Thirty five years ago today the Soviet Venera 14 probe landed on Venus. Subjected to temperatures in excess of 800 degrees, pressure equal to some of the deepest ocean dives and an atmosphere that has sulphuric acid in it. Perhaps I shouldn’t have pictured the probe so optimistly. The Russians tend to over-engineer these missions, so I think the mostly titanium probe is still intact after all these years. I would like to see more missions to Venus. As inhospitable it is, it takes half as long to get there than Mars, it has similar gravity, protection from radiation, and the upper atmosphere has an air pressure that wouldn’t be too hard to deal with.
The Sarus Crane is the tallest of the flying birds. Found in India, Southeast Asia, and even Australia. This particular bird I photographed at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. I made this painting using the photograph as a guide. This is the first time I recorded a timelapse of my traditional artwork. I will definitely do more. If you like this painting it can be purchased here.
Last month I was asked to exhibit at the Space Foundation’s Discovery Center in Colorado Springs. While I was there I took some pictures of the various space artifacts that were on display. On loan from NASA, was a full scale mock-up of the Huygens probe that landed on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. I decided to try to use the photos to illustrate the probe on the surface of Titan. Above is the result. This gave me the chance to experiment with soft-body dynamics to make the parachute drape over the surface I had created. Below are the photos I took at the Space Discovery Center.
I think horses are the hardest animal to draw or paint. They have many nuances that make them very distinctive and elegant. So when my wife saw that Colorado Horse Rescue offered a workshop on painting horses, I had to go. The class catered to all ages and levels of ability, and was structured in a way that everyone got something out of the workshop. I would have like a bit more anatomy, but the instructor was very good at drawing and simplifying the forms. The later portion of the class was putting into practice what we learned by painting a horse. I chose to paint our miniature horse Lucky. I prefer more of a water media, I think my acrylic painting turned. You can find out more about Colorado Horse Rescue here.
In 2013 seven ground-based telescopes watch Asteroid Chariklo as it passed in front of a bright star, an event known as an occultation. A reduction in the amount of light preceding and after the asteroid passed in front of the star confirmed that there is a ring around it. Making Chariklo the fifth object in our solar system and the smallest to have a ring system. Chariklo is only about 150 miles wide with a double ring that spans about 10 miles. Chariklo orbits between Saturn and Uranus.
I would like to thank the Space Foundation for inviting me to exhibit my artwork during their Art and Ales event. It was a great venue, with many people excited about space and aerospace. I brought seven framed prints and presented how some of them were created on the iPad. You can learn more about the space foundation at www.discoverspace.org/. Great group of people and I hope I have the opportunity to do more events there.
Drawing is both an artist expression and a way to understand and study the subject of the art. In this case, using some photos I took at some various zoos, I did studies of two species of rhinoceros. The head studies of the black rhino really helped me get proportions and details correct with each attempt. I usually do these sketches in pencil or pen, but here I use washes of Indian ink on paper. This is a slower process, but the result was very satisfying. Colored versions of the Greater One-horned rhino and baby can be purchased here. And the Black rhino head study can be purchased here.