In the middle of winter, in the middle of a pandemic, where do you go to find joy? Maybe it’s a physical spot, or a memory. Our new Happy Place series explores both.

Artist Briana Corr Scott opens her sketchbook to find joy. It’s home to The Happy Island.

The Happy Island

Briana Corr Scott is an illustrator & author based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She tells stories about the beauty of the natural world in her hand painted illustrations, surface patterns, paper doll kits and children’s literature.

Briana begins every project and painting by drawing from life. All of her art and stories are inspired by experiences in nature, and she loves to make art about the overlooked details of the Atlantic coast. Weeds, moths, periwinkles and fog are some of the star subjects in her work. Briana paints her botanical drawings using gouache and oil, then turns them into illustrations, animations, wall paper, murals, surface patterns, and books.

Briana studied painting and museum education at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She moved to Nova Scotia after her graduation in 2006.

Briana’s children’s literature blends the art she makes with the stories and poems that she writes while walking in nature. Her first and second picture books, “She Dreams of Sable Island,”, and “The Book of Selkie” were published by Nimbus Publishing Ltd. in 2019. Her latest picture book, “Wildflower”, a retelling of the classic tale of Thumbelina, and was released in April 2021.

Briana has shown her work in solo and group shows at Argyle Fine Art and Teichart Gallery in Halifax. Her illustrations have appeared internationally in online features, film and magazines. Her short stop motions have been featured on CBC Nova Scotia. She has read aloud from “She Dreams of Sable Island” and discussed her writing process and art practice at many events, including some public talks at Argyle Fine Art, “Word on the Street” at the Halifax Public Library and the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.