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ASTROArts Blog from Thilina Heenatigala


Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, Courtesy Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York To me, any time I spend painting is a happy time, but any time spent painting outdoors is simply wonderful. If you are an artist, then you probably know that painting outside is called “en plein air” (from French meaning “in the open air”) and is a style of painting that has been enjoyed by artists for centuries. Many masterpieces have been created outdoors by many luminaries of history, including Albert Beirstadt, Thomas Cole, Claude Monet, and Vincent van Gogh. The tradition of painting en plein air continues in the genre of Space Art too. Though no one has painted an image on the surface of another celestial body (yet!), it is possible to create works of Space Art in the outdoors environment of Earth. One of the best things about being a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) is getting the opportunity to do just that, paint views of other worlds from Earth. Every couple of years members of the IAAA gather together in places around the world where the natural environment is known to be similar to locations on other planets and moons. Death Valley is a great analog for Mars, the geysers of Yellowstone National Park are similar to those on Triton, the volcanoes of Iceland and Hawaii have similarities to the volcanoes on Io, and the pillars in Cappadocia, Turkey were made by erosion just as the pillars of Callisto were. By going... Read More..