I started painting this after watching the documentary Chasing Coral a few months ago.
Before watching the film I had no clue what the term "coral bleaching" meant. Or that it could have such a catastrophic impact on the oceans ecosystem and humanity in the long run.
Zach Rago, camera technician and a self proclaimed coral nerd, was one of the divers daily photographing the bleaching phenomena happening in the Great Barrier Reef. Coral turn white due to the stress of the ocean's rising temperature, because of climate change, and eventually die off with continued stress.
"A coral is a fundamental part of a huge ecosystem. It is, in a way, just like the trees in a forrest. If coral reefs are lost, we're affecting the life of a quarter of the ocean. If the little fish disappear, the big fish disappear, and then you can look at humans as one of the big fish," explained Dr. Justin Marshall.
It was a surprisingly emotionally journey watching not only the death of the reefs, but also watching Zach witness the disappearance of the reefs he loves and spent everyday with documenting. It made me want to go diving and see the beauty of the coral that still remain.
Chasing Coral was first brought to my attention by an artist I follow, Sha'an d'Anthes, who did an illustration for the movie.
You can see her piece here: http://www.furrylittlepeach.com/netflix-chasing-coral/
This doc is definitely worth watching. If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out on Netflix.
Illustration in process: