Claire Watson ArtClaire and her husband Adam reside in Tofino, British Columbia. You can find her Saturdays from late May to early October at the Tofino Market in the Village Green from 10-2pm.  Scroll down for her detailed bio!

Killer Whales, Orcas, or Kakawin (in Nuu-chah-nulth) have been making headlines these days. The Southern Resident Killer Whales (comprised of J, K and L pods) that live in the waters off BC’s Gulf Islands and Northern Washington state are threatened. With their populations dwindling, efforts are being made to educate the public on how to help protect these beautiful creatures. Threats include toxins in the ocean, noise pollution and reduced Chinook salmon stocks (their preferred diet). In the spirit of #oceanoptimism, here are some ways you can help the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW).

Here in Clayoquot Sound we often get visited by Bigg’s (Transient) Orcas. Unlike the larger family pods of Resident Whales (which show up on rare occasion), Bigg’s Orcas travel in smaller groups and hunt marine mammals (seals, sea lions, porpoises etc.). Sometimes, we are lucky to get front row seats as they cruise by Tofino Harbour!

I decided to celebrate these beautiful marine mammals for February’s colouring page. Keep an eye out in next months Tofino Time magazine and on the Tourism Tofino website. I also have it live on my blog page of my website for download (which I have been revamping *hint hint*).

To colour Black & White click here & print!

Claire Watson’s Bio:

Being raised on the coast of Vancouver Island, I was immersed in the natural culture of the ocean early in life. I had many opportunities to travel and explore by sea much of the coastline of North America mostly by sailboat or salmon packer in which I developed a deep connection and admiration for this coast. The rugged shores, ocean swells, hardy forest fringes, mountain vistas, starry nights, dynamic daily changes in light and weather, secluded beaches… a rugged, yet fragile landscape makes up the environment I call home. We are all tethered to nature and must respect who and what we are, and this, in essence, has become the inspiration behind my work.

I work primarily in pen and ink and watercolour – the ability to control the fine line work detail but then let it go with the unpredictable nature of watercolour is something I can identify with. I have also been enjoying acrylic and tackling the surfaces of Surfboards, Skateboards and hats when the weather is right and I can work outside (the lack of a studio has me getting creative with my small spaces)! My illustrations have been featured to promote many of the popular large events and organizations of the Pacific Rim Coast including the Pacific Rim Whale Festival (2015), Tofino Food and Wine Festival (2016), and the Pacific Rim Arts Society (PRAS) Summer Festival (2015 and 2016). I also volunteer my design and illustration services for Surfrider Pacific Rim and Clayoquot CleanUp, and am on the board of directors for the Tofino Arts Council. Clients and collaborations include Patagonia, HSBC, Natures Path Organic Foods, Tofitian, Tourism Ucluelet, District of Tofino amongst others.