I have loved sci-fi and the cosmos from a very young age, both from a scientific and artistic perspective, and the great joys of just imagining, what if?
All of this was kindled by a trip to Mauna Kea in Hawaii on 2010, where I got the opportunity to see the observatories at the peak, and look through a telescope for the first time in probably 20 years at the universe around us. The fire still took a few years to light, but this trip was followed two years later by a visit to the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, and then by a deep dive into astronomy and astrophotography. I have been an avid astrophotographer since 2013. I also host SoggyAstronomer.com, which offers helpful articles for those just getting started in astronomy or astrophotography based on my own learning experiences.
I had the very good fortune to help hundreds of people plan their eclipse adventure for August 21, 2017 through my Eclipse Kit Guide book, and a dozen or so presentations around the Denver Metro area. I enjoyed the eclipse myself from Casper, WY. I am continuing to process my photos from the eclipse (Prints are available from my Eclipse Kit website). I am also creating a series of eclipse ornaments, and original paintings to commemorate the event.
Astrophotography is an amazing way to see and understand the night sky above us. But, it’s photography – its benefits are also its limitations, and my imagination wanted to go further.
While I’ve discovered acrylic painting on canvas as a medium fairly recently, I actually started building and painting model kits in my early teens, mostly aircraft and spacecraft. In that sense, I’ve been painting with acrylics for over 25 years, but it was only in 2015 that I applied those skills to canvas.
Many of my painting are of real nebula, stars, and planets – Even though I can and in many cases have photographed these objects as well, the act of putting a brush to canvas breaths new life and depth into these distant objects. Beyond those visible night sky wonders, painting provides the opportunity to share what I imagine – exploring the galaxy in a way that we cannot yet physically achieve. To me, this is the core of space art: sharing and igniting the imagination for the final frontier. Of course, there’s some fandom thrown in there for some of my favorite ships and places in popular fiction.
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