s a couple of years old, but it gets down the basic facts about Inktober.)

This gallery will be updated as I draw for the challenge, which will eventually make a 30-day visual calendar of ink drawings. And as it’s also the season to be spooky, some of the drawings will also be Halloween-themed. 🎃👻💀

Nova Scotian Autumn Extravaganza (2018) — Sep 21, 2018

Nova Scotian Autumn Extravaganza (2018)

Summer’s high heat starts to fade away, giving in to cooler temperatures, warm clothes and browning leaves blowing in the fresh breeze. This makes the perfect conditions for an explosion of creativity, allowing me to experiment with more muted, earthly tones – and drawing characters in outfits that are more suited to the season.

Continuing a series of seasonal artworks starring (most of) the cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life, which I began in the summer, the greens, yellows and blues of the sunny season transition dramatically into the browns, oranges and reds of the autumnal season.

A Nova Scotian Autumn

Mushrooms sprout up from the damp soil and wooden logs, a classic harbinger of the fall, and the trees turn a beautiful, bright shade of red matching that everlasting Canadian emblem – the red maple leaf. Horse chestnuts also break out of their spiky green shells, revealing shiny auburn conkers that always litter the leafy floor at this time of year.

As per the season, everybody’s dressed up in warm coats, scarves and hats – Stellarton gets a golden star on his fall sweater, alluding to the first half of his name meaning ‘star’ in Latin, while the Scotsmen of the clan wear matching tartan trousers under their kilts (to prevent any neverending jokes about what they wear ‘under there’.)

Every leaf you see in this drawing was individually drawn and coloured, reflecting the uniqueness of every leaf in real life (though I did cheat somewhat and coloured in several of them with the same colour). I tried to give them different shapes in addition to the classic ‘maple leaf’ shape, like oak, birch and horse chestnut. There’s also some Maritime touches – fiddlehead ferns, a delicacy in New Brunswick, and mayflowers, the provincial flower of Nova Scotia.

Judique Glencoe-Mills, Campbell MacInnis & Lime Hill Marblemount

Taking place in the same forest, but a little further down the path, the Cape Breton fiddling trio of Judique, Campbell and Lime Hill have a leisurely autumn stroll by themselves. They wear sleek black flowing scarves and trenchcoats with their kilts underneath, but surprisingly no trousers or visible undergarments. (I can assure you that they ARE wearing something under there – they’re really short shorts.)

I experimented a little bit with perspective in this drawing, giving the impression that the trio are walking towards the ‘camera’, or the viewer. This is another way I get up close to my viewers – making it seem the characters are interacting directly with them, and that they’re not just ink markings on paper. It makes them more human.

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