For The Love of The Coast

by Claire Gaulin-Brown

When Michael and I lived in BC two years ago, we became linked to the coast life never before. I grew up on Vancouver Island, and while I spent our time hiking, sailing and general coastal exploring, I never knew what had burrowed into my brain. But as an adult I’ve learned that it’s apart of me, and I’m pretty happy about that. Not to belabour the point, but we are so thankful to be back living on this side of the country and I feel super emotional with happiness, that I wanted to make a painting of that love. For the Love of The Coast is about my own connection, but also about the intricately complex ecosystem that encompasses so many living creatures. I hope that the painting (all 36”x55” of it) conveys the reliance each being has on another.

Coastal wolves are genetically distinct from the typical wolf that you imagine, and they scavenge along the waters, hunt seals, and feed on herring eggs. Wolves leave kills for ravens to benefit from, which ravens then spread some of those nutrients into the ecosystem, much like bears flocking to rivers to feast during the salmon run. BC is home to the black bear that carries the gene for the mystical Spirit Bear that can be found in the Great Bear Rainforest. These are just a few connections to be found in the large scale painting.

I’m only a layman ecologist, but by making these paintings I get to learn about all the wonderful relationships that creatures have with their environments, which in turn make me a better steward for our environment both locally and on a more global scale.