Beneath the blue-green waters at the estuaries and surrounding seas of south-west Britain, live a myriad of fascinating creatures.
At low tide, the Yealm Estuary where the author lives, appears to be lifeless, seaweed-strewn mud. ln fact this mud provides a vital habitat for a rich variety of sea creatures and birds. The outgoing tide uncovers rock pools and reveals seagrass beds which act as nursery grounds for the young of numerous species of marine life. The wider sea contains different kinds of fish and crustaceans on which we rely tor healthy fish oils and protein, and also adds variety to our diet. This underwater world is hidden from most of us, and the loss of the diversity of life can go by unnoticed
This book is not a guide to marine animals or a ‘How to Draw’ book. lt is intended through her drawings, to reveal the astonishing range and beauty of the colours, patterns and form of just a fraction of the exquisite animals living their lives alongside us. The author hopes her text will motivate you to find out more about marine life. She also hopes that her illustrations encourage you to have a go at drawing, and in so doing provide the opportunity to slow down and take the time to really look, observe and draw from nature.
Juliana Depledge has a lifelong fascination with drawing and painting natural subjects which developed into a passion for depicting marine life, when she illustrated Partnerships in the Sea by Professor Brian Morton whilst living in Hong Kong. Moving to Denmark, she created a series of watercolour paintings at local marine life as part of an exhibition to celebrate 1000 years of life in and around Kerteminde Fjord.
Returning to the UK in 1994 led to a solo exhibition at the newly opened National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. As an educator and Resident Artist at the Aquarium for two decades, Juliana developed observational drawing as a tool for better understanding the sea life on display, for school visits and Art School students. She brought the Big Draw (National Campaign for Drawing) to the Aquarium as an annual, whole Aquarium event, encouraging children and adults alike to draw the living, moving animals.
Juliana has exhibited at a variety of galleries including at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucester and the National Trust‘s Cotehele Gallery, Cornwall. She also exhibits her watercolour paintings and drawings in the annual South Hams Arts Trail from her home in Devon. Her long-held desire to create a book about sea life in the local estuary and South-West waters, has finally been realised with this publication.