July 1, 2010
I was poking my way around the web pages of a new Deep sea exhibit at London's Natural History Museum. Although visiting the exhibit is not possible, there are some very educational videos and articles to watch and read. The message is clear: there is still so much to discover, and so much to learn about this environment.
When I began my career, one of my first clients was Monterey Bay Aquarium. We had a fabulous relationship, and I created a multitude of interesting illustrations for them over the years. One of the most intriguing, and challenging projects was illustrating deep sea fishes that had been recorded and captured by MBARI in the trenches off of Monterey. The fishes had fallen apart on their ascent to the surface. In the jars supplied to me, they appeared battered and dismembered. My job was to piece them back together. I loved this kind of work.
Recently, R.O.V.s played a role in my latest project. Without the help of two scientists conducting deep water research over the Flower Garden and Stetson Banks, I would not have been able to illustrate several fishes for our new book!
Deep sea animals are fascinating. Imagine the pressure, the cold, the darkness. And yet, they find eachother to spawn or breed, they locate food, and manage to eke out a living in one of earth's more barren environments. I've often wondered, if it's dark, why are so many of them brightly colored?
Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in my library...