Ellen Cowie The Royal Canadian Mint's First Coins In a new series of Canadian Landscapes 'Towering Forests' and 'Coastal Waters'
The Royal Canadian Mint's First Coins In a new series of Canadian Landscapes 'Towering Forests' and 'Coastal Waters'2h x 2w
Available at: The Royal Canadian MintContact Artist
2014 coin: Towering Forests: The concept The Royal Canadian Mint described to the competing artists was very broad. I explored the topic of the Canadian forests ideas and started to flesh them out on paper. The concept of a coin with no upside was unique and challenging. To design a visual story line of nature in a circular flow so the coin could be rotated was an untried concept. The elements all needed to flow together and there were weeks of developing the initial image. Upon learning my design was chosen, I was elated, honoured and thrilled! Many months lay ahead to complete the design through The Mint's vetting board!
I designed the coin to engage the viewer from a circular perspective. I wanted the viewer to be able to engage with the imagery portrayed, handling the coin and revolving it to view all the various forest scenery. The viewer is able to rotate the coin to view different vignettes of our Canadian forests across Canada. I chose the most common natural elements of our vast country to depict our rich forests across our nation. The Painted Turtle also alludes to the First Nation oral traditional stories of the earth once being flooded with water and that the North American continent was rebuilt on the back of the great turtle. I felt this was an important image to use as an underlying tribute to Canada's first people and my husband's family heritage.
The lush towering forests of Canada are so varied in their flora and fauna that it was a challenge to choose just which elements specifically to illustrate. The imagery I chose captures but a mere sampling of the vastness of our great country and its breathtaking natural resources. I hope the coin imparts the beauty I have had the great fortune to view in my travels across our great country.
2015 coin: Coastal Waters: It is designed with realism in an effort to pay homage to our Great Canadian coastline, the longest coastline in the world. I chose elements that I feel are the most identifiable and recognizable as Canadian. I wanted the viewer to gain a sense that they were exploring, making discoveries along the coastlines of our nation as they turn the coin. The water swirls in the coin fluidly connecting the imagery from one to the next.
I wanted the three oceans to be apparent. I wanted the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Atlantic to the east and the Pacific to the west if one holds the coin looking with Canada at the top. From this design point I began to tell my story, choosing elements that are exhilarating and majestic.
The imagery I chose captures merely a sampling of the vastness of our great North Atlantic, North Pacific and Arctic Oceans that embrace our rugged country.
I hope the coin imparts the wealth of marine life and the majesty of the vast oceans that cradle our great country.
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