Monday, December 1, 2014

Scuba Diving 2014: Diving into Mukilteo Fish Eyes

Mukilteo T-Dock is a popular dive site whose main feature is a dome shaped structure made of plastic pipes. They may not be the best material for building an artificial reef but the marine creatures are so resourceful in turning whatever man-made objects they find into homes that the "dome” is teeming with life. Juvenile wolf eels live inside the pipes; the space around them is populated with copper and quillback rockfishes while the sandy bottom is covered with inquisitive flounders.


© E. Betty Bastai


Monday, October 20, 2014

Scuba Diving 2014: Cove 2 West Seattle October 12

First dive after a two month break. 

When the Seattle lights are glowing in the dark and  create colorful lines over the cold water of Puget Sound a giant pacific octopus (Octopus dofleini)

 is fast asleep and a rockfish (copper? brown?) is swallowing  a freshly caught tubesnot (Aulorhynchus flavidus).

© E. Betty Bastai


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

White-Lined Dirona Selected for Expressions Northwest

This underwater photograph of a white-lined dirona 

will be part of the 16th annual 
juried art exhibition Expressions Northwest.
The group show will take place at the 
Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend
 August 1-31, 2014.


Friday, August 1st, 2014
7-9 pm

I hope to see you there! 

© E. Betty Bastai/Art Port Townsend


From press release to a great article published by the Whidbey News-Times

On Wednesday July 16 the Whidbey News-Times published an article written by reporter  Ron Newberry  about the latest development in my artistic career: underwater photography.
A week earlier I had sent to the paper the following press release regarding my coming group art exhibition titled Expressions Northwest at the Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend, Washington.


The work of local artist Betty Bastai  has been selected to be included in ART PORT TOWNSEND/EXPRESSIONS NORTHWEST, the Northwind Arts Center and Port Townsend Arts Commission’s 16th Annual Juried Art Exhibition.  It will be held August 1 – August 31, 2014 in the beautiful seaport town of Port Townsend, Washington.

Juror, Greg Robinson, is the executive director and curator of Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, which opened June 2013.  Previously he was executive director Art of the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, director of William Traver Gallery in Tacoma, and executive director of Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle.

Greg has participated in numerous jury processes for exhibitions and awards, and has served on the Betty Bowen Award Committee of Seattle Art Museum for 13 years.  He is originally from Seattle and holds a master's degree in Public Administration from New York University.

Greg has selected 77 pieces from 313 works of art submitted from the Northwest.
Betty Bastai’s work was one of the chosen and she will exhibit an underwater digital photograph titled White-Lined Dirona (Dirona albolineata).

For further information please visit:


I had no idea that it would spark further interest from the Whidbey News-Times other than the  simple publishing of the release.

A few days later I was delightedly surprised to receive an e-mail from the paper's reporter. We arranged a telephone interview and met in person at one of my favorite dives sites on Whidbey Island, Keystone Underwater Park in Coupeville, to continue the conversation and for a photo shoot. 

I had a great time talking to Ron about my multifaceted artistic career and my new passion for scuba diving. I briefly described to him the beautiful and colorful creatures that live in the island cold and green water. I also took the opportunity to mention that by exhibiting images of the Pacific Northwest underwater world in venues that are not specifically scuba diving outlets I hope to arise a sense of awe and empathy  in members of the public who are not scuba divers making them more connected with the ocean with the ultimate goal to inspire marine conservation.  

You may read the article here: 

© E. Betty Bastai/Whidbey News-Times


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fun Octopus

Another amazing encounter that I had while diving the breakwater of Monterey, California, last April was with a very curious red octopus (Octopus rubescens):

© Elisabetta (Betty) Bastai


Monday, June 30, 2014

Flamboyant Hunter

 Last April my buddy Sam and I went diving at the breakwater of Monterey, California, for the second time. The visibility was not as good as in December but memorable encounters with certain marine creatures made up for the cloudy water. 

The following video shows the hunting behavior of the giant dendronotid (Dendronotus iris). It was an extraordinary experience to witness for the first time in my diving career this large and beautiful nudibranch interacting with tube-dwelling anemones unfortunately to the detriment of the cnidarians. 

© E. Betty Bastai


Monday, May 5, 2014

Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invaders

Learn about aquatic invasive weeds and how to prevent their spread. Artist and filmmaker Betty Bastai will present a short video titled "Clean Drain and Dry for Paddlers". Follow these simple steps at every lake and river to prevent the spread of invasive species and noxious weeds. Janet Stein, Island County noxious weed program coordinator, will present information on the problem aquatic weeds in Island County.

© E. Betty Bastai & Northern Forest Canoe Trail