Pastel Lunar Impressions On ISAN
Posted 05 April 2009 - 08:54 PM
For the past two nights I ensconced myself on two restaurant locations in the greater Portland area to infect the public with their first views of the moon and Saturn through my Nexstar 5i and 32mm, 9.7mm, Plossl and 6mm Orthoscopic eyepieces producing 50X, 180X and 240X. Many restaurant patrons had never seen Saturn or the moon through a telescope. One lady author of childrens books exclaimed while first seeing the moon at high power, " OMG! it's not a thing, it's another world with mountains and craters! I cannot believe I am actually seeing the real thing and not a picture in a book or on TV! An eighth grade girl had just done a report on the solar system and made sketches, so I showed her mine. Another teacher asked of I would like to teach at Saturday Academy classes for her Charter School. Imagine getting a new job just for doing sidewalk astronomy one night?
I had intended to do serious sketching and also present a display of that process to the public. Instead I found that it is difficult to attend the telescope with a few dozen people randomly showing up while trying to seriously attempt accurate sketch art.
So I only took a few photos through the scope (attached here, one is overexposed to show the terminator and the other proper exposure for surface details. I then retreated home to observe in solitude for the end of the night. I rendered this pastel impression of several observed features and then added the imaginary lunar landscape as a final impression of one of the features below. Iâ€™ll let the observer decide what this surface feature could be. It was done entirely from imagination with no real observed reference.
The evening temperature ranged from 58F ~ dropping to about 49F during the observe to sketch at 600 ~ 800UT. With a light breeze, seeing was estimated at 7~8/10.
The sketch is on black Stonehenge paper in 20â€ X 25â€ format. The moon above was drawn at 7â€ in diameter for reference with various dry pastel chalks in off-whites, grey-blue and brown.
Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:15 PM
I still have to follow up with the school PTO to schedule an AStronomy night at our school (I got too busy to coordinate it for 100HA, but I plan on doing something maybe around Back to School night).
I also like your imaginary landscape, I was trying to figure out where it was located on the moon before reading the details of your post. It does look like it could really be there somewhere.
Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:37 PM
That is a very nice collection of sketches. Pastels are the very best way to represent the moon as you often prove. Your set up location is a Moon-Saturn spot for sure. Nearly everyone likes to take a look through a telescope at the moon and planets. Some folks have very profound reactions to what they see.
Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:58 PM
Posted 06 April 2009 - 08:04 AM
Your only getting better, and the imagined landscape has the unerring truth of reality.
Posted 06 April 2009 - 01:05 PM
As Mike mentions that I am getting better and that landscape I did has a truth of reality, that scares me, but thanks Mike, as sometimes I wonder as you may or may not know that artists are usually terrible business people. I designed and built my aesthetic atmosphere home with thousands in unique landscaping for my first family 20 years ago; I just lost it in foreclosure last year [read: starving artist]. I will lecture about all this art and show it all to a college observational astronomy class next week as a pro bono service on my part as I know that it has a profound effect on the students. Our local Public Broadcasting just ran a long discussion about stimulus money for Oregon. I wrote into the site as I heard a lady college professor from U of SoCal last night at our local science museum star party in the parking lot reflect her laments about the failing Oregon education systems. The night before a lady childrenâ€™s books author asked if I would teach a Saturday Academy Class for students. Artists and astronomers must struggle for acceptance these days but it seems to be improving and maybe only if you can do great art! By the way, I started out to do some close-ups of certain features but did not really complete them, such as the lower southern edge, that is really a rough and unfinished attempt of the Clavius region.
That lower landscape was scratched in (at 30 inches wide in about 10 ~ 15 minutes. I did not have any real place in mind and worked from only quick imagination. *The paper is actually 22" X 30" as I misquoted its size earlier; the details do not really show here in this diminished size screen version (Iâ€™ll re-photo it maybe later and edit the post; as many have relented that they cannot get the photo images of their art to reflect the real observed work viewed live); The Stonehenge papers are the largest single sheets available at our large Art Media store here in Portland. I would like to possibly do some book illustrations or a movie back drop as Chesley Bonestell did for some Hollywood science fiction films in the 1950â€™s but I hear now that Hollywood is collapsing in deep debt. Perhaps theyâ€™ll hire starving artists soon for pro bono work? â€œWill do award winning art for food.â€
My CN Sketch Gallery and some award winning astrophotos
Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:00 PM
Posted 06 April 2009 - 09:32 PM
Thanks for the commendations. I am glad that you're impressed. I wonder sometimes myself why or where I am going with this sketch art. As I start each new work, I have very little conceived plans as to how each sketch work will evolve and what may emerge, other than the features observed rendered to some actual accuracy.
Posted 07 April 2009 - 05:05 AM
Posted 07 April 2009 - 06:53 AM
Thank you all of the wonderful sketches of the Moon and the impressive landscape. You have captured all of the scenes splendidly. I am glad that you were able to share the heavens with the public. It never ceases to amaze me the first views of the Moon and Saturn that some may take for granted. You would be an excellent teacher at the Charter School. They would be very lucky indeed to have such a talented artist on their staff. I look forward to your future observations.
Posted 07 April 2009 - 11:08 AM
I thank the both of you for the kind words and encouragement. 'Why it works' as Emerson says, interests me as how this can inspire and compel others. I know what people want to see and why they should for the purpose of education and entertainment both. I have similar concerns as John Dobson as to how much of this information is mis-communicated today. I would highly recommend for anyone and particularly astronomers to see "The Sidewalk Astronomer" by Jeffrey Fox Jacobs > http://www.imdb.com/...369/plotsummary
There is so much to learn in that film about people, the general public and what astronomy can do or why it is misinterpreted by the general public. Dobson is a brilliant display of what is missing in many communities today; as I have spent a few dozen hours with him, the public and at schools over the years. I am not saying that I am the new Dobson as no one can claim his great accolades but I have listened to thousands of people at my telescope eyepiece across the nation and overseas in a third-world nation; that photo of me the other night is not really me in the best light. I seem perturbed in my expression as I am holding a photo flash in my right hand and overexposed the photo, so if you wonder why the ambient light looks so overblown, I accidentally overexposed the photo.
Thanks Carlos for the encouragement about doing some new classes. When I taught in a university a few years ago I was dealing with college age students. This lady the other night asked me if I could work with kids. I have done that a little but I know that they have to be entertained and perhaps that is easier than adult education.
Posted 11 April 2009 - 01:47 PM
Truly superb sketching and a very compelling story of your astronomy outreach. I'm so sorry to hear of the foreclosure on your home, these are indeed tough times and it's sad when it affects anyone, let alone our friends on CN. I think that Charter School teaching job will be wonderful, you'll find it so rewarding.
Posted 12 April 2009 - 04:39 PM
It is truly an honor to receive such gratifying praise from a master artist such as you. I was humbled [read; shocked in utter admiration] when I first saw your whole moon sketches here in CN last summer 2008. I was not yet aware of the Astronomy Sketching Book that you initiated with others here in CN. It was your lunar sketches that inspired me to re-discover the moon.
I am still uncertain of the arrangements to conduct Saturday Academy classes (although I am entirely open to this) but I am soon to be doing general lectures for college classes on the importance of art and sketching in observational astronomy. I would hope to travel to do more of these lectures. Young cinematographers locally in Portland want to film me as a space artist, similar to Chesley Bonestell at work as a dramatic film making scene.
Thanks again for your kind words,
My CN Sketch Gallery with some award winning astrophotography