Surfing the Sea

Since 1995

Truro and Yarmouth’s Wedding Party (2019) — Jul 16, 2019

Truro and Yarmouth’s Wedding Party (2019)

Truro & Yarmouth's Wedding Party
Truro & Yarmouth’s Wedding Party

The ceremony’s been held. The rings and vows have been exchanged. The marriage’s been made official. Now for the fun part – party time! 🥳🎉🎊🍾

Taking place a few hours after the wedding itself, the guests and the happy couple have moved off the beach into a large private garden, filled with hydrangeas, wisteria and roses. Now they can really let themselves go with dancing, drinking, eating and more dancing. Providing the entertainment are the Cape Breton fiddling trio – Judique, Campbell and Lime Hill – and Mabou.

In keeping with Pride, there’s a distinctive rainbow theme to Truro and Yarmouth’s wedding. The banner decorating the arch is dyed in the myriad colours of the rainbow, as are the balloons which sway in the gentle midsummer breeze. The arch is again adorned with lilac cascades of wisteria, and the Nova Scotia and Pride flags, just as it was at the actual ceremony. The wedding cake has tiny wax figures of the happy couple on its crown, and was baked by Pictou (seen here carrying a tray of burgers) in rainbow shades. 🌈🍰

Some guests who didn’t appear in the previous drawing are here – Lunenburg, Halifax, Eskasoni and North Preston among them. (This was so I could sprinkle in a little more diversity.) Unfortunately for Pictou, some unwanted guests seem to have gatecrashed the party – and they seem to be enjoying the music. Kemptville, Kentville’s father, can’t seem to stop crying tears of joy either. (He’s been crying since that morning!)

When I had sketched this in my sketchbook, I had originally planned for the party to be held inside, like in a community hall. But with the wonderfully warm summer weather, I changed it so it would be outside instead, so everyone won’t deprive themselves of some much-needed Vitamin D while they enjoy Truro and Yarmouth’s happy day. ☀️

A new chapter has begun in Truro and Yarmouth’s lives, and they’re sure to remember it for many years to come. May their marriage be a long and joyful one. 👬❤️️🧡💛💚💙💜

The Great Nova Scotian Barbecue (2018) — Aug 29, 2018

The Great Nova Scotian Barbecue (2018)

The Great Nova Scotian Barbecue

With summer beginning to fade away into the earthy tones and scents of autumn, there’s no better way to send it off than a big family barbecue party. No-one does family gatherings better than the inhabitants of Nova Scotia.

As well as the usual burgers, hotdogs and steaks, there’s a Maritime twist – barbecued lobsters with a butter baste are the order of the day. Even the tablecloth has a Nova Scotian tartan pattern, adding to the patriotism.

I used a silver glitter pen to create the plumes of whitish-grey smoke billowing from the barbecue as it sizzles and crackles away with glowing coals and embers, represented with orange and yellow glitter pens.

There’s also some fun and relaxation to be had – Truro shows off his shooting skills with some basketball in the courtyard to a cheering crowd, while Amherst, Springhill and Lunenburg sleep off all the calories with a good afternoon nap. One of my favourite plants is the lilac and lavender wisteria vine, which I added twining itself around the canopy of the swinging bench where Amherst and Springhill are snoozing. It’s a common vine of the suburbs, where large fenced back gardens are the norm, though not usually on the beachfront like here.


Enjoy the final days of summer while it lasts – soon you’ll be in for six months of winter. 😉

Canadian Boys: New Year House Party (2018) — Jan 3, 2018

Canadian Boys: New Year House Party (2018)


My first artwork of 2018! 🎆🎇🌠

While it’s a little late to the party (no pun intended), I just had to draw something to herald the new year. Taking inspiration from a few of my previous artworks, I transferred the situations in those to a new creation.

With the record-breaking cold temperatures and snowfall outside, it’s better and warmer – and a perfect excuse to hold a house party. That’s just what the residents of the Canadian Boys’ House have decided to do this year, complete with their own music, dancing and spectacular firework display – on the TV. After being told bright reds are particularly distracting for walls and floors, I lightened it with some soft pale pinks, and most of the residents wear red anyway.

In light of the intolerable cold biting the nation, everyone has had their outfits slightly altered so their arms and feet do not freeze. While some of them would usually wear two-toned shoes with a revealing hole in the top, here they wear tight leather boots with thick insulated socks inside (as per what I wore in Canada). Some of them also wear a long-sleeved shirt under their short-sleeved ones and wear trousers instead of shorts, so they don’t grow goosebumps. The possible exception is Regina, whose armwarmers are cut off slightly at the top, showing her mole.

This is probably the first time I’ve drawn a room inside the Canadian Boys’ House in full, though I have drawn house rooms before. In the past year, I’ve found it easier to colour in backgrounds thanks to my twin-tipped markers, which have a broad nib on one end for wider colouring. Fair to say, as part of one of my New Year’s resolutions, I’ll be brushing up (again, no pun intended) my confidence with colouring backgrounds more this year.


Holiday in Colombia: Week 2 — Aug 8, 2016

Holiday in Colombia: Week 2

The second week of my eighth visit to Colombia started off with a day-trip to my aunt Leonora’s finca (farm) near Santa Rosa, which I’d briefly visited during my first week. It is located far out in the country a very good distance off the main highway, so the drive there was long, rocky and a little bumpy along a mountain-like terrain, and we had to break for a short time in a small village along the way to avoid damage to the underside of the car. Once we did arrive at the finca, however, we were greeted by Nico (who’d already arrived), two dogs named Rufo and Muñeca (meaning ‘doll’ or ‘wrist’ or Spanish, though it’s most likely the former), and a black cat named Coco. We went picking for oranges and avocadoes in the back garden, and I got a little opportunity to draw some new art of the IAmMatthewian Project/Project Canada province and territory characters.

Rufo on the bed
Coco eating her food
New IAMP/PC artworks

We spent the next day shopping in Pereira city centre, mostly eating at a burger bar in the Arboleda mall – I found a surprise in the form of a Legend of Zelda Monopoly board game! Quenching my thirst with a bottle of Sprite at the Victoria mall, I snapped this night view of the Victoria plaza, with flashes of white thunder brightening the black sky at intermittent individuals. That scared me a little, not to mention the heights… and the wobbling high-hung banners inside the mall!

Pereira Victoria plaza at night

The next day, we visited another finca just outside the city of Pereira in the green coffee-growing hills, where we would later be spending the weekend. To our surprise, we found a grey tabby cat in a box with tiny dark-furred kittens, and a brown Labrador dog in a stable (who I would find out later was named Oriana) with small brown and beige puppies. The owners told us both the puppies and kittens were barely a week old, meaning they would have been born when I’d just landed in Colombia the previous week. Maybe I’ll forever associate their birth with me touching down in their country for the eighth time in my lifetime? Later on in the evening, we saw The Secret Life of Pets at the Unicentro Pereira mall (see my review of the film here).

Grey tabby cat in a box with kittens
The farm cat and her kittens
Tiny Labrador puppies sleeping together

The day after, we went on a big day-trip to the small, colourful town of Salento in the neighbouring Quindio region, the centre of Colombian coffee growing (which is why it’s called the ‘Coffee Axis’, and is even recognized as such by UNESCO, who deems the entire region a World Heritage Site). It and the nearby Valle del Cocora or Cocora Valley – home to the largest growing grounds for wax palms (the national tree of Colombia) – attract many tourists, especially backpackers, who come to climb the hills and mountains. It seemed that on this particular day, tourists outnumbered the native Salentans by a great deal, and a bus packed full of visiting backpackers even pulled up in the town plaza, with the travellers pouring out in droves. The Cocora Valley is actually part of the larger Nevados National Park, containing one of the most active volcanoes in Colombia, the Nevado del Ruiz (it famously went through a huge eruption in 1985, which buried most nearby towns in dark grey ash, destroyed many buildings and killed thousands of people, and even almost wiping an entire town off the map). While the volcano may not erupt any time soon in the near future, it still poses a huge threat to those living in the immediate surroundings, just as with any still-active volcano.

Colourful house exterior in Salento
Wax palms in the Cocora Valley/Valle del Cocora

That evening, we drove a short distance to the small village of Filandia, located not too far off from Quindio’s border with the Risaralda region, in which Pereira is located and the capital city of. Its name has a rather poetic-sounding origin, coming from the Latin words “filia” (daughter) and “Andia” (Andes, as in the Andes Mountains, which run through the region) – put together, “Filandia” literally means “daughter of the Andes”. (Not Finland, which is “Finlandia” in Spanish – notice the extra ‘N’.) Though we only spent a little while in the town, we still got to see more colourful house exteriors, a small Colombian jeep, and vast views of the green coffee-growing hills and mountains surrounding the village from the Colina Iluminada lookout. We even ate some coffee-flavoured marshmallows (in the Quindio region, it seems anything can be flavoured with coffee, even biscuits and marshmallows) and bought a coffee bean-shaped box for storing trinkets and other types of jewellery.

Filandia town plaza
Small Colombian jeep in Filandia
Filandia seen from the Colina Iluminada lookout

To end the second week of my eighth visit of Colombia, we spent the weekend at the previously-mentioned finca with the cat and kittens and dog and puppies (or rather several dogs). I went swimming in the onsite pool several times to cool myself off from the heat – although I mostly spent each one of those times trying to clean the pool of stray bugs and leaves – and rode the swings at the onsite children’s play area. Of course, with so much free time away from my computer screen, I had to practise on making more new artworks, including more experimentation in my new art journal:

More new artworks!

Since the Rio 2016 Olympics began during our weekend at the finca, I saw some highlights of the opening ceremony – I cheered when Canada came up in the flag parade. (Even if they don’t do well, I’ll still love Canada forever!) We threw an even bigger party that evening out by the poolside to celebrate my mother’s birthday the previous day, with fizzy drinks, Macarena dancing, Mexican sombrero hats and balloons. Even the irregular rain couldn’t stop our partying.

The Months’ Party (2007) — Jan 12, 2016

The Months’ Party (2007)


After celebrating the New Year with a big house party, the Months decided to… have another party! At least that’s what I’ve called it, anyway – it’s just a random doodling I made of a few of the Months characters in a crowd setting, making different poses so they look like they’re having a party.

While it isn’t known exactly what kind of venue this party is being held in (the background is just blank, as with many of my other drawings), the Months sure do look like they’re having fun – even August and September have transformed into dragons (a trait inspired by the Disney cartoon Jake Long: American Dragon), presumably so they can light candles and make a bonfire with their fiery breath.

But one of the party guests is rooting out for more than just having a good time… he’s also looking for trouble, and that’s November (right in the centre of the drawing, above August and September). You can see that he is carrying a green spray can, and that can only mean one thing – he wants to do some graffiti! The whole inspiration behind him graffiti-ing things is based on the cartoon The Fairly Odd Parents, where Vicky (Timmy Turner’s evil babysitter) would sometimes spray offensive graffiti on the Turner family’s house walls while they were out (usually things like “Dinkleberg Rulez”, which would be sure to cause a little issues with Timmy’s Dad later on…) November plays similar pranks on December and the other months, but obviously instead spraying things like “December Stinx!” and “November Rocks!!” on the walls of the Months’ house, which will obviously land him in hot water with December…

I’m obviously back at work since the festive holidays, but why are the Months still partying to celebrate the New Year? They should be back at work too by now…

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