Graphite, colored pencil, watercolor, and chalk pastel

This first drawing is more about Dutch Harbor than about the expedition itself. The shallow water near the pier where the Healy was moored was filled with giant starfish, sea anemones, sea urchins, mussels, and barnacles. I was amazed by their size and abundance compared to the ones at home on the East Coast. I saw this starfish while waiting for the last of the luggage to arrive so we could get underway. The colors and mosaic pattern were irresistible to me. 

About The Author

Chelsea Clarke

Chelsea is an artist working on Cape Cod. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Drawing from Maine College of Art. She will be making daily drawings based on her daily experiences while also developing imagery for a larger body of finished prints.

5 Responses

  1. Kayla Sheehan

    I admire the beautiful detail in this drawing! I love the shape of the starfish, how it is just laying on the rocks in the background. Starfish have always intersested me. I was wondering if you knew where starfish were most commonly found, cold or warm water? Do they like shallow water? how many did you see out there?

    • Tanja Schollmeier

      Hi Kayla,

      starfish can be found almost anywhere in the ocean. They live in the tropics, the Arctic, in the deep and the shallow. Different species have different preferences for where they live. Many of the starfish however are found close to shore in what is called the intertidal zone That is the area where with tides it is either covered with water or not. Many starfish live on or between the rocks on beaches. If you live close to the water and you look closely you can often see many starfish.
      Starfish can also vary in size a lot. Smaller species can be the size of a dollar coin where larger species can be the length of you forearm.

  2. Mason

    What an interesting starfish! So this was found in Dutch Harbor Alaska? That is pretty cool. Where in the harbor was it found? I believe there are a lot of fishing and crabbing vessels in Dutch Harbor and I wonder if they interfere with the starfish habitat.

    • Tanja Schollmeier

      Hi Mason,

      you are absolutely right. There are any fishing vessels and crabbing vessels around Dutch Harbor. Fortunately starfish live on and among rocks which any captain of a boat wants to avoid t not damage their ship. For that reason these starfish are safe from any boating encounters directly. However they can sometimes get stuck in fishing nets (if these nets are dragged along the bottom of the ocean) or by pollution. But these threats are relatively small compared t the number of starfish you can find here.

  3. Chelsea Clarke

    Thanks guys! This starfish was near the shore very close to the dock where the Healy was tied up. I was in Dutch Harbor for three days and I probably saw around 20 starfish during that time! I actually don’t know a lot about starfish, but luckily we have a biologist on board who does, so I’m going to pass your other questions on to her.


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