When you love paddling, it influences practically everything you do. So it’s no surprise artists who paddle often incorporate paddling into their artwork, from painting to woodworking to jewelry-making.

We know the paddling community is full of talented folks, so we asked them to tell us about the ways in which paddling has influenced their art. As expected, they more than delivered and we’re excited to showcase their kayak and canoe art here — some that you can hang on your wall, wear, stick on your fridge or place on your desk.

You’ll find examples of their handiwork below. Be sure to let us know how paddling has inspired the way you create art in the comments.

Watercolor painting of canoes on lake with fall colors in background.
Photo: Taylor Farquhar

Taylor Farquhar

Taylor is an artist and outdoor educator based out of Palmer Rapids, Ontario, near the headquarters of the Paddling Magazine office. “Whitewater paddling brought me to the area and has inspired my artwork,” she says. Taylor works in pyrography and watercolor painting. | @theartofoutside

Katherine Nash Stained Glass Art
Photo: Katherine Nash

Katherine Nash

“Whitewater has been my favorite part of my life so far, so during quarantine this year I decided to start making pieces related to the thing I love most. Many of these were in my first show this past September and are specific to places I’ve kayaked.” | etsy.com/shop/KnashGlass

Earrings made of wire in shape of kayakers.
Photo: Heather Boyd

Heather Boyd

“I have been making wire art and jewelry for 30 years. My husband and I create custom jewelry and wedding cake toppers. Designs are made freehand with a single continuous piece of aluminum wire.” | heatherboydwire.com 

Wooden fridge magnets with person portaging canoe, two people paddling canoe, and person paddling a kayak etched on.
Photo: Michelle Hambourg

Michelle Hambourg

“I always have smaller scraps of wood left over from my larger projects. To make the most of my materials, I like to turn some of those scraps into fun fridge magnets. These are laser cut and engraved on maple plywood and measure 1.5 inches in diameter.” | sparkedupstudio.etsy.com

Painting of whitewater kayaker with mountain and sun in background.
Photo: Candice Caldwell Day

Candice Caldwell Day

“I am an artist, graphic designer, painter, jeweler and crafter. I have been a paddler for more than 25 years and began my journey slalom racing with the Nantahala Racing Club and USA Junior Whitewater Slalom Team in the late 90s.” |  candicecaldwellday.etsy.com

Woman holding print of person on a raft.
Photo: Hannah Spencer

Hannah Spencer

An Idaho river and fly fishing guide who makes original woodblock prints inspired by the wild rivers she runs. Hannah lives on the banks of the Salmon River with her husband and 6-year-old twins. |  hbsartworks.com

Wooden earrings with canoe and paddles crossed overtop.
Photo: Valerie Thai

Valerie Thai

“All our jewelry is designed in-house and assembled in our Vancouver, B.C. studio,” says Cabin + Cub founder, Valerie. Since 2006, she’s been making laser-cut wood accessories inspired by wilderness and wildlife, like these earrings for canoeists. |  cabinandcubshop.com

Piece of wood with scene of tent beside a river with eagle flying overhead and mountains in background.
Photo: Jenna Forest

Jenna Forest

“Pyrography translates to writing with fire. My art aims to capture the intentions of my mind without detracting from the beauty of the wood: from snow-crowned mountains, wild rivers, and flourishing forests, to untamed creatures and harmonious humans at play.” |  truesouthwooddesigns.com

Necklace with canoe and paddle.
Photo: Maren Hills

Maren Hills

A Vancouver Island maker of jewelry in wood, acrylic and leather. “This rustic kayak pendant is laser cut from birch wood—perfect for the water enthusiast,” says Maren. | joyhillsislanddesign.com

Painting of canoe on water with clothes draped over side.
Photo: Janet Mackay

Janet Mackay

“Many of my paintings are inspired by our paddling trips or just lazy days at the cottage watching the paddlers go by. In 2019, I created a series called Skinny Dipping in Canada and have returned to the theme due to popular demand.” | worldviewstudio.ca/artists/janet-k-mackay

Fish with painting of canoe on a river surrounded by forest within it.
Photo: Drew Madden

Drew Madden

Drew is a second-generation raft guide and grew up in the small town of Lotus next to the South Fork of the American River. He spent his childhood playing alongside the river. Using ink and watercolor, Drew uses his experience kayaking and guiding to reflect the beauty and simple lifestyle rivers provide. | riverstoseastickers.com

Person in a kayak made of metal and mounted on piece of wood.
Photo: James Woodall

James Woodall

“I am in Tennessee, building a house in Crossville on Daddy’s Creek. I have been carving little canoes and kayaks out of a variety of wood for about 25 years. I also create little metal figures and sculptures that I call Paddling Freaks. Search for Woody’s River Art on Facebook.” | facebook.com/Woodys-River-Art-772918876103387

Woman's face beside her painting of a whitewater kayaker.
Photo: Hailey Thompson

Hailey Thompson

“I’m an artist and whitewater kayaker living in Anchorage, Alaska. My small art business is called Watercolorwoods, and my work is a mixture of watercolors and acrylics, inspired by the wild rivers and mountains I’m fortunate enough to live amongst.” |  watercolorwoods.com

Person kayaking with outline overlay.
Photo: Patrick McGrady

Patrick McGrady

“Inspiration for these illustrations comes from the paddling community. When sent a picture, I start my illustrating process in Photoshop. Through the mixed media approach, I create an illustration that inspires others to adventure outdoors.” |  patrickmcgradydesigns.com

Show us your best shots!

For a chance to be featured in a future issue of Paddling Magazine, share your paddling photos and artwork from around the world on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #paddleforever.

PBG_Issue63_Cove_300w-248x300.jpegThis article was first published in Paddling Magazine Issue 63. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions here, or browse the digital archives here.


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