The Artist Boat Kayak Tour

Author: Beth Pollock 

Photo Credits: Taylor Greenwalt of the Galveston CVB



What’s the biggest glitch that might crop up on a kayaking and painting trip? Dropping a paddle in the water? Creating a really poor watercolour? Both seemed like distinct possibilities. I didn’t even think about contending with wildlife in the boat.

“Sometimes a participant gets a fish in their boat,” says Kendall Guidroz, Education Program Coordinator at Artist Boat. “Usually they land at the kayaker’s feet and flop around until you rescue them. One of our younger kayakers was in just the right spot – the fish hit his head and bounced back into the water. He told everyone he had been ‘punched by a fish’.”

I’m pleased to report that I wasn’t punched by a fish, but my excursion delivered on every other kind of adventure. As lovely as the city of Galveston is, it was wonderful to leave the city limits and explore the nature that defines so much of the island.

Artist Boat was founded in 2003 to protect the Galveston Gulf Coast and to connect people to it, and part of that mandate is art. Of course, you could take a two-hour tour that focuses only on kayaking. But they also offer four-hour adventures that allow you to kayak in one of three locations, then paint what you see once you get there.

I have minimal kayaking experience, and no experience at all painting, so of course I said yes!

We met Guidroz at the Coastal Heritage Preserve, one of three locations on the island that Artist Boat uses. She told us to expect the unexpected: “Every kayak adventure is unique,” she said, “because of the changing natures of the tides, the wind, and other factors.”

Unique and beautiful it was. Here’s some of what I experienced on my Artist Boat Kayak Tour, below. (All photographs were taken by Taylor Greenwalt of the Galveston CVB.)


Sharing a kayak with Diana Denby of the Galveston Island CVB.
The Coastal Heritage Preserve.








Royal Terns.
Second Image of The Coastal Heritage Preserve.



Laughing gulls, found year-round on Galveston Island.
Leader Kendall Guidroz shows us how to paint with watercolours. The paints are non-toxic, so the only water we need is in the preserve.




The Artist at Work.
Caspian Terns, the World’s Largest Terns. 




The Gorgeous White Ibis.


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Notes: The writer saw Galveston as a guest of Texas Tourism, who did not review or approve this story.