Artist Comments, Background, and Inspiration

 

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A Note from the Artist:
 I am an experimental mixed media, watercolor, gel pen, acrylics, and alcohol inks artist gone digital.  I like to draw circles, paint skies, and imagine what it might be like in outer space... 
Besides that, I've been fascinated with outer space since I was in grade school, but that was a lifetime ago and I never took it seriously until now and here I get to share a lifelong passion for astronomy and space travel through my art.
I dedicate this website to those who celebrate the possibilities out there for us in the vastness of space, and to those who want to take part in the adventure ahead for humans as we enter the galactic playing field.
i believe
Have you noticed recently that newsworthy events about space happen almost every day now!  For instance, early in 2019, a team of scientists led by a 28-year-old researcher photographed a black hole for the first time in history!  Even India has put a spaceship on the moon! Scientists have discovered earth like exoplanets far from our solar system such as Kepler 452b and Kepler 186f, and scientists have had to create a variety of new names for new discoveries - terms like super earth, and hot Jupiter, or gravitational slingshot, and termination shock.
Other scientists have found evidence of thousands of black holes living near the center of our galaxy.  Astronomers have even detected signals from the oldest stars in the universe!
Personally, I believe the universe holds much more information than our senses can perceive, and reaching out into space will challenge everything we ever thought was true.  I have been fascinated with interstellar travel and drawing pictures of space since childhood - and now, as an artist, this barrage of newly discovered planets and celestial objects lights up my imagination with questions;
“Is there sound in space?”
Is there really a Planet 9?
… How long does it take to get to Mars?”
… “What is the Great Attractor?”
… “Exactly how does mass bend spacetime?”
Why is Light a particle when you are looking at it but a wave if you’re not?”...and on and on...
...I think that someday our great-great grandchildren
will look back on these times,
and they will see that this point in history (our time right now) was indeed a turning point
and we are living at the beginning of a major paradigm shift,
of the human experience.
  (D.W. 2019)
Check out these websites:
NASA's site:
https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/alien-worlds/exoplanet-travel-bureau/ 
International Association of Astronomical Artists:
www.iaaa.org
Minnesota Artists:
www.mnartists.org
Background and Inspiration:
Don began drawing space art at eight years old - spontaneously doodling and coloring with anything that would make a mark on paper.  This practice stopped as the distractions of life came in to play and many years went by until the famous scientist Carl Sagan said something that woke up the sleeping artist somewhere in my brain,
Dr. Sagan said:
“Since in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space - every surviving civilization must become spacefaring.  Not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable - staying alive.  If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.” Carl Sagan
Today’s world has embraced this thought, but when it was first spoken by Dr. Sagan, it was a brand new concept that shook me to the core….Yes, a single cataclysmic event or collision that happening anywhere in our galactic neighborhood…. could obliterate
all of US and all of THIS and all of everything that CAME BEFORE  !! 
I hope that in even a tiny way, my work starts some conversations that move us forward in that direction.
artist's Process
I love to create art, but I can’t stand trying to “think” on to a blank piece of paper… I have to fill the space with something/anything (!) first, or my brain slows  to  a stop right there.  So I’ve learned to start with mixed media materials - watercolors, acrylics and alcohol inks and gel pens on a full sheet of Arches brand hot press watercolor paper to create my background (which is abstract at this point).  Then I take a few days or weeks to start stare at the image until my mind discerns shapes and forms and ghostly hints of images where I saw nothing before.  Then there comes a point when I realize that I understand what the image wants to become (if that makes any sense at all), and I get a high-resolution image made of my painting, then load the file into Photoshop.  There I can create layers on top of the original image (without damaging it) and then use any of the thousands of digital brushes to paint in the asteroids, comets, and scenarios I see in my mind.  After I re-work the image and clean it up, I have it converted a second time into a high-resolution digital file that gives us the intensely colored pieces you see here.
So put some excitement on your walls!  Start your space art collection today!

FUN NEWS!  My name is onboard the "passenger list" for the next mission to Mars Mars 2020

The robotic scientist will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration. With a launch window scheduled to open in July 2020, the rover is expected to land on Mars in February 2021!

View my boarding pass: https://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/mars2020/certificate/215216674329

....boy did I have to call in some favors to get this! 😁😉
boarding pass for Mars trip