Seaweed – or green alien babies


Recently I was asked if my visit to Marrakesh last month would influence my work, and after I thought about it for a minute, realised the answer was not yet. It seems to take a while for imagery to settle in my mind before it starts to come into my artwork. The seaweed above was found on my trip to Kangaroo Island last year. It was widely spread over a lot of the beaches and I loved the shapes. Plump and juicy, it did look like piles of soft green babies. Seaweed offers wonderful shapes, so many different kinds, from the ribbony ones to ones with ‘fruit’, to the thick strappy ones, with fluid filled blisters, which doesn’t sound attractive, but somehow is rather beautiful, and other-worldly. A couple of years ago I did a drawing of one of the ribbony versions – there could be a series here!

The drawing above was done with Polychromos coloured pencils on drafting film, and is approximately 21 cm x 16 cm. The one below was on Claybord, using graphite pencils and watercolour pencils, and is 12.5 cm x 18 cm.


Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

26 thoughts

  1. These are just lovely Anna, I can almost feel the textures of them. You always manage to get great movement in your work. How do you find the clayboard? I have looked at it a few times, but not used it yet, your work looks lovely on it. Do we get to see the old ribbon one? Karen


    1. Thank so much Karen! I liked the Claybord, it is ultra smooth, so it is good for fine detail. I have several small pieces I intend to use for miniatures, but haven’t got round to it yet. Something I want to do with it is to incise lines – the surface is quite soft – then work over the top, could be a good way of getting texture. Oh, the drawing on the Claybord IS the old one, I just realised I didn’t make that clear!


  2. Not being a baby person AT ALL I most certainly have a reaction to your first drawing – but it is a ‘yuk’ reaction. (Not the drawing but what you portray.) However though the squishy shapes in the first drawing are kind of repellent; equally, I am attracted to the gorgeous seaweed in the second drawing. I feel that I could live with the second drawing on the wall. I would look and look at it. But the first drawing – I would just want to turn my head away. Isn’t it fascinating. However – if you had not put “green alien babies” in the title I might not have had such a strong negative reaction. I think I would have though as it reminds me of green brain matter. The lacy seawood of the second drawing is perfection!


    1. I can understand your reaction, there is something creepy about that seaweed, but I do find beauty in unusual things. I think I can detach from the actual object and just enjoy it for its form. I wonder if you would have found it more appealing if I had changed the colours, and not mentioned green alien babies (I was just being a bit flippant!) … Maybe in warmer colours it would have suggested something else entirely.


        1. And some trips give heaps and others nothing at all – I went to New York in 2010 and loved it to bits, but nothing has entered my artworks, and maybe never will. Sometimes it has to do with places being alien to our experience maybe. Pakistan must have been amazing, on all sorts of levels.


  3. Ah, I love both of your seaweed…seaweeds? Not sure which is correct in the plural sense.

    It the first drawing, are the little purple objects tucked into the seaweed snails? So interesting! What great subject matter, seaweed. I’ve always thought seaweed was beautiful and of another world. Even when you swim in the ocean and it rubs up on you, it’s a strange feeling.

    I understand the need to let a trip seep into your creative soul. I think we all have the need to digest what we have seen and processes it through our eyes and our hands.


    1. I’m so glad you like them both! I think you are right about the little purple things, they certainly were small twisty shells of some kind, they seemed to co-exist with the seaweed. It is fascinating stuff, I don’t really like swimming with it, I don’t like the sense of it feeling me. It really does come from a world of its own. I do like how you put it how a trip needs to ‘seep into ones creative soul’. Lovely!


  4. I remember these Anna … squidgy green babies .. huddled together multiplying .. the stuff of science fiction .
    That’s a lovely pen and watercolour seaweed sketch . Those pods make quite a pop underfoot I’ve found .. rather disconcerting actually !


    1. Science fiction indeed! Imagine a world populated with seaweed – it could be strange and rather terrifying. You’re right about the pods popping, it is an odd sensation, but maybe better than the slimy squelching of the green babies!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s