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.
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
“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
“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
“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
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
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
“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
“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
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
“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
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
“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
“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
“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