British Columbia

Meet the Coquitlam sisters who are trying to protect the environment one watercolour painting at a time

Two sisters in Coquitlam, B.C., have taken a skill taught to them by their grandmother and turned it into a way to try to help protect the environment and mitigate climate change.

Julianne and Grace Moseley have donated hundreds of dollars to charities over the past year

Julianne Moseley (left) and Grace Moseley are pictured at their home in Coquitlam, B.C. on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. The sisters have been creating and selling watercolour artworks and donating proceeds to charities. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Two sisters in Coquitlam, B.C., have taken a skill taught to them by their grandmother and turned it into a way to try to help protect the environment and mitigate climate change.

Since January, Grace Moseley, 12, and her sister Julianne, 14, have been creating watercolour paintings and cards, selling them and donating the proceeds to charities such as Ocean Wise, whose mission it is to restore and protect the world's oceans.

"Grace and I both, especially in the summer, spend a lot of time on the ocean and I think our love for the environment and the ocean, I think that has contributed to this," said Julianne Moseley, who is in Grade 9.

Their story highlights how small, deliberate actions can empower people to help solve global problems, despite the massive challenges facing the world due to climate change.

Grace Moseley (right) and her sister, Julianne are pictured painting in their dining room. The sisters say their love for the ocean is part of the reason they paint to help support environmental causes. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"I think everyone needs to put more effort into trying to help the environment, to help change this," said Grace Moseley, who is in Grade 7. "We are definitely doing what we can."

The pair said their grandmother taught them a few years ago how to paint with watercolours and after finding they enjoyed it, they decided to create vibrant, nature-themed artwork that could be sold to support charities.

During the pandemic, the sisters, who also play competitive soccer, took over their family's dining room table as their work station.

They put in hours of painting each week and sold their works, not only to families and friends, but strangers who have seen their art on Instagram.

In addition to supporting charities like Ocean Wise, the sisters have also donated to the B.C.'s Children's Hospital Foundation and the anti-poverty society Ruben's Shoes.

Grace Moseley said she finds watercolour inspiring to work with because of the technique of blending colours together. Her sister said over the course of 2021, their skills have gotten better because they have been painting so much.

The sisters say they learned to paint with watercolours from their grandmother. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"I'd say we've probably improved," she said.

This holiday season, the sisters have painted more than 100 cards.

The sisters' mother, Mary Moseley, said she is proud of her children because of their compassion and desire to make a difference in the world.

"And they're such good reminders for us as an older generation, these kids are on top of this and they are givers," she said. "I think they see the importance of being a really grounded individual and part of that is giving back."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?