Life Near Ocean: The Artist’s Muse

 

Linda Heslop – Is it real or is it…?Linda Heslop feature artist UltimateBnB

A Question of Balance

 

Linda Heslop lives in Victoria on Vancouver Island. But her art graces the walls of collectors around the globe. Her deep connection with this place is unmistakeable…an indelible imprint that informs nearly everything she does. “I am simply in love with Vancouver Island”, she says.

Linda Heslop feature artist UltimateBnB

Moods of the Sea & Sky

Perhaps the most striking aspect of Ms. Heslop’s work is it’s realistic detail. Upon first glance one assumes a photograph…many are taken aback to find that, no, it’s a water-colour.

Linda Heslop feature artist UltimateBnB

Island Reverie

When we set out to look for artwork that could introduce our guests at UltimateBnB to the beauty of this island the decision was an easy one to make. We chose two prints: ‘Arrival’ and ‘After the Storm’. Each one personifies the ‘Life Near Ocean’ experience that island living entails.

Linda Heslop feature artist UltimateBnB
Photo-realistic painting by Victoria BC artist, Linda Heslop, featured artist at UltimateBnB

 

 

 

You can learn more about our featured artist, Linda Heslop by visiting her website: www.lindaheslop.com She is represented in Victoria, BC Canada by Full Circle Studio & Gallery.

 

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SERENDIPITY: reprise

Serendipity_sign

Photo Credit: Unknown


 

Readers who have followed my blog know that I write to inform people about our new Bed & Breakfast, UltimateBnB. However, my goal is for this blog to be more than a ‘business card’. My hope is that people will discover this place (Victoria BC and Vancouver Island, CANADA), it’s people, it’s culture, and it’s beauty. To that end, I registered for a WordPress U course that lasted for two weeks in early December. One of our assignments was to guest-blog for a classmate. This post was my ‘guest-blog’ for fellow classmate, tomadaonline and it appears on his blog, SUP days are better than others. Thoughts, comments, and ‘likes’ are always welcome and appreciated!


There are literally millions of bloggers in the blogosphere. Some mysterious entity bears upon us and we choose one, or a few to read. Perhaps the title, the author’s avatar, or ? I really can’t say for certain but I think it was the acronym, SUP. What the heck is SUP? …click!

I begin to read about some guy and his love for the water. Empathy! I was born on a tiny island. I look at one of his pictures. It looks like Maine. “Are you from Maine?” I ask. “No, but I’ve travelled there” he replies. He talks about his youth, of surfing and summers by the water. I harken back to the endless fun; the crazy boyhood adventures I had during those early years; getting lost in the fog and being carried out to sea in a dory or jumping off the rocks into a tidal pool at the ‘foxes den’. Glorious fun! Instant affinity! I comment. The author ‘likes’ and follows my blog. I decide to dig deeper and realize even though we were raised worlds apart, there is commonality…lots of it!

In 1973 Tom jumped in his sporty yellow MG convertible and took a road trip. He ended up on Vancouver Island, my home for the past 25 years. If you read his guest blog on my site (Stand Up In Victoria BC) he talks of joyous discovery in Victoria BC. He tells of courtship he witnessed between 2 Kingfishers and the lasting impression it made. Just a few short miles to the North, in Campbell River my band played Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” and Jim Croce’s “Big Bad Leroy Brown” for loggers and working girls. They danced the night away amid another type of courtship.

There’s no telling exactly how many times I may have come close to crossing paths with Tom. I remember a road trip of my own in 1980 where I stayed with a friend in Marin County, just a short drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. My friend Skip was from New York City and he was the drummer in one of the best bands I ever played in Ajax Blues Band.  He later went on to play for Elvin Bishop and then Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.

I remember visiting Big Sur during that trip. Wait a minute…could that have been a younger, more daring Tom out there soaring across those thunderous waves while I stood enviously watching from the shore? We’ll never know for sure.

From these coincidences…cogent similarities the seeds of friendship are planted. Tom is a business man; I am a businessman. Tom has travelled the globe; I’ve lived in Europe for a number of years. Tom owns a video production company; I owned a recording studio. There are literally millions of bloggers in the blogosphere…what mysterious entity was the trigger that made each of us go…click? Serendipity!

Stand Up In Victoria BC

SUP at Ultimate BnB…Who Knew?!

SUP yoga_Ultimate BnB_Victoria BC

Photo Credit: Unknown

The first blog post of 2016 goes to a new friend and fellow blogger from San Francisco, Tomadaonline. I must confess, before meeting Tom (virtually, that is; we have yet to meet in person) I had never heard the term ‘SUP’. And for the uninitiated SUP stands for “Stand Up Paddleboarding”. Since meeting Tom, he has certainly piqued my interest in the sport. Victoria and Vancouver Island have become favoured destinations for SUP enthusiasts. UltimateBnB is ideally located to accommodate such adventurers.

So without further ado, please give Tom a warm, Vancouver Island welcome!

Victoria British Columbia left its prints on me. I was only there once, back in 1973, on the return leg of a leisurely jaunt through B.C. and Alberta. The place seemed magical. I saw my first Belted Kingfisher in Victoria. It was on the west coast. There were Bald Eagles too, but the Kingfisher is the bird I remember best. There were two and they sang. They danced in the air. They flew high, and turned hard. It was a courtship of sorts, and it brought the coast alive.

We spent the late afternoon and evening at Buchart Gardens touring the grand landscape while waiting patiently for the sun to set so we could bask in the garden’s luminous evening light. It was as promised.

I hadn’t been to England yet, but in retrospect, Victoria reminds me of the quaint bits of London. Very proper, yet ever so enchanting.  And they have Stand Up Paddleboarding, from flat water to surf.

Today, I’d stay at Ultimate BnB on the West Shore.  Within two blocks you can SUP the lagoon or the ocean.  The BnB is gorgeous, and the owner loves the water.  There are board rental shops at several locations including SUP Victoria and Ocean River Sports.

And there’s great surfing up the west coast at Tofino.  You can rent gear atTofino Paddle Surf.  Check out the Tofino SUP Surfing video.

If you have 8 minutes, check out the Naish SUP trip into the northwest.  They paddled in flat water, SUP Surfed in Tofino, and paddled by bears. Naish has a full line of stand up paddleboards for flat, surf, downwind, and more.

Naish SUP-tripping up the Pacific Northwest from Naish International onVimeo.

 

Living Near Ocean

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I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

From ‘Sea Fever’ – John Masefield

There was a shiny brass plate with those words lovingly hand-engraved upon it that adorned a bulkhead above the stairs leading to the galley on my brother’s power-craft. The fact he made the effort to place it there speaks volumes about the love and respect he and I have for the mighty ocean.

Born and raised on a tiny island that sits at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, the sea is in my bones. For many generations my family subsisted on the plenty found in the surrounding ocean; the entire community did. There was little else.

I have no conscious recollection of any self-made covenant to spend my life by the sea…somehow, it just ended up that way. Observation would suggest I’m not alone. To witness the ocean’s magnetic pull one need only stroll down the hill toward Ocean Boulevard on any given day to observe children feeding Trumpeter swans at the lagoon, lovers walking the sands, families enjoying a sea-side picnic, while kayakers and para-sailors glide across the waves.

With this post I want to begin a feature section in this blog that will present a blend of photos and stories related to life near the ocean. My aim is to add new articles from time-to-time that will enable others who may not be fortunate enough to live beside an ocean or to watch it’s majesty unfold each day to have a sense of what it’s like. As a co-host at Ultimate BnB, my ulterior motive might be to entice the curious traveler to spend a few nights at our bed and breakfast; to indulge themselves in simple pleasures found at every turn when living “Life Near Ocean”.