This week I started a new series of paintings in my ‘eARTh from space’ collection called “Sunrise and Sunset from Space”.

I am so thankful now for the pictures and videos from my spaceflight. It is so surreal to think that I was actually there. I know I was there and I have vivid memories of particular things like floating and flying freely, and of course spending time soaking up the incredible view through the windows, but the memory of the overall experience is a little like a dream.

One of the most visually stunning images and memories that sums up what it was like to be in space is the sunrise or sunset you are blessed with the opportunity to witness every 45 minutes. Travelling at 17500 miles an hour and falling around the planet every 90 minutes provides so many wonderful experiences – continuous free fall and floating, an environment where really cool science can be performed by taking gravity out of the equation, and yes, the most awesome view of our planet and your spaceship and deep space through the windows.

So I’ve chosen these memories of sunrise and sunset as the latest subject of my artwork.

The view of our Earth from space is absolutely and overwhelmingly impressive. The planet glows. It glows with all of the colors you think of when you think of the Earth. During the times every 90 minutes when the sun is setting, the glow of the planet itself changes from those many colors to a glowing brownish-black, the deep space continues to glow as the blackest and deepest black you’ve ever seen, and between the surface of the planet and that deep black space becomes a pattern of flowing reds and oranges and yellows and blues like luminous dividing lines stacking up and then finally fading together themselves into the planets horizon and leaving a single thin glowing line of our atmosphere like a reminder of the protective cloak it provides.

First in my “Sunrise Sunset from Space” series, 8”x10” oil on canvas. Inspired by a photo I took from the ISS during Expedition 20, 2009.

I am in awe of the beauty, of the art of our planet. I am thankful for the blessing I had to witness that beauty from such an incredible vantage point as ISS. I am thankful now for the opportunity to attempt to share even a tiny glimpse of that beauty through my artwork. And I am also thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given through this AstroArts blog to share just a little about this new adventure I’m on in transition from Astro to Arts.

PlanetDivine 600
Nicole's own words, "the art of the planet" and the brilliant colors of Earth captured in her photo of the planet's horizon were the inspiration behind the writing of  the poem, "The Planet Divine."


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