The art of scuba diving

By Jean-Marc Claes


Do you ever look at artwork? Classic art or modern?

What rings your bell?


When Jean-Eves Cousteau started to film underwater, colour TV was invented almost at the same time. This combination made his series of ‘The Silent World’ famous very quickly.


Was it just a coincidence of the right timing with the right subject?

Did we realize that this was actually the first time most people ever saw by imaging what was going on below the surface?


In today’s age, most of us have even forgotten who this guy with the red bonnet actually was.

JY Cousteau, was he a French cook or a politician? Well, you will have to Google him, as this article is NOT about the inventor/creator of the dive industry.


This article goes beyond that scope and wants to look deeper into The Art that started to exist worldwide below the surface, like the movies that JY Cousteau created, a real work of art.

Artworks are of all ages and go back thousands of years, as even the first cave drawings are considered art.


We are going to have a look into the different levels of artwork that are out there. There are so many categories, painters, creators of digital art, crafters in wood or even plastic, welders, gold or silver jewelry, and so much more.


Back to France, I want to introduce to you, Mr. Pascal Lecocq. He is a painter and uses the underwater world to create hidden messages in his paintings. If you like his work, as I do, you can follow him on Facebook too.


Painted art by Pascal Lecocq


Closer to many is the use of comedy in art, and for sure, a large amount of underwater comedy can be found in cartoon art. Some examples are even sold on postcards.


Cartoon art, or is it advertising?


T-shirt art is probably one of the most popular and financially successful art forms. As an avid scuba diver, don’t you have at least one T-shirt at home with a print on it detailing something about scuba diving? The T-shirts also have a billboard and some (hidden) advertising, but don’t we all like to show what we care about?


T-shirt Amphibious Outfitters


In the last many years, scuba divers have had easy access to waterproof cameras, and there have never been so many pictures and videos made.


What do you do with all this footage?


In this magazine, you can read an article by Karen Erens about this subject!

But you can also find artwork created on the bases of pictures.

Digital Art.

While researching online, I came across Teri, who redesigns underwater pictures into new art.

Art by art, creating personal art? I took her up on her offer and sent her some of the underwater pictures I had taken recently.

The result?

See for yourself; to me, the original pictures already had meaning. However, she just made it even more special to me…


Artwork or handicraft?

A few weeks ago, walking around a local market in Curacao, I came across this lady offering little artworks, combining the profits by donating a part of it to a local charity. A good idea and maybe something to consider offering in your local dive shop? See last month’s issue and an article in this month’s issue for providing these items in your shop.

Diver and Octopus made by lady in Curacao.

See article in last months issue.


Larger 3D art is also known in many places; we all know the great white shark head, primarily made in polyester, they are present in many bars and theme parks. But don’t we all just want to stick our heads in it?


Did the Great White just become so famous because Jaws was the movie that scared all of us in the 1980s? If so, why do we keep being afraid of sharks as our youngsters have never even seen this movie, let alone ever met a shark?


What is it that keeps us misusing the shark image as an apex predator ready to eat everyone that even thinks of setting foot in the water?


Leander, my son, photo with his head in a shark mouth


Tech art drawings and artwork are new, starting in the early 2000s. We are creating more art as we use newer technologies and computer science. Metal constructions, welding, small objects and gadgets are all possible and commercial.


And so we end our little history with the latest art created by Artificial Intelligence (AI).


We are entering a new era where AI creates based on what we ask. The more detailed you ask, the more details you will get in the artwork.

To whom does the artwork belong? The one giving the order, ideas and questions?


Now everyone can become an artist and start creating…


AI art via Ivo Madder


Although I do not consider myself artistic, I remember very well the birthday present I received from my partner some years ago. So go outside your comfort zone! Together we entered an art class with the theme of creating a sculpture. We had both chosen to create our favourite sea creature and after some hours of playing with clay, paint and some more items, the results still give us nice memories every time we look at them, sitting at home in our living room!


What will your next artwork be, and which of the art mentioned above do you prefer?

Don’t forget, every scuba dive you perform is already a work of art; enjoying a different world!

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