Posted by: bluelanternstudio | May 19, 2009

An ocean of art

I’ve long been fascinated by the ocean. When I was little, my dad would take me and my sister down to the water at Jericho Beach (in Vancouver) where we would spend hours digging for clams at low tide or clamoring over seaweed-covered boulders or lifting small rocks to chase tiny crabs with our hands. 

In my early twenties, I became increasingly aware of how commercial fishing practices (especially trawlers, but also salmon farming and other practices) are destroying fish habitat and fish stocks around the world. I became increasingly uncomfortable buying and eating fish, and then stopped eating fish completely, out of love and out of protest. 

Stopping eating fish, while being surrounded by people and a culture that do partake, and living on the coast where fish and fishing are part of our identity, has greatly upped my awareness of the ocean and what is happening to it. This awareness has seeped into my artwork.

For the past year, I’ve been painting about plastic debris in the ocean.

Big-eyed Lanternfish

More recently, I’ve added overtones of climate change: water heating up and becoming more acid, dinosaurs (representing carbon from burning fossil fuels) falling into the water. 

Black-Throated Rockfish

Inspiration for my paintings comes from many sources—the work of scientists concerned about ocean conservation; research into mapping the ocean and marine species; journalists and others writing about the ocean and climate change; and other artists similarly engaged. Through this blog, I’ll be pulling these multi-colored threads together. I look forward to finding and engaging with others who have similar interests, so drop me a line, a comment, an interesting link…

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