A few years back my husband and I took a trip to San Antonio TX the day after Thanksgiving for a long weekend. While there we spent the evening strolling the streets around the Alamo when we came across an artist selling his space art on the sidewalk. The interesting part about this he was painting them right then and there as spectators watched. It was fascinating to watch him create faraway worlds, moons, cosmic formations and alien landscapes. I could have watched him for hours.
When we returned home from that long weekend, I decided to do some space paintings of my own. Space paintings isn’t a new genre of art for me. I actually painted my first outer space painting as a young teen for an arts and crafts show. My love of the iconic TV show Star Trek led me to paint the “Starship Enterprise” in orbit around some distant planet. The painting got a lot of attention at that small art show and later sold.
Decades would pass before I did another otherworldly painting and that space art painting was a commission. The painting consisted of a lunar landscape depicting Apollo 14’s mission to the moon and man’s first footprint left there. This sparked a renewed interest in creating more space landscapes to add to my repertoire of genre space art. I titled the commissioned painting “Man’s First Footprint on the Moon”. It now resides in the private art collection in Japan at an American military base. A few months later I was also commissioned to paint another cosmic painting. This time it was to be the land rover tracks left behind on the planet Mars.
Size: 20″ x 16″ Support: Gallery wrap stretched canvas Description: A night sky painting depicting the moon setting beyond the horizon. This representation does not require a frame as the painted image extends all the way around the edges of the painting.
Artist Comments: A moonset is when the moon is full and dips just below the western horizon near dawn. Ever since man first looked up at the stars, he has been fascinated by the big sphere that hangs in the night sky above us and this particular artist is no exception. My favorite time to take a walk is in the late evening just before turning in for the night. I absolutely love looking up into the night sky and seeing the stars and the moon on a cloudless or almost cloudless night.
FYI…Did you know the common belief the moon has a dark side is a myth? The truth is both sides of the Moon see the same amount of sunlight. The Moon rotates around on its own axis about once every 27 days. This is approximately the same amount of time it takes to orbit the Earth which means the same side is always facing the Earth. Astronomers call this phenomenon “synchronous rotation.” Only about 59% of the moon is ever visible to Earth over the course of an entire orbit. The rest of the 41% — the part many call “dark” — is the part we never ever get to see from Earth. The “far side” of the Moon has only been seen by the human eye from a spacecraft.
Size: 24″ x 18″ Support: Gallery wrap stretched canvas Description: A depiction of man’s first lunar landing. This painting will not need a frame as the representation extends around the edges of the canvas.
Artist Comments: This painting is a tribute to American Astronaut Neil Armstrong. On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to land a spacecraft on the moon. However, it was Armstrong who took that first step onto its surface. A third crew member, Michael Collins, was alone orbiting the Moon in the Command Module Columbia awaiting their return.
Armstrong was commander for the Apollo 11 lunar mission. In this historic mission Armstrong became a global hero the instant he made that “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step onto the surface of the moon. The crew of Columbia took a TV camera with them so the world could watch as they spent about 2 hours on the lunar surface collecting soil samples and conducting a few experiments.
I was just a young girl the day Armstrong walked on the moon and I don’t remember a lot about it, but I do remember watching the footage on TV. During that time Armstrong and Aldrin also took photographs, unveiled a plaque to commemorate their flight, and planted the flag of the United States.
Armstrong died August 25, 2012 at 82 years of age. I finished this painting a few months before his death.
You can read more about Astronaut Neil Armstrong at NASA’s web site: Neil A. Armstrong.
Size: 18″ x 24″ Support: Gallery wrap stretched canvas Description: Tracks left behind by one of the land rovers on the surface of Mars and one of its two small moons visible in the sky. This painting did not require a frame as the image extended around the edges of the painting.
Artist Comments: This painting is a depiction of the tracks left behind on the Martian landscape by one of the land rovers. It is also one of two custom paintings commissioned by an art collector in Japan. The other painting is called “First Footprint on the Moon.”
My client did not want the actual land rover in his painting, he just wanted the tracks that were left behind on the “red planet” by the robot vehicles. I had to do some research on this subject before I could actually compose this painting. So I looked at many NASA photographs of Mars and the two now famous land rovers before starting this painting. I had to get a feel of what the landscape is like as well as study the wheels of the land rovers so I could understand how their tracks were made when they moved across the dusty landscape. My client was very pleased when he saw his painting for the first time.
NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) is an ongoing robotic space mission that began in 2003 with they sent two land rovers to explore the Martian surface and geology. Read more about NASA’s Mars land rover expeditions.
For more information on how to commission a painting select Art Commissions.