Title: “Mars Desert by David A. Hardy (1972)” Caption: “For his 1972 book with Patrick Moore, Challenge of the Stars, Hardy painted this scene on Mars based on black-and-white images of Mars sent back by the Mariner probe in 1965. These showed Mars to be disappointingly Moonlike, with craters; later missions, and especially Viking, showed it to be a much more interesting world! They also showed the dark blue sky to be inaccurate.” Astronomical artists are sometimes divided into First Generation and Second Generation (and I suppose we now have even more). The first group were pioneers; they were the...

I grew up in Mexico, a country with little context for space exploration. Until recently, we didn't have a space agency or any important participation in the space race. We can almost say there was no context to be involved in space activities. I realised during the first KOSMICA Mexico how far and how close this country was from conquering the stars. I remember how a young artist questioned about what were her possibilities of making space arts projects when she didn't have access to space labs and space professionals. For a moment I thought she was right, but after...

Title: Ocean of Space by David A. Hardy (acrylics on canvas; from the private collection of M.C.Turner) Caption: Here we see the earthlike planet of a star far beyond our own Milky Way. Above its ocean the sky is dominated by the great pinwheel of another spiral galaxy, and while the mountains are lit by a setting reddish star, a blue companion is rising on the horizon. When discussing astronomical art it is important to understand what it is – and is not. For instance, it is not science fiction; although there is an overlap, science fiction depends much more...

    Title: “Graben on Mars by David A. Hardy” Caption: A scene of a graben on Mars with an approaching dust storm to add drama, and an invented robotic rover, painted in gouache as inspired by a scene in Iceland.     Until the 1980s I was aware of only a few living space artists. The great French astronomer/artist Lucien Rudaux had died in 1947; the British artist Ralph A. Smith, whom I met in the fifties, died in 1959; only the American Chesley Bonestell was alive until 1986, when he passed at 98. I had become aware of...

There are always certain key events during one’s childhood that leave psychological and emotional marks forever. One would be wrong to ignore these experiences later in life. I remember my first experience with magic. I must had been around 7 years old when David Copperfield performed in Mexico City. I cannot remember much of the show, except one trick where he makes a paper flower levitate, and then with a lighter, he burns it only to reveal a real rose. This image stayed with me for the years to come. When I met Derren Brown in Shunt , who kindly...

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Astronomers Without Borders' AstroCrafts web blog presented by Kathleen Horner will share a unique variety of creative, educational and fun astronomy-related crafts inspired by the cosmos in which we live. The AstroCrafts page projects will be presented periodically throughout the year for the whole family that involves hands on arts and crafts that will teach us about the wonders of our universe.  The projects are especially a great resource for schools and other organizations, too.  The AstroCrafts projects is another way we can discover our own inner artist and find personal expression of what we see and feel in the cosmic life that is all around us.