Janice Tanton and Moresby Explorers – 7 Day Power Painting Journey in Gwaii Haanas National Park & Haida Heritage Site

Bag Harbour, Gwaii Haanas National Park
Bag Harbour, Gwaii Haanas National Park

It’s official! On June 3 – 8th, I’ll be leading a group of 8 painters with Moresby Explorers into the wilds of…

Gwaii Haanas National Park and

Haida Heritage Site

Moresby Explorers Floating Lodge - Base Camp for Power Painting
Moresby Explorers Floating Lodge – Base Camp for Power Painting

Base camp for this seven day rigorous artistic journey is Moresby Explorers’ floating lodge, situated on the northern boundary of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. The lodge is rustic but comfortable with hot and cold running water, enough electricity for lights and camera charging and a flush toilet. Although there is no regular shower, there is an outside camp shower which can be set up if needed.

Comfy Living Room in the Float Lodge
Comfy Living Room in the Float Lodge

Canadian artist Janice Tanton is no stranger to Gwaii Haanas, having been an Artist In Residence for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in 2012. Her practice continues to focus on the beauty and spirit of this special place. A two-time Canada Council award recipient, Janice’s works have been exhibited across the globe. An Alumna of Distinction (Creative Arts & Design) from Durham College, she has taught from coast to coast and worked as Artist in Residence and sessional faculty at The Banff Centre, Red Deer College and Haliburton School of Fine Art. She has been adopted into the Blackfoot as the daughter of Elder Tom Crane Bear, initiated into the pow wow dance circle, is a tipi owner and has been given the Blackfoot name Iniskim-Aki (Sacred-Buffalo-Stone Woman).

Curious as to how to reconcile the wide spectrum of diversity within her communities and familes, her painting practice explores the ambiguous spaces between cultures, humanity, and the land.

Marco Island Painting Spot - Gwaii Haanas National Park and Haida Heritage Site
Painting on Marco Island, Gwaii Haanas National Park


Power Painting In Gwaii Haanas Itinerary

Day 1: We pick you up at the Sandspit Airport at 15:00, when the Air Canada flight comes in from Vancouver. We drive to Moresby Camp, a little more than an hour down the logging roads, where we keep our boats. Here we load all our gear into one of our Hurricane Zodiac Rigid Hull inflatable boats and travel for about one and a half hours to Crescent Inlet, arriving at the lodge at dinner time. After dinner, we’ll get to know each other and share individual personal goals for the journey.

Day 2: In the morning, Janice will give an overview of what to expect at the places we will visit and give a workshop in plein air power painting the authentic impressionists method, which will give you all the tools you need to capture and paint your passion, as you feel it in Gwaii Haanas. We will also discuss wilderness painting gear and wise ecological practices for painting in this environment; what to look for, how to be comfortable and create some comfort for yourself to do the best and most powerful work you have ever imagined. Let’s admit it a camera just can’t catch the emotion and feeling of a place the way that a well executed painting can. Janice will teach you a few skills to release your inner creative spirit into this painting space. We’ll also discuss a specific palette for the light, water, moss and trees in Gwaii Haanas, our studio for the week.
In the afternoon, we’ll head into the field to work onsite sketching and painting. Bring your camera and your artist’s journal.

Humpback Breach - Photo Courtesy of Moresby Explorers
Humpback Breach – Photo Courtesy of Moresby Explorers

Day 3-6: After breakfast we will take a packed lunch and spend most of our time in the field visiting ancient Haida village sites, small islands, mossy forest floors, under-canopy rainforest, intertidal life, cascading streams, interesting beaches and view the snow-capped San Cristoval mountain range. While in the field and back at the lodge, Janice will give you individual attention to further your practice and reach your individual goals as an artist. In the evenings, we will discuss our work of the day as a group and grow from the collective experience.
Janice will also be conducting workshops and exercises both in the field and at the lodge. Some of these include: A discussion of the artistic process, use of the camera for studio work following your painting experience, and the challenges to the outdoor painter. We’ll work on a specific and helpful guided journaling exercise designed just for artists which will help to bring your practice and your eye to the next level. We’ll have some time to discuss the business of being an artist, grant-writing, presentation and artist statements too if you like. Group critique sessions.
On our last evening in the lodge, we’ll hold our own showing, celebrate our work, review our goals and discuss our next steps as artists back in your own home studios. An intense painting experience such as this will last you a lifetime, so having a plan to work into the future is a good thing!

Day 7: After breakfast we will pack up and head back to Sandspit in time to catch the afternoon flight back to Vancouver. If you have more time on your visit to Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands) you may want to rent a car and visit Graham Island.

Skedans Pole - Gwaii Haanas National Park, 2012
Skedans Pole – Gwaii Haanas National Park, 2012

How you should dress:
Because we use open boats it can be very cold and sometimes wet. You should wear warm, layered clothing, preferably synthetic (like fleece) or wool, and if possible avoid cotton as it is very cold when wet. We suggest you bring all the warm clothing you have as you can always leave some in the van if your guide thinks you have to much. You should also bring a warm hat, sunglasses and gloves.

You should bring your own raingear, especially a jacket, but we also provide heavy raingear and gumboots for everyone.

Although we do have some covered storage on the boat, your painting gear should be in waterproof cases or bags and you are fully responsible for keeping it dry.

Gear List:
Please download this detailed Painting gear list.

We have very limited space on the boat, so all your non-painting gear should fit in a daypack.
-Warm clothing
-Warm hat
-Towel and/or facecloth
-Sandals or light shoes
-Water bottle
-Change of clothes
-Personal effects
-Binoculars (optional)
-Alcoholic beverages (to have with dinner, optional)
-Gratuities (If our staff exceeds your expectations, optional)

Booking Information

Maximum group size is 8 guests



Price with taxes and fees.



June 3 $2450 $2670.50 7 Days 6 nights, 5 full days of painting Only 8 spaces

25% deposit will hold your space. The balance is due upon the conclusion of your trip.

Click here now to book on Moresby Explorer’s website.

SPACE IS LIMITED and with only 8 spots, we are expecting it to book quickly!

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