Coastal BC Collection

British Columbia’s Ocean, Coastlines, Forests and Trees

January 2015, I began to create a new body of work focused on coastal British Columbia.

The collection is a refection of my life long connection with British Columbia’s ocean, coastline, forests and trees. The medium is pastel and resin on traditional deep exhibition canvas.

Spending my life living on Vancouver Island, experiencing areas of British Columbia through skiing, sailing, kayaking and hiking are major influences driving this Collection. Another source of inspiration, is the inner peace and presence that I feel while being among British Columbia’s great outdoors.

Roche Cove, Sooke, British Columbia

Karen Hamilton | Roche Cove, Sooke, British Columbia

If you are interested in viewing the collection or are interested in purchasing a piece, please feel free to contact me.

Completed Originals

#1 – British Columbia Rainforest
#2 – Spirit Bear – Kermode
#3 – Stillness – Raven
#4 – Nightscape
#5 – Great Bear Rainforest II
#6 – Golden Spruce
#7 – East Sooke Park II
#8 – Great Bear Rainforest III
#9 – Sitka – On the Edge
#10 – Fingal Island | 60″W x 36″H (in progress)
#11 – Botanical Beach Park (in progress)

#1 British Columbia Rainforest

Title: British Columbia Rainforest
48″H x 60″W

British Columbia Rainforest is the first canvas in the Collection. Inspiration came when remembering an experience of feeling lost in the Pacific Rim National Park as a young teen: I was playing in the forest among the trees when it was time to go in for dinner. The sun was setting and although I was just meters from the light of my home, I could not see my way out of the blackness of the forest. Just as fear, panic and a strong urge to flee set in, an inner voice took hold, telling me to stay –  sit and be very still – trust that my mother will call for me in for dinner and then to follow her voice out of the forest to safety… and, so she did and I found my way out of the forest.

Lost, by David Wagner, is a poem capturing my experience and learning that day in the forest. I recognize and honour the power found among the trees and the forest. I learned that no matter the circumstance, that by practicing mindfulness it brings inner peace, joy and happiness.


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

From Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems. Copyright Protected 1999 by David Wagoner — used with permission of the University of Illinois Press
David Wagoner biography:


#2 Spirit Bear – Kermode

Title: Spirit Bear – Kermode
36″H x 36″W
Photo credit: Luke Hyatt |

The Kermode bear coming out of the rainforest represents the sense of calm that I learned while feeling lost in the forest as a young teen.


#3 Stillness – Raven

Title: Stillness – Raven
Size: 90″H x 36″W

A sense of calmness and peace that can be experienced while being among the forest.


#4 Nightscape

Title: Nightscape
Size: 48″H x 60″W

Transitioning into mindfulness.

#5 Great Bear Rainforest II

Title: Great Bear Rainforest II
Size: 24″H x 30″W

Great Bear Rainforest II is a detail from my original Great Bear Rainforest canvas. I really like the small island in that piece and decided to re-create it as part of my new Collection.


#6 Golden Spruce

Title: Golden Spruce
Size: 48″H x 36″W

I sat down to research trees native to British Columbia’s forests in hopes of finding inspiration for my next canvas and it didn’t take long before I found such inspiration with the Golden Spruce.

Kiidk’yaas, also known as the Golden Spruce, was a Sitka Spruce tree, Picea sitchensis ‘Aurea’, that grew on the banks of the Yakoun River in Haida Gwaii archipelago, British Columbia. It had a rare genetic mutation causing its needles to be golden in colour.

On 22 January 1997, a 48-year-old unemployed forest engineer named Grant Hadwin surreptitiously felled the tree as a political statement against industrial logging companies. He was later arrested but disappeared on his way to trial.Wiki


East Sooke Park II

Title: Coast Trail – East Sooke Park II
Size: 36″H x 48″W
Photo credit: Karen Hamilton

On a hike along the Coast Trail, not far from the petro glyphs, I shot this photo from the trail looking onto the Straight of Juan de Fuca, across to the Olympic Mountains.


#8 Great Bear Rainforest III

Title: Great Bear Rainforest III
Size: 40″H x 60″W
Photo credit: Jeremy Koreski |

Inspiration of Great Bear Rainforest III came to me from a photograph shot by Jeremy Koreski, in which he named his photo “Low Tide at Great Bear“.

#9 Sitka spruce – on the edge

Title: Sitka Spruce – On the Edge
Size: 30″H x 24″W
Photo credit: Karen Hamilton

Inspiration of Sitka Spruce – On the Edge came from a photo that I shot while hiking the Coast Trail, East Sooke Park.

#10 Fingal Island

Title: Fingal Island (in-progress)
Size: 36″H x 60″W
Photo credit: Ian Thomas

Inspiration of Fingal Island came from a photo shot by Ian Thomas.

Fingal Island is a small island on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada, located south of Dufferin Island. It consists of columnar basalt lava flows and is part of a volcanic group called the Milbanke Sound Group. — Wiki



Title: Botanical Beach Park (in-progress)
Size: 18″H x 36″W
Photo credit: Terra Nostra | Instagram: @fobro_foto

Inspiration of Botanical Beach Park came from a photo shot by Terra Nostra.