Artist: Catherine Robertson
Puzzle Designers: Siri Olson & Jasen Robillard
Dimensions: 12 cm by 12 cm
About the Artist
Catherine Robertson's artistic pursuit is anchored in two fundamental themes: the creation of beautiful art and the expression of her profound concern for the environment. Through her work, she aspires to ignite a sense of awe and responsibility for the natural world, nurturing a collective drive toward its preservation.
Catherine has spent over 30 years immersed in her natural habitat along the Pacific West Coast - embracing its shorelines, waters, woodlands, mountains, and wildlife native to the region. Her exploration and life in these areas are reflected in her art. Colour, harmony and energy play an essential part in her artistic creations, along with careful attention to pattern and a skillful sense of composition.
2020 marked a milestone in Catherine's career, as she achieved Signature Status from the Federation of Canadian Artists in July. Beyond our Canadian borders, Catherine was invited and juried unanimously into the Mondial Art Academia in southern France. Catherine was later honoured with 'Artiste du Mois' accolade by the MAA in July of the same year.
Catherine resides and paints in White Rock, British Columbia.
Siri’s Puzzle Design Notes
With my BC-born blood and love of animals, this trio showcasing the Canadian West Coast was an exciting project.
My older sister has always been entranced by humpback whales' immense grace and love. “I feel the same about my sister”. Ever enamoured by them, on a recent drive from BC to Calgary, we played a podcast about the dynamics between humpbacks and orcas and the seemingly intrinsic care the whales possess for other individuals of different species. (Podcast: The Humpback and the Killer - I highly recommend checking it out; it makes a great listen as you complete this mini flight). We learnt how humpback whales are known to work together as a pod to save other individuals from different animal species from attacking killer whales. Whales have up to 3x the number of cells in their brain for processing emotions and love, and they have been evolving for twice as long as humans. Meaning they can likely “love” stronger than we can even fathom.
The vivid and lively colours in Catherine's artwork complement the natural splendour of the native wildlife. Inspired by the innate intelligence of the Humpbacks and the vibrant canvas of Catherine's art, I embarked on populating these stunning ecosystems with their native west coast fauna.
Piece Count: 61
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
The calm coastal marshes and meadows off the Salish Sea offer a perfect sanctuary for nesting birds. In Particular, the Pacific Great Blue Herons, which are legally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but surprisingly aren’t migratory birds, and at times struggle to find undisturbed habitat for nesting. However, these coastal patchworks of marshes and meadows provide them with the perfect environment to forage and nest in. Great Blue Herons have proved resilient time and time again, and over the past 23 years, some have been spotted nesting in Stanley Park, Vancouver. You can watch them on the Heron Camera in Stanley Park - another great watch as you puzzle.
Although some colonies like the ones at Stanley Park can adapt to human activity and development, nearby marshes and meadows must be preserved so bird populations like the Great Blue Heron and Double-Crested Cormorant can flourish. As you piece together this beautiful preserve, pay extra attention to the hidden bird locks.
Piece Count: 76
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Featuring the iconic Satellite Fish Market, a place highly regarded by Sidney locals and tourists alike. The wharf has served for years as a meeting place for families, school groups, birdwatchers, hikers, and campers, awaiting the ferry to Sidney Island. Native flowers, birds, and sea life can be found scattered around this historic location.
Piece Count: 70
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Sidney Island is home to a spit, a narrow, elongated landform that extends from a coastline into a body of water, formed by sediment deposition carried by waves and currents. Like the marshes and meadows of the mainland, the inner lagoon or salt marsh of the spit plays an important role in the migrations of shorebirds during the spring and fall months. These lagoons are a sensitive ecosystem teeming with birds and marine life; because of that, the island is part of the Gulf Islands National Park, a park that encompasses ten islands found in the Salish Sea off of Vancouver Island.
* Whimwham – multi-piece whimsical thematic shape within a puzzle.
Catherine’s aspirations for habitat protection and her intentional art piloted the inspiration for another hidden whimwham. Each wooden puzzle will make one whimwham, and combining all three together will make the larger complete whimwham. The whimwhams are built up from elements of the surrounding natural environment; altogether, they show the interconnectedness of our world with one missing piece - the animals. Our goal for these whimwhams is to serve as a reminder of what we have to lose if we don’t take care of our natural habitat and its residents.
Negative space animals = negative results of our actions or our inaction
Humans are not as solitary as we think we are on this planet. We can be greatly humbled by and can learn a lot from the creatures who share the seas with us. We have in common the ability to love deeply, think critically, play freely, and thrive in community.
The Marsh, The Meadow, The Mountain
- Great Blue Heron
- Double-Crested Cormorant
- Pileated Woodpecker Family
Sidney in Summer
- Sea Otter
- Sea Lion
- Humpback Whale