Catherine Taron
Vancouver Island Visual Artist

West Coast Totem

11" x 14" watercolour on 300# Arches cold-pressed paper

With “West Coast Totem”, I’m acknowledging the long history of indigenous peoples on the west coast, through the millennia. While I love Vancouver Island and both my parents and grandparents have lived here, I know through family research that our roots are elsewhere. We are all immigrants, except for the original and enduring ‘true’ west coasters. Anywhere I walk or hike, I can’t help but wonder how very many footsteps have traced this landscape before me, back, back, back through time—every step as real as my own today, the steps of people who had full resourceful lives, powerful family connections and art. And, because totems for many have personal and spiritual meaning, I thought an ‘eagle on the coast’ a good totemic choice to paint and respect these deep coastal connections.