Bee by the Ocean

I first met Bee Stanton at an I Love Local HFX, Open City event on the Halifax waterfront. She was perched on a folding chair at Lost Cod Clothing – a local T-shirt company that features vintage maritime logo designs – sketching seafaring vignettes of Nova Scotia. I was immediately drawn to the black & white hand-lettered graphics, and Bee’s warm smile as she looked up to say hello. I’ve been following Bee and her creative work ever since. 

Her drawings remind me of how I feel when while I’m sitting quietly by the ocean. They give me a moment of pause, and evoke feelings of peace and pride in where I’m from.

Bee grew up in Digby, Nova Scotia. “Being in a coastal town, you're never too far from a beach or some gruff twinkly-eyed fisherman. I love that no matter where you go there's always someone to give a big, old friendly smile to.” She really has this easy-going, authentic, friendly way about her that instantly puts you at ease. Someone I could happily sit with beside a campfire sharing drinks and funny stories.

The success of Bee’s freelance business designing nautical illustrations and hand-lettered quotes, has been greatly supported by the connections she has made with other local entrepreneurs. East Coast Lifestyle and Inkwell Boutique are a few examples of businesses who have shared her work with a larger audience. A recent collaboration with Steinhart Distillery, produced a series of labels designed for their unique sapphire blue, wood-stoppered gin bottles resulting in a stunning shelf-presence of keepsake caliber.

The handcrafted, marine quality of this work inspired me to photograph the bottle alongside a favourite cocktail of mine: Lemon and Rosemary Gin Fizz, I’ve included this simple recipe below.

Bee and I share the need to be near the ocean. It’s a place to sit, breathe, reset and shift the busyness of life into perspective. During a recent portrait photoshoot with Bee in Prospect Village, I asked her to explain why time spent by the ocean so important to her. She spoke of her emotions in a few perfect words: “Gratitude and peace come easy here.”

Bee looks forward to travelling and visiting other parts of the world, but her heart, like many, is tethered to the Atlantic. She is a true, lifelong Maritimer - happy to set sail for an adventure, “as long as I can always come back here.”

Be sure to check out Bee's work at beejaedee.com

© Michelle Doucette Photography

© Michelle Doucette Photography

© Michelle Doucette Photography

© Michelle Doucette Photography

© Michelle Doucette Photography

© Michelle Doucette Photography

© Michelle Doucette Photography

© Michelle Doucette Photography

photo: Bee Stanton

photo: Bee Stanton

© Michelle Doucette Photography

© Michelle Doucette Photography

To make the syrup for the Rosemary Gin Fizz Cocktail, I combined one cup of sugar with one cup of water in a saucepan and brought it to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. I then took the mixture off the heat, added a sprig of rosemary, and let steep for one hour. After cooling the mixture in the fridge, I added a couple tablespoons of the syrup to 2oz of gin and topped it off with club soda. A refreshing gin cocktail for any season! 

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