Faculty Mentor

Dr. Amy Keagy, Lecturer

Faculty Mentor Department



Artist Statement

Leafy sea dragons, Phycodurus sp. are part of the Syngnathidae family. Syngnathidae is a genus made up of seahorses, pipefishes, and sea dragons. All three of the species are known to have beautiful patterning. However, leafy sea dragons got their name from their leafy appendages like their fins and limbs. The reason I chose to draw a leafy sea dragon is due to my own interest in astrobiology. Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe and astrobiologists look for signs of life within the universe. I would like to be an astrobiologist one day and focus my time on looking for life in the suboceans of other planets and moons, like Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Our oceans are filled with life that ranges in size, color, and shape. That biodiversity leads to species of animals that look like they are from out of this world which is why I draw my inspiration from our oceans here on Earth. Even with species we do know about in our oceans, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states that scientists estimate 91% of species still haven’t been found. When I first came upon the picture of a leafy sea dragon, its unique beauty and body made me think of something out of a scientific novel and I could imagine someone finding something similar to it on another watery planet. I wanted to showcase the beauty of leafy sea dragon with a drawing technique my late mother used while working as a landscape architect, stippling. Using stippling allows the viewer to see the intricate patterning of the sea dragon as well as show the curvature of its leafy fins and limbs.