Monday, September 16, 2013

Spots in My Eyes

Drawing a Spotted Moray Eel

Available to purchase as prints and signed reproductions at:

Spotted Moray Eel. 11x17" Ballpoint Pen and Ink wash

I'll never forget the first time I encountered a moray eel close up. I was a teenager and just started scuba diving with my brother Tony in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina. We loved diving and exploring the many ship wrecks that litter the sea bed along the Outer Banks. Most of the wrecks were merchant ships, sunk during World War 2 by German U-boats. And after 50 years underwater the metal hulks had become covered by coral that gave them the appearance as if they have been dipped in batter, fried, and now had a think layer of sea life crust coating. Throughout this coral coating are thousands of holes that a variety of sea life makes it's home. Various fish, crabs and lobsters use the holes as a safe place to leave. Our main goal was to find lobsters, and we would search endlessly for a large lobster to take as a prize home to eat. While looking in one particular hole, and sticking my head in to see if a lobster was home, I came face to face with a Spotted Moray staring back at me. As a Moray breathes it mouth opens and closes to force the water over it's gills in what looks like an aggressive motion. This startled me at first, but I realized it was just breathing, and I'll never forget just staring at it's beauty, gracefulness, and the exquisitely detailed camouflage skin patterns that cover it with amazement. I literally had spots in my eyes!

Spotted Morays are incredibly beautiful, graceful creatures. They can be found in the Western Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina to Brazil. They can grow up to 7 feet long and live in depths of up to 200 meters.

Detail of the Moray's Head

Detail of the Moray's Eye

Me and my very close friend Shane O'Malley with the Spotted Moray Eel drawing I did for him.

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