The sale of my seahorse card and this local seahorse news has made this week a surprisingly seahorsey week for me.
The local news today was that the last seahorse seen along the Studland coastline in Dorset, was a dead seahorse, spotted by divers back in 2018.
Seahorses have been missing from our Dorset coastline for the past two years but a recent survey dive, revealed no fewer than 16 of them, including pregnant males and even one juvenile born this year. This is the largest number found in a single dive at the site since the Seahorse Trust began monitoring at Studland in 2008. It is excellent news, and it is possibly all due to the Corona virus.
Underwater, the seahorse habitat is continually being degraded and destroyed due to the numerous amount of boats mooring along the coastline each day, with anchors continually being thrown overboard. Add to this the jet ski activity and 1,000’s of bathers and it becomes crystal clear as to why seahorses have all but disappeared from Studland. The sudden lack of human activity in the area for the past few months, due to Covid, appears to have given the seahorses the break that they needed in which to recover their numbers.
Seahorses are such endearing creatures, and I thought I would take this opportunity to mention that whilst at art college in the mid 90’s, we were taken to a local Poole aquarium and given the choice of studying and portraying one of the exhibits.
Whilst there I discovered a tank containing a lone seahorse: one of our precious and endangered seahorses; an accidental by-catch caught off the Dorset coast by a local fishermen.
I feel very strongly that it is wrong to keep any creature in captivity and isolation, and for this reason wished that this particular seahorse could be returned to his natural environment.
For my Seahorse painting I spent a number of hours observing and sketching the seahorse for my underwater scene.
As seahorses live in shallow waters, my underwater scene includes the all important eel grass, along with the sea creatures that inhabit the seahorse world: limpets, mussels, acorn barnacles, a brittle star, a prickly cockle, light-bulb sea squirts, beadlet snakelocks and jewel anemones, a featherstar, and a common starfish.
The final artwork was painted in gouache and my artwork is available as a lovely Seahorse fine art print and a Seahorse greetings card. A donation is given to the Seahorse Trust with every card and print sold.