The Big, Blue Ocean

Illustration by Alicia “Kat” Dillman

Summer is here, and for the next six weeks or so, I am going to devote this blog to one of our greatest and most inspiring natural resources, the ocean.

Since ancient history, the ocean has inspired art, poetry and storytelling in every culture. In fact there are so many great works of art and literature about the ocean, I think we’ve taken it for granted as one of those eternal things in life that will always be there, impervious to anything. The ocean is always described as “mighty” and “powerful”, something that humans must battle and which always has the upper hand.

Anyone who has witnessed a storm at sea knows how powerful it is, yet it is not invulnerable, as we’ve learned in recent months. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is only the latest and most visible blow to a living ecosystem that is slowly dying. So in the next few weeks, I will be highlighting some famous and not so famous art, books and films inspired by the ocean, to help us all gain a better understanding and appreciation of why it is so unique.

I’d like to start by highlighting a wonderful blog called Ripple started by artist Kelly Light to help animals harmed by the recent oil spill. The images in this post are all from that site, and I encourage you to check it out.

Also, the Smithsonian Institution has a new website called Ocean Portal, which has many cool features about the ocean’s history and ecology, definitely worth taking a peek.

Illustration by Gina Marie Perry

Illustration by Alicia Padron

Illustration by Renee Kurilla

Illustration by Katriona Chapman

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4 Responses to “The Big, Blue Ocean”

  1. Gina says:

    What a generous and fabulous idea to blog about our oceans. Thank you for including my egret – Ripple is inspiring so much beauty. Oh, I just love Renee’s piece!

  2. What a beautiful post John. Ocean in so beautiful and Ripple is also a beautiful project. Thanks for posting my card.

    I love your blog too. You are truly all “green”, aren’t you? From your books, your cute frog avatar down to caring for the environment. I can feel the love :o)

  3. Renee says:

    Thank you John for posting about this… (and thank you Gina :) I love your piece too!) RIpple is a powerful force. How amazing to see so many illustrators come together.

    Admittedly, my mind was focused on the animals when I decided to contribute…I love your idea of celebrating the ocean as a whole. Can’t wait to see what else you conjure up :)

  4. John Lechner says:

    Thanks for all the comments! Yes, this blog is quite green, though it’s going to look very blue this summer. To me, the ocean includes everything that lives in or around it, for they are all part of the living ecosystem. If anyone has ideas for future posts, send me an email!