Minke Salish Sea (Animal Habitats series)

18″ x 24″ ink, pencil & paint on paper. 2016.

My Anima series explores the shape and form of nature in the Pacific Northwest. This minke whale is affectionately known by researchers as Nick Jagger (see the nick in his dorsal fin?). I worked with a local researcher (Hi Frankie!) to depict him accurately. Here Nick’s depicted on the eelgrass meadows of southwest San Juan island’s Salmon Bank competing with the harbor seals and birds for clusters of small fish (herring, sandlance, surf smelt).

Among whale watchers, Minkes get a bad wrap for being stinky (their breath), slinky (elusively disappearing after a single sighting, no visible exhalation when they surface, never breaching above the surface) and dinky (they’re 30 feet long at most, compared to the 50 foot long humpbacks). Despite – or maybe because of – all this, I enjoy spending time with these underdogs of the sea (underwhales?). And if I ever see one of these shy guys actually breach I will definitely lose my shit! Breaching orcas and humpbacks are so ordinary. #MinkesAreWhalesToo

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