Tethya irisae – a tiny new sponge only found at around 1000 m in fine sediment in the Great Australian Bight. This is not a soft sponge, the sponge skeleton is made of straight glass spicules (shown on RHS) which fan out from a central nucleus in the centre of the sponge and also make up the stalk. The beautiful star like spicules are found in the surface layer of the sponge and form an armour. The sponge, including stalk, is only 20 mm high.
Some South Australian bivalves I drew, originally for one of my manuscripts. Top - Xenostrobus inconstans ("variable mussel") Middle left - Anapella cycladea ("smooth-toothed triangle") Middle right - Katelysia spp. (Three species, "mud cockle") Bottom - Brachidontes rostratus ("beaked mussel") February 2018 Photoshop CC + Wacom Cintiq 24HD
Elements - Pristine
Version of Elements without beach litter; exploring temperate marine biodiversity in southern Australia.
Watercolour, gouache and ink on Arches hot-pressed paper (365 GSM, 102 cm x 65 cm).
Submission for the South Australian Museum's 'Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2018.'
"This piece explores the wonderful diversity of temperate marine life along southern Australia, and the unfortunate persistence of marine plastic pollution. Walk along our local beaches and you'd agree that seeing marine organisms washed ashore is a familiar sight. Unfortunately, plastic pollution is also getting washed ashore amongst it, even in what we'd call 'pristine' beaches. The bits of plastic stuck onto this painting were removed from some local Adelaide beaches. It goes without saying how widespread plastic is in our oceans, and how surprisingly abundant it is on our beautiful coastline here in southern Australia. These plastics further degrade into microscopic fragments that are small enough to pass through food webs and accumulate in tissues of animals even smaller than the ones shown here. Sadly, we now face the reality of observing plastic pollution wash up on our beaches with these beautiful, unique animals, and paints a reminder for this issue at a global scale."
Watercolour, gouache and ink on Arches hot-pressed paper (365 GSM, 102 cm x 65 cm). Beach litter stuck on with removable adhesive that won't damage paper. Approximately 60 hours total - animal references obtained from a huge array of marine life books, my own photographs, online museum collections etc.
Unsuccessful entry for the 2016 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize. Entry description: ""Invasive marine species can impact on native biodiversity and human resources, with the European shore crab, Carcinus maenas, being the classic example. The carapace markings represent the global establishment of marine bioinvasions, which are increasingly prominent in a hyper-connected world." March 2016 Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour on Arches hot-press paper (365 GSM) | 65 cm x 102 cm | App. 45 hours ORIGINAL SOLD
Painting of an Atlantic blue crab claw (Callinectes sapidus) March 2016 Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours and Neef sable brushes on A5 Arches hotpress paper (300 gsm) | App. 3.5 hours. ORIGINAL SOLD
Painting of the marine gastropod (Cancellaria reticulata) February 2016 Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours and Neef sable brushes on A5 Arches hotpress paper (300 gsm) | App. 4-5 hours.
- 6 lateral spines on either side of the eyes - 8 sharp spines inbetween the eyes - 5 spines on the claws - Triangular-shaped carapace - Swimming paddles on hind legs - Size of carapace width: up to 12 cm wide.
- Colouration is highly variable, ranging from olive greens, browns, reds, blacks and purples. Tends to have mottled spots or an "army camo" look. - Claws are even size and very long. - May have two crescent shaped spots on the carapace.
- 5 lateral spines on either side of the eyes. - 4 prominent spines between the eyes - Distinct swimming paddles on hind legs - Fan-shaped carapace - Size of carapace width: up to 10 cm. - Two distinct red-brown eye spots at the bottom of the carapace.
- Sandy in colour with a blue-grey or orange hue. Swimming paddles are more blue/purple. Eye spots are red-brown. - Covered in thick hairs (setae) on all legs, claws and the frontal region. Hairs usually orange/cream. - Claws are similar size. - Usually has light blue/cream spots that form two crescent shapes on the carapace.
- 4 lateral teeth on either side of the eyes. - Smooth frontal region between the eyes. - Circular carapace. - Size of carapace width: up to 8 cm wide. - No distinct swimming paddles on hind legs (is a swimmer crab). - Long setae (hairs) on all legs. - Distinct colour separation between brown and cream/pink on the carapace (about 2/3 of the way down)
- Claws are of similar size and usually black-tipped. - Brown to dark red in colour, while the bottom half of the crab is usually cream or pale pink/yellow.
- One lateral tooth/spine on either side of the eyes; not very prominent (more of a notch) - No spines between the eyes. - Square shaped carapace. - Size of carapace width: up to 2.5 cm wide. - No swimming paddles (not a swimmer crab); no prominent setae on the legs. - Claws are very large, rounded and even in size.
- Olive-brown or reddish in colour. Claws are often brighter orange. - Often has four small distinct spots on its back.
Key features (NATIVE TO AUSTRALIA) - 4 wide, blunt spines (lateral teeth) on either side of the eyes. - Smooth edge in the frontal region between the eyes and slightly concaved in the middle. - Thick oval-shaped carapace. - Size of carapace width: up to 8 cm wide. - No distinct swimming paddles (not a swimmer crab). - Short, bristly hairs (setae) on all four pairs of walking legs. - One claw is significantly larger than the other; tips of claws (chelae) are a glossy black.
- Dark grey-brown in colouration, sometimes with black, red or orange hues. May have cream, white or black mottled spots on carapce. Underside often grey or cream in colour. - The spine at the widest points of the carapace is the most prominent.
Key features (NATIVE & COMMERCIALLY IMPORTANT IN AUSTRALIA) - 9 spines (lateral teeth) on either side of the eyes; very long prominent spines at widest point of the carapace. - 6 sharp spines between the eyes. - Broad, diamond-shaped carapace. - Size of carapace width: up to 20-22 cm wide. - Distinct swimming paddles on hind legs. - Claws are very long and narrow; often have a black 'eyespot' near the base of the chelae.
- Colouration is variable depending where found in Australia. Males generally have a dark brown carapace that may be covered in large white/yellow spots. Legs and claws are blue to purple. Females are often more dull brown in colour. Underside is usually bright white to light blue.
Key features (INVASIVE TO AUSTRALIA) - 5 spines on either side of the eyes (formally called "lateral teeth") - 3 distinguished bumps between the eyes (formally called the rostrum) - Fan-shaped carapace (or "shell") - Size of carapace width: males up to 9 cm, females up to 7.5 cm - No distinct swimming paddles on hind legs (it is a swimmer crab)
- Colouration is green-brown on top, some blue, black or red variations found also. Juveniles (2 - 3 cm) have lots of mottled spots or colour variation. Lime-green to orange/red on the underside. - Usually has yellow, cream or white spots that form two crescent shapes on the carapace (not always).
Rather rough drawing from a preserved specimen of the pebble crab (Bellidilia laevis) January 2016 Felt tip pen and HB pencil on A4 paper | App. 2.5 hours.
The European shore crab. Drawn for the methods component of my Honours thesis. May 2015 Black felt tip pen | A3 paper | App. 5 hours | Drawn from a collected specimen ORIGINAL SOLD
January 2013 Derwent Studio pencils, white acrylic | App. 3-4 hours