Building an eelgrass ecosystem

Eelgrass beds hum with life. They're the nurseries of coastal waters, protecting young fish, providing them with food and shelter. Tiny crustaceans hide among the foliage. Herring eggs cling to eelgrass stems. Larger fish like lingcod and salmon swim among the grasses.

In my current work, I'm exploring the interconnections between marine species. What better place to start than here?

First, I created the painting's background out of a coastal marine chart, to which I added images of sound waves (which travel far underwater and can impact marine life), shipwrecks, and an image showing the parts of a fish.

I then started creating the eelgrass. What to make it out of? I began thinking about sound and music. This led me to sheet music. To my great delight, I found some pages of scales. Perfect for a fishy painting!

Once my eelgrasses were complete, I began working on adding the fish—first a salmon, then a lingcod and a kelp greenling. The salmon is cut out of an old salmon recipe; the other two are cut out of local marine charts.

Now I'm working on adding some shiner perch, which are pretty cool as they give birth to live young. I'm cutting these out of maps of the coastal areas around Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and the south end of Vancouver Island. I'm also playing around with the layout, moving the fish in and out of the eelgrass and shifting the grass around to find the best design. Once that's set, I'll glue it all down and then work on adding tinier and tinier creatures. What fun!



love your eelgrass! This project looks super interesting and it looks like you're having a great time. Will have to come out for a visit:)

Thanks Connie! Would love for

Thanks Connie! Would love for you to come out for a visit!

Very nice project! I like

Very nice project!
I like your eel grass..Didn't know there was such a thing as eel grass until I read your post ;-)


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