FEBRUARY 21, 2019
The Fledgling Eagle Has Landed
I have just completed the first image in a new series that will depict the design evolution of the Apollo Lunar Module. I have always been fascinated by the many iterations that the lunar lander went through during its conception and development. Spacecraft designers conquered seemingly endless impossible engineering challenges while figuring out how to get people to the Moon and back.
As the early Apollo program was beginning to take shape, NASA engineers were working to decide among three different methods of landing astronauts on the Moon. The mode called Lunar Orbit Rendezvous was chosen. That meant an entirely new kind of spacecraft had to be developed – one that was specifically designed to land on the Moon, then lift off from the surface and rendezvous with a mother ship in lunar orbit.
Spacecraft designers at Langley Research Center, led by Maxime Faget, worked through several designs in the evolution of the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM). This image depicts one of the earliest LEM designs from 1962.
JANUARY 6, 2019
American Astronomical Society Art Show
American Astronomical Society – 233rd Meeting
Washington State Convention Center
Event dates: January 6-10, 2019
I will be displaying and selling my art at the 233rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington, January 6-10, 2019. The art show is presented by the International Association of Astronomical Artists.
From the American Astronomical Society website:
The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Its membership of about 7,000 individuals also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research and educational interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe.
DECEMBER 30, 2018
Nova Space Artist of the Month for January 2019 – Limited Edition Prints
Kick off the new year and celebrate another trip around the Sun with these two planetary creations!
I am pleased to announce that I have been selected to be Nova Space Art's Artist of the Month for January 2019. Signed and numbered Limited Edition prints of Celestial Sphere and Planets are now available for purchase. Each fine art giclée is printed on high quality archival Epson Premium Lustre paper with a fine texture and gentle sheen that brings out the sharp details of my digital images. Printed locally at Bellevue Fine Art Reproduction, each print comes with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The edition runs for each print are limited to 20 in number. Artist Proofs, limited to 3 each, are also available direct from the artist upon request.
Celestial Sphere is a statement piece measuring 40x22.5 (plus 1-inch white border), bringing out every detail in the image.
Planets is a square image that measures 16x16 (plus 1-inch white border).
Both Limited Editions can be purchased from Nova Space Art, framed or unframed, with free shipping offered in the U.S.
NOVEMBER 21, 2018
Apollo 8 50th Anniversary Celebration – Constellation Foundation
Around the Moon and Back Again, created in 2013 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8, as well as Spaceship Earth and Celestial Sphere, have been chosen to be included in the Constellation Foundation's art show at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on December 21. The event celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8's historic launch to the Moon and the first Earthrise witnessed firsthand by humans.
Sixteen artists from around the world have come together to create an astonishing look at the famous Earthrise photograph, taken by William Anders of the Apollo 8 crew, and the impact it has on our perspective of our home planet.
Showcased artwork will be available for purchase during the show. A portion of the sales will support the mission of the Constellation Foundation.
The celebration will be hosted by the international astronauts of the Constellation Foundation - Leland Melvin, Anousheh Ansari, Ron Garan, and Nicole Stott. The event will mark the launch of a worldwide movement, motivated by their experience in space, to inspire hope and positive change to ensure our planet is a thriving home for all. I am very pleased to be invited to play a part in supporting this mission.
OCTOBER 11, 2018
Near Mint Condition
The U.S. Mint has announced the winner of their design competition for the obverse (heads) side of the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin program. Since the competition has now concluded, I can reveal that I was one of the eighteen finalist artists selected to submit design proposals for the competition. Although my design was not chosen for the production coins, it did make a respectable standing judging by the comments made on various coin collecting forums.
In May 2017, I received an email with the subject line "Call for Artists - Apollo 11 Coin Design Competition". It began with the words, "It's probably not often that you hear from the United States Mint, but it's also not every day that the Mint works with NASA and the space art community!" I usually assume such emails are spam, so I checked collectSPACE and the U.S. Mint's website. This was a legitimate invitation.
I initially came up with three different concept sketches. All three featured the Apollo spacecraft (Command, Service, and Lunar Modules) together with the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Although any one of the concepts might have made fine coins, I felt they were missing that "Wow!" factor. In a flash of inspiration, I replaced the spacecraft with a soaring Eagle to capture the symbolism of that bold journey while literally referencing the name chosen by the Apollo 11 crew for the Lunar Module. I also included iconic phrases from John F. Kennedy's 1962 speech at Rice University and the plaque that was affixed to the forward leg of the Lunar Module.
Excerpt from the description:
Symbolic of the epic journey from our home planet to our neighboring satellite an American Bald Eagle, emblem of the United States, is prominently depicted on a flight from the Earth to the Moon. A symbol of freedom and power, "Eagle" was the name given by the crew of Apollo 11 to the lunar lander used to make the historic first manned landing on the Moon a half a century ago.
I consider it a great honor to be one of only eighteen nationwide finalists chosen for the competition. While my design was passed over in favor of a depiction of the famous moon boot print in the lunar soil, the experience was a good one for me. It has been many years since I put pencil to paper for any serious artwork. I have been creating primarily 3D computer model based art and graphic illustration for nearly two decades. For this piece, went back to my roots of drawing, but with updated technology. I used a Wacom Cintiq and pressure sensitive pen to hand draw the eagle in Photoshop. As I worked, I began to recognize familiar pen strokes styles and shapes flowing from my hand that I had naturally developed in high school. Apparently, once discovered that skill never leaves you.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2018
ASF Space Rendezvous 2018
Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Space Rendezvous
Hilton NASA Clearlake, Lonestar Flight Museum, Space Center Houston, Houston, Texas
Event dates: November 1-3, 2018
Art Show: Thursday, November 1st:, 7pm-9pm, Hilton NASA Clearlake
Astronaut Autographs and Art Show: Saturday, November 3rd:, 9am-3pm, Lonestar Flight Museum
I will be displaying and selling my art at the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Space Rendezvous in Houston, Texas, November 1-3, 2018. The art show is part of a weekend of events that will celebrate the 50th Anniversaries of Apollo 7 and Apollo 8, and the legacy and future of space exploration. Space artists will showcase their pieces which will be available for purchase during the show. A portion of the sales support the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
From the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation website:
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides more than 50 scholarships annually to the brightest and most talented college students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was created in 1984 by: the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts (Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton); Betty Grissom (widow of the seventh astronaut, Virgil "Gus" Grissom); William Douglas, M.D. (The Project Mercury flight surgeon); and Henri Landwirth (Orlando businessman and friend). Together they represented a wealth of collective influence which was particularly suited to encouraging university students pursuing scientific excellence. Their mission was to ensure the United States would be the global leader in technology for decades to come.
Since that time, astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs have also embraced this noble mission. ASF can partners with industry leaders, universities and individual donors to reward the best and brightest university students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with substantial scholarships.
The prestigious Astronaut Scholarship is known nationwide for being among the largest merit-based monetary scholarships awarded to undergraduate STEM juniors and seniors. ASF has a life-long relationship with each Astronaut Scholar and provides them with mentors, professional and personal development and networking with astronauts, C-suite level executives and industry leaders to help advance their careers.
This year's Space Rendezvous is November 1-3 in Houston, Texas. Venues include the Hilton NASA Clearlake hotel, the Lonestar Flight Museum, and Space Center Houston. Information about the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and the Space Rendezvous can be found here: astronautscholarship.org.
JULY 9, 2018
Spacefest IX: Third Time's a Charm
For the third consecutive year, I displayed my digital space art at Spacefest in Tucson, Arizona. And this time represents a milestone for me. I sold my first piece, Rocket Martini, straight off the panel on the first night of the art show.
This was also the first Spacefest I have attended where there were no artist astronauts. While having several astronaut artists in attendance at an art show may be a rare occurrence, in each of the previous two Spacefests there had been Alan Bean, Mike Collins, Nicole Stott, and Ron Garan in some combination. With Alan's recent passing in late May, just weeks before Spacefest, the absence of he and the other astronaut artists was notable.
While Alan Bean's poignant absence was strongly felt, the attendance of his first wife, Sue Bean, and his daughter Amy served to ease the sense of loss many attendees had. Together with Barbara and Tracy Cernan (Gene Cernan's first wife and daughter), Sue and Amy gave a heartfelt presentation of what it was like from the perspective of the women behind the scenes during the period of their husband's/father's time at NASA. The pull was so great from those attending Spacefest that they were asked to give an encore performance later that weekend. I was fortunate enough to have some very nice conversations with all four of these special women during the course of the event. I think if you could somehow distill and liquefy the essence of pure Texas warmth, charm, and humility exhibited in these women the bottles would end up looking like the four of them.
After their talk, I approached Sue and Amy Bean and invited them to join the artists in attendance for our traditional group photo. This year, as a tribute to Alan, we took the photo in front of Alan's paintings at the art show.
MAY 11, 2018
Decorate your Space with Space Art
You can now purchase Dave's artwork from Fine Art America and Pixels.com. Simply shop for items using the store on this website or go directly to either of Dave's shops at Fine Art America or Pixels.com. When you are ready, add your selections to the cart and check out using their secure print on demand ordering system.
Buy high quality artist prints and useful items in a variety of formats. Proudly display your inner Space Geek on dozens of products. Decorate your walls with artwork that fits your style and is sized to your needs. Decorate your home with throw pillows, duvet covers, towels, shower curtains, and blankets. Decorate your office with mugs, greeting cards, notebooks, and battery chargers. Decorate your phone with a space case. Decorate yourself with T-shirts, baseball shirts, tank tops, pouches, and tote bags. Decorate the beach with beach towels, even round ones! And while you are at it, decorate your friends! These items make great gifts for the Space Geek in your life!
FEBRUARY 19, 2018
Spacefest IX 2018
For the third consecutive year, I will be displaying my artwork at Spacefest IX this July alongside the work of two dozen notable space artists.
The annual event for space enthusiasts hosts an impressive list of astronauts, flight controllers, speakers, authors, and artists, many of whom have featured prominently in the United States' space programs. Two astronauts who have artistic talents will be on hand with their art: Alan Bean and Nicole Stott. Accomplished Earthbound space artists will include Chris Calle, Don Davis, Marilynn Flynn, Simon Kregar, Pamela Lee, Michelle Rouch, Lucy West, Ron Woods and many others.
This year's event is July 5-8 at Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, Arizona.
FEBRUARY 2, 2018
The Art of Planetary Science @ UofA LPL
The Art of Planetary Science 2018
University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
Show Dates: February 2-4, 2018, 1pm-5pm
Opening Reception: Friday February 2nd, 5pm-9pm
Celestial Sphere, Sputnik and my solar system mural will be among the works displayed at the fifth annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory from February 2-4 in Tucson, AZ.
The Art of Planetary Science celebrates the beauty and elegance of science. This year's show features over 200 works of art, from more than 90 artists and scientists, created from and inspired by the solar system and the scientific data with which it is explored.
The Art of Planetary Science is an annual juried art show presented by the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Information about their mission and photos from past shows can be found here: https://www.lpl.arizona.edu/art.
Here are photos of my three pieces on display at the show.
NOVEMBER 16, 2017
An Evening with Scott Kelly
Astronaut Scott Kelly made an appearance in Seattle this week, which provided an opportunity for me to show my thanks for getting one of the collectSPACE patches I designed into orbit. Scott's final space mission lasted nearly a year (340 days), and while on the International Space Station he took an incredible photograph of the collectSPACE patch floating inside the ISS cupola set against the Earth's horizon.
Robert Pearlman of collectSPACE had originally arranged to fly the patch in March 2015, and he provided a high resolution file of the photo for me to print.
My gesture of thanks to Scott included a custom matted version of the photo signed inscribed by me, plus a similarly matted description of the patch design. I also included a couple embroidered patches (not flown). Just a few little tokens of my appreciation, you know.
The inscription says, "Scott, Thanks for taking my artwork to new heights!"
Scott was gracious enough to sign a copy of the photo for me, too. As it happened, I did not actually get to meet Scott at the event, as this was all done through his publicist behind closed doors prior to the talk.
OCTOBER 4, 2017
National Association of Rocketry "Pay Forward" logo
The National Association of Rocketry (NAR) asked me to create a logo for use in their "Pay Forward Proud" fundraising campaign in 2017. The design was inspired primarily by the classic Apollo project insignia. The logo also includes a subtly hidden visual reference to the NAR 60th anniversary, which was founded in 1957 by Orville Carlisle and G. Harry Stine. The logo appears on the NAR website, as well as the NAR Collection Twitter page.
One of the rewards being offered to donors is a canvas print of the logo.
The fundraising effort seeks to support the preservation and cataloging of the model rocketry collections of G. Harry Stine, Vern Estes, and Lee Piester. The Museum of Flight in Seattle houses the collection of the National Association of Rocketry, and the museum currently has on display some of the more interesting items. Only a small portion of the collection is on display, and there are many more items being preserved in storage that need to be cataloged.
The design features the prominent red NAR delta logo, which is a registered trademark of the association and is used with permission.
JUNE 11, 2017
Spacefest VIII 2017
For the second consecutive year, I displayed my digital space art at Spacefest in Tucson, Arizona. My art was displayed prominently just inside the entrance to the exhibit hall where no one could miss it. Fellow artist and IAAA member Bill Hartmann joked that my sign should say, "Dave Ginsberg … and other artists".
At last year's Spacefest art show I met several members of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), and I joined soon after. This year, it was fun to again see those friends from last year and now engage with online. It was also nice to meet for the first time in person several additional artists, including some who had joined the IAAA since last June's show.
I made it my goal, this year, to get two books signed by artists whose works are published within them. They didn't mind at all that I was geeking out as a fan boy, and many admitted to having done the same thing in the past. One book held special meaning to me since I had owned it for thirty-five years. It was my college textbook for Astronomy 101. After joining the IAAA, I found out that the textbook was authored, and includes many illustrations, by William K. Hartmann … the same Bill Hartmann I mentioned at the top of this post. He is a long-standing IAAA member and was displaying his artwork at Spacefest. I took advantage of this cosmic coincidence by asking Bill to sign my textbook. Bill graciously did so, and included an impromptu space art sketch on the title page.
I had an absolute ball at the tables the IAAA had in the STEAM area (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Visitors were given the opportunity to create space art alongside IAAA artists. Sheets of flipchart paper were spread across the length of four tables with washable markers available for artists - beginners and experienced alike. There were also two grapefruit sized Styrofoam balls that were used to demonstrate planetary cloud and crater patterns, and how light falling on planets and moons creates the phases we can see.
The majority of the participants at the IAAA STEAM table were in the kindergarten through fourth grade age range. It was fun for me to let them start with their own concepts from their imagination and then offer little educational tidbits about how craters might look or how the Sun might illuminate a planet, and then witness their drawings evolve into more sophisticated renderings in real time.
Two high school aged girls stopped by the STEAM activity, and that encounter turned out to be the most gratifying for me. I'd like to believe that we may have changed at least one of the girls' lives by opening her eyes to the fact that there are ways to combine her passions for art and science together. When I explained what many of the people in the IAAA do, she said, "Oh my god! You can *DO* that?! I'm going to cry. That's exactly what I've wanted to do all my life!"
It doesn't get any better than that.
The trip was topped off with a Sunday night overflight of the ISS directly above the Starr Pass patio. It must have been four times as bright as I've ever seen it, before it faded into the Earth's shadow. It was a perfect ending to a perfect weekend.
Back (L-R): Jim Scotti, Dave Ginsberg, Dan Durda, Aldo Spadoni, Mikey Carroll, Mark Pestana, Lucy West, Dinah Jasensky, Doug Forrest
Far back: Doug Shrock (approaching from behind Mikey and Mark in the background)
Front (photobombing): Simon Kregar
Photo credit: Marilynn Flynn
JUNE 7, 2017
A Day with a Space Art Icon
In what seemed at times to be a truly dreamlike experience, my wife and I found ourselves guests of Pierre and Sandy Mion for a day at his home in Arizona. Pierre is considered by many, including myself, to be one of the iconic illustrators of what is now space history and other subjects. Pierre enjoyed a thirty-eight year career as an illustrator for National Geographic Magazine, as well as Popular Science, Look, and many others. I distinctly recall, as a fourth grader, seeing Pierre's renderings depicting the events of the space age as it was unfolding. Those illustrations and the stories accompanying them made a lasting impression on me both artistically and scientifically.
I had reached out to Pierre to ask a question about the lunar landing painting that he collaborated on with Norman Rockwell. I had mentioned in passing that I would be in Arizona for Spacefest and that it would be nice to meet him. His kind response included a suggestion that we come visit him. So, when the opportunity to meet Pierre in person arose, I made certain to modify our travel plans accordingly.
Of the many excellent illustrations Pierre has produced, the ones that stand out in my memory are the ones that depict the Apollo lunar landing. As early as 1964, Pierre's paintings of key Apollo mission events figured prominently in National Geographic Magazine. The first of Pierre's images that I can remember personally from my childhood are the collaborations with Norman Rockwell for Look magazine, and the Apollo 11 lunar module paintings that appeared in the December 1969 issue of National Geographic. The National Geographic magazine issue documented the first Apollo lunar landing, complete with a flexible plastic pull-out record narrated by Frank Borman.
Two of Pierre's paintings appear in the December 1969 issue of National Geographic. They show the two most critical parts of the Apollo 11 flight. The first shows Eagle approaching the large rocky crater that was situated in the computer-targeted landing site. The text accompanying the illustration describes how Neil Armstrong needed to take over manual control of the lander to bring the vehicle down to the surface safely. It was with a clear sense of pride and a touch of historic nostalgia, that Pierre stood up before us and read that passage aloud as he displayed the page with his work while we sat on the couch in his living room. For me witnessing this, it was an almost surreal experience that felt like time travel.
Pierre kindly agreed to sign some things for me, including two pages from the 1969 Apollo 11 issue of National Geographic. I had also brought with me for him to sign a 1966 issue of National Geographic School Bulletin, on which Pierre's early version of the Moon landing appears as the cover illustration. The two versions of the LEM - one being a preliminary design from 1964 and the other being an as-flown version based upon photographs of the actual event - depict part of the rapid design evolution of the landing craft.
Pierre took painstaking care to accurately illustrate the Apollo 11 scenes. I had commented on the different approaches Pierre took to showing the footprints of the moon walkers in his two paintings separated by five years. The early one shows individual light colored boot prints dotted across the moonscape trailing the astronaut. It contrasts markedly with the 1969 version of the same scene, where the soil disturbed by the astronauts is colored darker than the surrounding lunar soil and the footsteps blend together to form roughened paths. The different depictions clearly show how artists had to go largely on conjecture of what the scene would look like several years prior to the actual event.
I have always found it interesting that even the engineers and designers of the lunar module left clear gaps of knowledge unfilled in the early stages of development. For instance, in the 1964 painting, there was no indication of how the astronaut would get down onto the surface from the LEM ascent stage. At that time, the engineers hadn't yet incorporated a ladder into the design (though they did experiment with ropes at one point in development). Pierre decided to be true to the engineering of the day, as many others would have. The Apollo 11 illustrations, by contrast, are extremely accurate, right down to the placement of the items discarded by Neil and Buzz after their EVA, and the exact locations of the footpaths left behind. Pierre said that he used the film of the actual lunar liftoff to gain an accurate picture of how things were left at Tranquility Base.
The walls in Pierre's house are filled with original works by him, mostly of landscapes and scenery of Arizona and the Chesapeake Bay area. Above his couch, in a small alcove, hangs a memento of his time spent with Norman Rockwell – a flying cherub with an outstretched arm, and in whose hand is held a used paintbrush. Below this on the shelf is a small faded photograph of Norman Rockwell in his studio with the statue and its paintbrush hanging above him.
Pierre's own studio is where the space-related items are located. Covering most of the wall behind the art table that belonged to his father (on which, incidentally, he was working on a new watercolor painting) are four large space paintings. Intermixed with those are other illustrations that have appeared in magazines and on their covers. Beside his chair are photographs that serve as a visual biography of the rich experiences he has had in his life. There are photos of himself in the Marines, driving race cars and motorcycles, and on a dive excursion with Jacques Cousteau. There is also a faded photo of Dave Scott on the plain at Hadley inscribed to Pierre. Nearly an entire shelf in his closet is devoted to books in which he has had his artwork published. To say that Pierre Mion has lived a full life would be an understatement.
Toward the end of the day, Pierre led me into his garage where the most impressive portion of his collection resides. It was there from within the shallow slide-out drawers of a metal art storage unit that he began to pull out some of his cherished original artwork. Time permitted only one of those drawers to be explored, but what an outstanding one it was. The label on the front of the drawer said "National Geographic" in hand lettering that you would expect from a professional illustrator. One by one, out he pulled each incredible masterpiece. The subjects ranged from ship cutaways, to exhibit designs, to Aztec battles, to space art, of course. One of the space works was a beautiful scene of an orbital space station complete with astronauts pulling a satellite into a repair depot and a space shuttle – all these being of his own design. I detected a sense of style in this painting that was reminiscent of the work of Robert McCall. Pierre shared with me that he and McCall used to trade notes with each other about technique.
Pierre then came to the one I had been hoping to have the chance to see. It was the original painting of the Apollo 11 lunar module, Eagle, lifting off from the Moon. There, with the painting placed on top of the stack of his other priceless original artwork, Pierre began pointing out each of the features of the painting, including the craters and mission items that he precisely positioned based upon the mission photos and film. While I had the signed page from the magazine in hand, I couldn't resist the impulse to only half-jokingly tell him that I would leave a space on my wall in case he ever gets tired of keeping the original.
Until that time (if it ever comes), I will be able to enjoy the items that he signed for me during our visit, plus a large limited edition print of a painting of Alan Bean and Pete Conrad of the Apollo 12 mission with the Surveyor 3 lander.
I will also enjoy the memories of our visit with Pierre and his wife. They were extremely kind hosts, and my wife and I greatly appreciate their invitation to come meet them and for the time they spent with us. It was a truly amazing and enjoyable, yet also down to Earth, experience we will never forget.
MARCH 15, 2017
Pair of Planet Pictures Published in Pulsar
My digital solar system has made its second appearance in the Pulsar publication of the International Association of Astronomical Artists. It accompanied a couple paragraphs about me in the section that welcomes new members. I joined the IAAA in June of last year after meeting several of the members at Spacefest.
A second work of mine appeared in this Winter 2016 moon themed issue. Making its publication debut was Around the Moon and Back Again, created in 2013 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8.
MARCH 12, 2017
PAAAATCH INNNNN SPAAAAAACE!!!!
This week it was revealed that a collectSPACE patch of my design had been flown in space with astronaut Scott Kelly during his year-long mission on the International Space Station, from March 2015 to March 2016. While in orbit, Scott took this photo of the patch floating in the space station's Cupola, set against the Earth's horizon.
When I look at this image, I get chills seeing the brilliant blue and white curvature of the Earth framed behind the floating patch with its crescent Earth shimmering in the bright light.
FEBRUARY 27, 2017
Program Patch Published
My space shuttle patch design commemorating the retirement of the space shuttle has been published in Dennis Jenkins' three volume Space Shuttle, Developing an Icon – 1972-2013.
Given it is a three volume set with 1,584 pages, one would be excused for not flipping straight to the page containing the patch contest entries. So, after you've absorbed the rest of the incredible history of the development and operation of the space shuttle, open Volume III to page III-421 to find my design positioned just above the winning entry.
In 2010, my design flew with the other contest entries in digital form on a CD stowed in the cargo bay of Atlantis on its STS-132 mission. The design placed fifth among the top fifteen finalists in the NASA contest, and it came in sixth place in the collectSPACE poll.
FEBRUARY 10, 2017
The Art of Planetary Science @ UofA LPL
The Art of Planetary Science 2017
University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
Show Dates: February 10-12, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday February 10th, 5pm-9pm
Spaceship Earth and Planets will be among the works displayed at an exhibition held by The Art of Planetary Science at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory from February 10-12 in Tucson, AZ.
This is the fourth annual presentation of The Art of Planetary Science, an exhibition of art celebrating the beauty and elegance of science. This year's show features over 230 works of art created from and inspired by the solar system and the scientific data with which it is explored.
From their press release:
The goal of this exhibition is to provide a new way of looking at science and the solar system. We present art created from the images, data, equations, and instruments used to study the cosmos, in order to showcase the underlying meaning that inspires scientists in their work. We also present work from artists expressing themselves using scientific themes, and revealing what inspires them about the solar system. Being able to view both types of art side by side offers the public insight into science, the solar system, and our role within the cosmos that would not be possible viewing them separately.
The Art of Planetary Science is an annual juried art show presented by the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Information about their mission and photos from past shows can be found here: https://www.lpl.arizona.edu/art.
OCTOBER 17, 2016
The Art of Planetary Science @ DPS
The Art of Planetary Science 2016 @ DPS Meeting Exhibition
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, California
Show Dates: October 17-20, 2016
Public Viewing: Thursday October 20th, 6pm-7pm
Public Lecture: Thursday October 20th at 7pm
Celestial Sphere will be on display at a special exhibition held by The Art of Planetary Science at the 2016 Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting from October 16-20 in Pasadena, CA at the Pasadena Convention Center.
The exhibition will serve as a space for scientists to reflect on the beauty of our universe, and our role in discovery and exploration. The art exhibition will be open to the general public for one hour prior to a public lecture, on Thursday October 20th, 6pm-7pm.
This scientific conference is a joint meeting between the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Science (DPS) and the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC), and will be attended by hundreds of planetary scientists and astronomers from all over the world. Information about the conference can be found here: https://aas.org/meetings/dps48.
This exhibition is a satellite event of The Art of Planetary Science, an annual art show hosted by the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Information about their mission and photos from past shows can be found here: https://www.lpl.arizona.edu/art.
SEPTEMBER 08, 2016
Published in Pulsar
I am proud to have my pixel planets share a page with Dan Durda and Michael Carroll, and pleased to be across from a beautiful tribute to Ed Mitchell - a true pioneer in space and consciousness.
Digital past issues of the bi-annual newsletter of the IAAA are archived on their website. Issues over five years old are available to non-members online.
JUNE 23, 2016
I'm a member of the club
I have been accepted into the International Association of Astronomical Artists as a full fledged Artist member.
From the IAAA website:
Artist members are persons who have applied for membership by submitting their art work to a Jury for evaluation and have been found of sufficient skill and artistic vision to properly represent the IAAA and it's mission.
The object of the IAAA, as a non-profit foundation, is to implement and participate in astronomical and space art projects, to promote education about astronomical art and to foster international cooperation in artistic work inspired by the exploration of the Universe.
The IAAA was founded in 1982 by a small group of artists who journeyed through the fascinating but seldom trod territory where science and art overlap. Since its founding, the IAAA has grown to number over 130 members, representing twenty countries.
JUNE 14, 2016
Spacefest was a BLAST!
My artwork made its debut among the community of space artists and enthusiasts at Spacefest in Tucson, Arizona, this past weekend. I am very gratified at the positive reaction my art received from the people I met at the show, which included some established astronomical artists and astronauts.
Many people were particularly drawn to Spaceship Earth, Celestial Sphere, and the Museum of Flight solar system. Hearing from several astronauts that they especially like Spaceship Earth is a rather humbling experience. After all, they have seen our planet first hand from space.
My art display was positioned in a prime central spot. Adjacent to my artwork, Michael Collins paintings were on one side and Alan Bean's and Nicole Stott's work were on the other side. Alan's paintings can be seen in the photo above, to the left of mine. My neighbors sharing the panels behind mine were Pamela Lee and Marilynn Flynn. They are both founding artists of the International Association of Astronomical Artists.
It was a truly amazing experience for me to be there as both a ticketed Space Geek and as a participant who was part of the show. I got to have my fill of meeting astronauts and attending panel discussions as well as being welcomed into the tribe of astronomical artists. It was equally as thrilling for me to meet some of the artists as it was meeting the astronauts.
I came home not only with great memories and a few pieces of space art, but with new friendships ... some of which are with people whom I have admired for quite some time.
Middle (L-R): Dan Durda, Lucy West, Nicole Stott, Pamela Lee, Marilynn Flynn, Michelle Rouch, Ron Garan, Chris Calle, William Hartmann, Ron Woods
Front (kneeling): Michael Carroll
Photo credit: Mark Usciak
MAY 21, 2016
Spacefest is just two and a half weeks away. Here is an update on my preparations for the big event.
I have two panels reserved for my artwork; their size totaling 72 inches wide by 71 inches tall. I began by planning how I would fill the space and quickly settled on an arrangement that worked. After several iterations, the final art choices and layout look like this ...
Prior to committing to prints, I decided to make a full size "engineering" mockup to verify proper scale and fit. The mockup confirmed that the print dimensions were correct, so then it was time to resize my original digital renderings for best reproduction quality.
A few of the smaller images had to be re-rendered in 3ds max to accommodate larger print sizes. Peace on Earth, for instance, was first created in 2007 for our holiday card, and would have been only two inches wide if printed at full resolution. To make it crisp at 5x7 inches, I resurrected the original model file and rendered it out about three and a half times larger. After compositing and adding a brand new star field, I had what I wanted.
I had the larger images printed on metal after seeing some spectacular large scale photos on metal on our last trip to Hawaii. The color and clarity are brilliant. Printing on metal also allowed me to forgo matting and framing, leaving more room for the image, itself.
The smaller prints are on high quality photo paper and professionally framed and covered with Museum PlexiGlas. The colors really pop coming through virtually non-reflective acrylic.
The last set of framed prints were completed today and they all look fantastic. I am really pleased with the quality of both the metal and the framed prints. Here is a photo of the final artwork laid out and ready to pack up and ship for the display next month ...
For more information about my display, see my page on the Spacefest VII website. Spacefest will be held June 9-12 at Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, Arizona.
JANUARY 18, 2016
Spacefest VII 2016
My artwork will be displayed at Spacefest VII this summer alongside the work of two dozen notable space artists. This will be my first trip to attend Spacefest, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to participate.
The annual event for space enthusiasts hosts an impressive list of astronauts, speakers, authors, and artists, many of whom have featured prominently in the United States' space programs. A few astronauts have artistic talents, as well. Among the astronauts-cum-artists scheduled to show their work are such names as Alan Bean (Apollo 12, Skylab 2), Michael Collins (Gemini 10, Apollo 11), and Nicole Stott (STS128, STS129, STS133, ISS Expeditions 20 & 21). Terrestrially based accomplished space artists will include names very familiar to collectors and admirers, like Pamela Lee, Lucy West, Bill Hartmann, Ron Woods, Chris Calle (Paul Calle's son), Kim Poor, and Don Davis.
This year's event is June 9-12 at Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, Arizona.
APRIL 23, 2015
A funny thing happened on the way to Ceres.
The Dawn spacecraft has just entered orbit around the dwarf planet, Ceres. It was launched in 2007, coincidentally the same year my solar system mural was put on display at Seattle's Museum of Flight.
In the eight years since then, there has been something very interesting happening to the mural. The dwarf planet Ceres is disappearing from the picture ... literally.
When I created the mural in 2007, the great debate about what is and what is not a planet was still fresh in people's minds. Ceres and Eris had just joined Pluto in being classified as the three dwarf planets in the solar system family tree. Because of Pluto's popularity, and the emotional reaction many people had to its demotion in status, the other two remained less visible in the public's eye.
When the mural was hung in the Museum's new space gallery, I mused that it was likely the first of its kind in any museum to accurately depict the International Astronomical Union's new planet count: eight fully grown planets plus three dwarf planets. I didn't give much thought to how it might be received by the people coming to visit the museum. It wasn't until a few years later that I began to see physical evidence that the dwarf planets were getting noticed.
During my occasional trips to the museum, I often go into the space exhibit where the mural is displayed. I like to see it in its setting overlooking the Viking lander. I also like to see if I can catch any reactions of the people who see the mural. Kids are generally known to show great interest in reciting the names and order of the planets.
It was on one of these visits that I noticed something odd about the way Ceres appeared. It was smudged, and there appeared to be a divot in the canvas. Ceres was beginning to look more like a comet or a nebula than a dwarf planet. The likely cause quickly occurred to me.
Ceres is just within reach for many inquisitive young people. My guess is that they must be pointing to the unfamiliar object lying between Mars and Jupiter. Though I have never been there to actually witness anybody in the act, I can only imagine countless young people over the years grabbing their mothers or fathers by the leg, pulling them over to the mural, pressing their fingertips to that strange object on the wall, and asking, "Hey, what is that?"
When the Hubble Space Telescope set its gaze on Ceres over a decade ago, the pictures it took were quite fuzzy. As Dawn begins to take sharp close-up pictures of Ceres, people will no doubt start to get familiar with the once unfocused dwarf planet.
When new detailed maps are published, perhaps I will give Ceres a digital makeover. Then, I can offer the museum a sticker to cover up that fuzzy spot on the mural.
FEBRUARY 8, 2014
Redmond Digital Art Festival 2014
The festival is kicking off with an art gallery exhibit. The display runs from February 8-28 at the Vision 5 Gallery in Redmond, Washington. Public hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 1-9pm, and Saturdays from 1-5pm.
OCTOBER 17, 2013
You Liked Space Art!
Because you "Liked" my space art, both of my entries made it into the final round of the Redmond Digital Art Festival judging.
Thank you for all of your votes.
A total of thirty-one digital artwork pieces were ultimately selected for the final round of judging, out of the eighty-one total images and animations submitted. Twenty-four were chosen by the jury and an additional seven were included by popular Facebook "Like" votes.
The "Like" tally as of October 15th, the last day of the voting period, put my Around the Moon and Back Again in first place with 31 "Likes", and my collectSPACE Alternate Logo Stereogram ranked third with 25 votes.
The final winners will be announced at the event's opening night.
OCTOBER 11, 2013
Like Space Art!
This year's Digital Art Festival competition is under way in Redmond.
And, I need your votes.
For the next few days only, until Tuesday Oct. 15th, the top ten pieces of artwork with the most Facebook "Likes" will be elevated to the final round of the competition. A jury will select twenty additional pieces, for a total of thirty, to be in the running for prizes. I have entered two works of digital art this year - Around the Moon and Back Again and collectSPACE Alternate Logo Stereogram.
So, if you are a Facebook person, or know someone who is (confession - I'm not), then please find my two pieces of art and "Like" them, and tell your friends to "Like" them, too.
Thanks for your support!
OCTOBER 6, 2013
Surprise patch sighting
Robert Pearlman presented Sandra Bullock with a surprise gift of a space artifact during his interview about the movie Gravity. A collectSPACE patch of my design can be seen inside the acrylic box containing the Space Shuttle handle. View the video presentation at collectSPACE.com.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2013
First patch sighting
Robert Pearlman can be seen wearing a shirt adorned with a collectSPACE patch of my design in a video interview with Gravity's director Alfonso Cuarón and actress Sandra Bullock published on collectSPACE.com.
The design is also displayed prominently in the intro and closing titles to the video, and it is emblazoned as a watermark in the upper right corner.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2013
collectSPACE patches are now available for order
JULY 20, 2013
collectSPACE patch design chosen as brand identity
On the 44th anniversary of of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, collectSPACE unveiled my patch design as their new brand identity. The design is used as their logo on collectspace.com and their Facebook and Twitter pages.
The design was the top choice for a patch for members of the collectSPACE community. Ideas and designs were submitted by collectSPACE members. In total, eight people entered sixteen designs including variants. Robert was so impressed with my design that he decided to adopt it not just as a patch, but as a new identifier for collectSPACE.
July 20th is also the "birthday" of collectSPACE, itself. Robert Pearlman, the creator of the space journalism web site, "the source for space history and artifacts", put it this way: "collectSPACE was 'born' on July 20, 1999, the 30th anniversary of the moon landing, and is a 'child' of the shuttle program."
JUNE 04, 2013
Start Kicking for Science!
If the brilliant minds at Planetary Resources are successful in achieving their goal, Spaceship Earth will be making another appearance above our planet.
Planetary Resources is a new space resource extraction (a.k.a. asteroid mining) company which has its intergalactic headquarters (their term, not mine) in nearby Bellevue, Washington. Their stated business goal is to mine asteroids for the precious metals and water they may contain. I have no doubt they will do what they have set out to do. Just look at the top people they have assembled.
The company is headed by Dr. Peter Diamandis of the X PRIZE Foundation and Space Adventures, and Eric Anderson of Space Adventures. Their "Chief Asteroid Miner", as he likes to call himself, is Chris Lewicki, who was formerly an engineer at JPL working on the Mars Exploration Rovers and the Phoenix Mars Lander. Chris Voorhees, whose name tag says "Spacecraft Wrangler", also from JPL, was responsible for putting together the Mars Science Laboratory and worked on the Mars Exploration Rovers.
To help find and study asteroids for potential mining, their team has designed a suitcase sized space telescope they call ARKYD, named after the fictitious company that made planetary probe droids in Star Wars. They plan to launch a bunch of ARKYD telescopes into Earth orbit and look for asteroids, exoplanets, and whatever else might cross there field of view.
Their main purpose, in addition to the space rock business, is to open up the space frontier to the public, as Peter Diamandis so passionately describes it.
As a way to do that, they have initiated a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of making one of those telescopes accessible to everyone - including scientists, science centers, museums, and schools. That is what really excites me about what they are doing. I think it is a great way to educate and inspire young minds and to get them excited about space and science. This is the reason I decided to get involved and back their Kickstarter project. Anything that inspires young people to be interested in space and science is A-Okay in my wrist checklist.
I pledged at the $99 level because they will, on my behalf, give students and scientists five minutes of observation time on the ARKYD's main-optic. I remember when I first saw Saturn through a telescope and how amazingly beautiful it was to see it with my own eyes. Giving kids access to point a space telescope wherever they want and allowing them to discover for themselves the magnificent wonder of the universe is absolutely priceless.
Now, here's the really cool part ... they are outfitting the ARKYD 100 with a camera on an outstretched arm that will take "selfie" pictures. That's right - the telescope will be reaching out and taking pictures of itself in space! How cool (and droid-like) is that?!
But, wait, there's more! There will be a screen on the side of the telescope that will be right at the front of the little camera's field of view.
This is where Spaceship Earth comes in. As an added perk since I am one of their Kickstarter backers, I am entitled to display an image on the screen while they take one of the tens of thousands of "selfie" photos.
So, guess what I am going to display! Yes, in 2015, when they launch the ARKYD 100 into orbit, Spaceship Earth will be making its second trip into space, flying on its third spacecraft. Now, that will be cool!
MAY 14, 2013
Western Kentucky University
Spaceship Earth is featured on the promotional material for a show at the Hardin Planetarium at Western Kentucky University. They will also be handing out copies of my Spaceship Earth coloring image to children who visit the show.
Richard Gelderman, the director of the Planetarium described the show as follows:
"We start with the planetarium sky, then listen to Eric Idle's Galaxy Song (except for the "... intelligent life somewhere up in space because there's bugger all down here on Earth"). The rest of the show breaks down the song, lyric by lyric; and we end with the entire song replayed."
The advertisement promotion says:
We live on a world that just will not sit still. Join Hardin Planetarium's staff for Spaceship Earth, a new, multimedia full-dome presentation exploring the many ways that we humans are hurtling through our universe. Sing along to the music as you experience the spectacular planetarium simulations and full-dome video imagery showing our Spaceship Earth as it rotates on its axis, in orbit around our Sun, which is in orbit with hundreds of billions of other stars in our Milky Way galaxy, which is moving in our amazing and expanding universe.
The free 45-minute show will run twice a week during May and June this year.
APRIL 18, 2011
Digital art on display in Redmond
Voyages of Discovery and Rocket Martini are among the artwork from Redmond's Digital Arts Festival on exhibit from April 18 to May 31 at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center. The Community Center is located at 16600 NE 80th St., Redmond, WA. The exhibit is open M-F 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.
Over 20 pieces are on exhibit at the Community Center, submitted by artists across the country. Works were created using a variety of digital programs and include original 2D and 3D digital pieces, photographic manipulations and mixed media digital works.
MARCH 4, 2011
Redmond Digital Arts Festival 2011
Voyages of Discovery and Rocket Martini have been selected for exhibition in this year's Redmond Digital Arts Festival. The festival will be held March 18-19 at the DigiPen Institute of Technology located in Redmond, Washington. My two pieces were among 29 works from 16 artists selected out of a total of 51 submissions.
As stated on the DigiPen website, the Redmond Digital Arts Festival provides a place for digital artists and art lovers to come together in one of the most vibrant creative and technological communities in the country. The 2011 Festival is the first to be hosted at DigiPen's campus on Willow's Road in Redmond.
DECEMBER 8, 2010
One small step forward. One giant leap to go.
Voyages of Discovery has advanced to the final round in the Space Craft contest sponsored by NASA and Etsy.
The Etsy community completed voting for the top 40 finalists in each of three categories on December 6th. Next, a panel of judges from NASA, Etsy and additional guest judges will vote to determine the Best in Category and Grand Prize winners. The judging event is to be held in February 2011. Winners will be announced after that, in advance of the Shuttle flight, now scheduled for April 3, 2011.
View all the finalists at Etsy's contest website. Voyages of Discovery is in the 2D Art Reproduction category.
NOVEMBER 13, 2010
collectSPACE cover mention
It was a very nice surprise, today, to find my name and NASA/Etsy Space Craft contest artwork mentioned on the front page of the collectSPACE website in a space usually reserved for astronauts and "real" space artists.
NOVEMBER 12, 2010
Voyages of Discovery a semi-finalist in NASA/Etsy Space Craft contest
Voyages of Discovery has been chosen as a semi-finalist in the Space Craft contest sponsored by NASA and Etsy, November 2010. Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage items, and original artwork.
Voyages of Discovery commemorates the historic flights of the Space Shuttle Program as well as NASA's pioneering mission of space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research.
Voting is for best entry in each of three categories: 2D Original Art, 2D Art Reproduction, 3D Art. Voyages of Discovery is in the 2D Art Reproduction category.
See Voyages of Discovery in my Etsy shop.
MAY 14, 2010
Space Shuttle patch designs launched on STS-132
Today, I experienced one of the last remaining space thrills on the planet. I had a front row seat for the last scheduled launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Only two more Shuttle launches remain on NASA's current plans, so this is fast becoming a rare sight. My view was from a prime location six miles due south of Pad 39-A on the NASA Causeway. With clear blue skies, bright sun, and a light breeze, it could not have been a better day to launch a spaceship.
What made this day even more special was the fact that my artwork for a space shuttle patch design was inside Atlantis' cargo bay being thrust toward the heavens at three G's atop a blindingly bright plume of rocket exhaust several times longer than the craft it was lifting.
My artwork was among the eighty-five designs that had been entered into NASA's Space Shuttle Program Commemorative Patch contest last December. All of the designs were written onto two CDs as digital files and packed away inside one of the two stowage boxes mounted on either side of the Shuttle's docking airlock.
Viewing the launch in person, along with thousands of others, was a spectacular sensory experience. The air was filled with an electric feeling of anticipation that grew rapidly during the final moments before liftoff. About ninety seconds before ignition, well wishes for a successful mission were offered to the crew over the public address speakers spaced evenly along the length of the causeway. Then the same voice enthusiastically exclaimed "GO-O-O-O-O ATLANTIS!!!"
Thirty seconds later, a voice from Launch Control was heard marking one minute to liftoff. I watched though binoculars as the gaseous oxygen vent arm (the "beanie cap") rotated away from the apex of the orange external fuel tank. "T-minus 13, 12, 11" ... the voice intensified ... "TEN, NINE, EIGHT, go for main engine start, SIX, FIVE, FOUR" ... a low rumble quickly rose to drown out the remaining numbers as the kids in the crowd continued the count.
For a moment, all that could be seen was a cloud of white smoke billowing up to obscure the Shuttle and its launch tower. The crowd gave a tentative cheer when the count reached "zero". Then LIFTOFF! A second, more elated cheer erupted as we all could see Atlantis rising majestically from behind its own shroud of exhaust gases.
The spacecraft rose to reveal the source of its incredible power. So bright was the plume of fire being forced out behind the solid rocket booster engines, it was like looking at the Sun. I found myself mesmerized by the white light, unable to keep myself from staring into it. It seemed as if someone had torn a hole in the fabric of the sky to reveal a brilliant world outside our own.
Atlantis was well on its way skyward when the roar of the engines began to build to a heart pounding crackle - first sneaking across the water, then ripping past us like a freight train. The noise seemed to fracture the sky into pieces as it continued to radiate outward from the rising rocket nozzles. The sound of the engines seemed to follow several thousand feet behind the Shuttle, delayed by the difference between the speed of light and the speed of sound.
About two minutes later, the twin solid rocket boosters could be seen separating from the external tank having completed their task. At that welcome sight, the crowd let out a final cheer of victory and relief, and applauded a fantastic performance.
At that moment, I felt an unexpected lump of pride in my throat and tears of joyful exhilaration started to well up in my eyes. I believe there was something in the air at that moment other than Space Shuttle Atlantis. It was the energy of tens of thousands of people who were present together experiencing what few will ever see again.
FEBRUARY 16, 2010
Final winners announced in NASA's Patch contest
The NASA Space Shuttle program managers have announced the winners of the Space Shuttle Program Commemorative Patch contest. The first, second, and third place patch designs (above) were created by Blake Dumesnil, Hamilton Sundstrand, Johnson Space Center (first place), Jennifer Franzo, Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans (second), and Tim Gagnon, Kennedy Space Center, Florida (third).
The artwork for the winning patch will be flown and awarded to the winner in a presentation at the STS-130 Crew Debrief at Space Center Houston in early March. All eighty-five entries have been manifested and will be flown in digital form on CDs aboard Atlantis on its STS-132 mission, scheduled to fly in May. All of the contest participants will receive a copy of a flown CD.
FEBRUARY 1, 2010
NASA People's choice and collectSPACE poll winners
NASA has completed the People's Choice voting for the Space Shuttle Program Commemorative Patch. The top voted design was created by Blake Dumesnil with Jacobs Technology at Johnson Space Center. Blake's design received 29% of the over 7,600 votes cast by NASA employees and contractors. Congratulations to Blake for a standout design and for great execution.
The People's Choice poll will be used as one factor in the selection of the final patch by NASA Shuttle program managers.
The public collectSPACE Fans' Choice Poll concluded yesterday, as well. A patch designed by Jennifer Franzo of the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans came out on top with 26% of the over 3,200 votes registered by visitors to the collectSPACE web site.
My design ranked fifth among the top fifteen finalists in the NASA poll, receiving 506 votes. It came in sixth place in collectSPACE poll, with 275 votes. Thanks to all who voted for my design in each of the two contests.
JANUARY 27, 2010
Redmond Reporter feature
Yesterday, I was interviewed about my entry in NASA's Space Shuttle Commemorative Patch contest by Mary Stevens Decker for a feature article in my town's local newspaper, the Redmond Reporter.
JANUARY 11, 2010
NASA People's Choice and collectSPACE polls begin
NASA has opened up the People's Choice voting for the Space Shuttle Program Commemorative Patch. If you are a NASA employee or work for a contractor, you are eligible to vote in the NASA internal poll. Voting is open today, January 11th, through January 29th on the Johnson Space Center's Rendezvous website. (Access limited to eligible voters.) The People's Choice poll will be used as one factor in the selection of the final patch by NASA Shuttle program managers.
The final winning patch design will be flown on an upcoming mission, and the winner will be presented with their flown artwork as an award. Fabric patches will likely be created from the design, joining hundreds of others in the decades long tradition of NASA mission patches.
For everyone else, collectSPACE is conducting their own unofficial "Fans' Choice Poll" for the general public. The Fans' Choice voting coincides with the dates of the NASA employees' poll running today, January 11th, through January 29th. Go to the collectSPACE Fan's Choice Poll web page and vote for your favorite design.
UPDATE 1-29-2010: The voting period has been extended through the weekend until January 31st for both the NASA People's Choice and collectSPACE Fans' Choice polls.
JANUARY 4, 2010
Space Shuttle patch design selected in Top 15
Today, NASA announced its picks for the top fifteen finalists in the Space Shuttle Program Commemorative Patch contest. My design made the cut out of the eighty-five entries NASA received. At right are the designs selected to go on to the final round of judging. My design is the one in the center. NASA Shuttle program managers, serving as judges, are planning to select the final winner in February in time to fly the artwork on one of the remaining Shuttle missions.
These fifteen entries will also be competing for a "People's Choice" award where NASA employees and contractors can vote for their favorite design. The People's Choice voting will be used as a factor in the selection of the final patch.
If you are a NASA employee or work for one of their contractors, you are eligible to vote in the NASA internal People's Choice poll. Voting will be open from January 11th through January 29th.
DECEMBER 2, 2009
Space Shuttle Program Commemorative patch contest
NASA has been conducting a design contest for a patch to commemorate the upcoming retirement of the Space Shuttle Program. Now that the entry deadline has passed, I can reveal the space shuttle patch design I entered into the contest, plus some alternatives.
I created four different designs for the contest, plus several variations of each one. From those, I chose as my entry the one shown above. I believe this one best captures the spirit of what NASA may be looking for to commemorate the many great accomplishments of the Space Shuttle program.
When I think back on the many great accomplishments of the Shuttle program, what comes immediately to mind are the International Space Station, the deployment and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the incredible spectacle of Bruce McCandless floating free above the Earth in the Manned Maneuvering Unit.
I developed the alternate designs, shown at left and below, before being notified by NASA that they were limiting each artist to one entry.
The first one (left) uses the Earth as part of the number '30' to represent the three decades the Shuttle has been in operation.
The next design (below left) depicts the launch configuration with the orbiter mounted to its external tank and two solid rocket boosters. The boosters and external tank are rendered in white and gray, recalling the design of the original Space Shuttle program patch as well as the white painted external tank used during the first launches.
The triangular design (far right) uses three blue shock diamonds to represent the three decades the Space Shuttle has been in service. The triangular shape recalls the design of the original Space Shuttle program patch.
The contest winner will be selected by a group of judges recruited from the various NASA centers. NASA will also conduct a "People's Choice" poll where NASA employees will be able to vote for their favorite design.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2008
Redmond Digital Arts Festival
Planets has been selected for exhibition in Redmond's first Digital Arts Festival. The festival will be held October 4-5 at the Performing Arts Center at Redmond High School located in Redmond, Washington. Planets was among 27 juried works selected out of a total of 60 submissions.
Following the festival, Planets will be on display October 6th to November 7th at Redmond City Hall.
Information about the Redmond Digital Arts Festival can be found on the web.
JUNE 9, 2007
Solar system mural a BIG part of new space exhibit
My wife and I were invited guests of the Seattle Museum of Flight for their black-tie Gala celebration of the opening of their new space exhibit. It was an honor to be there as a contributor to the new exhibit, 'Space: Exploring the New Frontier'. A 16-foot high by 8-foot wide mural of my digital depiction of our solar system hangs prominently in the planetary exploration section of the exhibit.
The educational fund raising Gala celebrated the X-15 engineers and pilots of the 1960s. The keynote speech was given by an X-15 pilot who is perhaps better known for piloting the Lunar Module, Eagle, to a safe landing in the Sea of Tranquility ... Neil Armstrong.
Also in attendance was Charles Simonyi, who presented a review of his journey to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz TMA-10, and back to Earth on TMA-9 (see below).
APRIL 21, 2007
Spaceship Earth comes home
Just in time for tomorrow's Earth Day, Spaceship Earth returned to Earth today, aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-9.
From September 18th, 2006 to April 21st, 2007 Spaceship Earth spent 215 days in space, made 3401 orbits, and traveled over 85 million miles!
Interesting note ... it went up on a Soyuz with "space tourist", Anousheh Ansari, and came down with another one, Charles Simonyi. I wonder if I can use my image's "frequent floater" miles for a trip in space, myself.
APRIL 20, 2007
A farewell flyover for Spaceship Earth
A one-day delay of the return of TMA-9 set up a perfect opportunity to view the ISS passing directly overhead the Seattle area, carrying my Spaceship Earth artwork.
At 9:45 pm, as predicted by the Heavens Above satellite tracking web site, I spotted the familiar bright white dot in the sky approaching from the north west.
As it rose to pass almost directly overhead, I suddenly felt myself realize that I was looking at six people aboard a space vehicle. Up until that moment, every time I had watched the ISS fly over before, I had perceived it as merely a bright dot of reflected sunlight bouncing off of a space station. Now, knowing that someone up there was preparing to bring my artwork back to Earth with them gave me the almost startling feeling that there were actual people up there!
Tom Gwilym, of Renton, Washington, captured this amazing image of the International Space Station a few hours before Soyuz TMA-9 undocked. The Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft can be seen in the upper right corner, still docked to the Russian 'Zvezda' service module.
This image was taken using a ground-based telescope and a specially configured web camera. Visit Tom's website to see more of his ISS images and other examples of his astrophotography.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2006
Spaceship Earth is in orbit!
A 4x6 print of my digital artwork, Spaceship Earth, lifted off aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-9 on September 18th.
The spacecraft, along with its special cargo of art, docked with the International Space Station on September 20th. Spaceship Earth is now flying in space, orbiting the Earth with ISS Expedition 14.