Painting the Apollo Astronauts.
I love to paint pictures of the astronauts on the moon. It is a real passion of mine. If my wildlife art is my job, then painting Apollo astronauts could be described as my hobby. I'm kept so busy with the wildlife side of things that I don't get much time for it, but every now and then my mind wanders back to those glory days of when men walked on the moon and I have to paint something.
I was nine years old when Neil Armstrong took those first steps for mankind. My father told me to look up at the moon. 'Right now' he said, 'There are two men walking about up there' It was one of those moments in life that stay with you forever. I was hooked. I wanted to walk on the moon too. I still do. ' I'm not sure if you will', my Dad told me that night, 'but your son might' The way things are going he was probably about right, but it doesn't stop me dreaming. My fascination for exploration was ignited that day and still burns fiercely. When Mankind finally returns to the moon and beyond, there will be nobody more excited than me.
Men from Earth Pastel 15 x 25 inches
Original Space Painting Available.
Meeting the last man to touch our moon.
In 2014 I had the great honour of meeting The commander of Apollo 17, Captain Eugene Cernan, veteran of Gemini 9, Apollos 10 and 17. He is the last man to walk on the moon. A man that lived on the moon for three days and is one of only three human beings ever to voyage to the moon on two separate occasions.
I can't possibly tell you how much it meant for me to meet the great man himself, the actual subject of my painting. He has been an inspirational hero to me ever since I was a child.
'That's impossible!' he joked to me as he admired my painting. 'Nobody else was there to see us both together like that'. That's where art comes in, to tell the tale that photographs can't I said. We laughed and shook hands. He was a true gentleman to me.
'We set sail on this new sea, because there is new knowledge to be gained and new rights to be won and they must be won and used for the benefit of all mankind'
John F. Kennedy.
'Man Must Explore' Painting of Dave Scott, Commander of Apollo 15, on the plains at Hadley.
When Captain Cernan saw my Apollo 15 painting he sent me the following words for which I am eternally grateful.
'Eric, Your painting is exquisite. It captures the essence of exactly like it was – the shadows, the wrinkles in the suit, the flag, the mountains, the footprints –all take me back to a place I used to call home'.
Captain Eugene Cernan Commander Apollo 17
Man Must Explore. Oil on Canvas 48 x 36 inches. Original available.
Commander Dave Scott, Apollo 15, salutes the flag at the end of EVA 2 on 1st August 1971. Silver Spur and Mount Hadley Delta can be seen in the distance. Oil painting on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. The original photograph, from which I based this painting, was taken in black and white by Jim Irwin. It was a much larger scene which included the lunar Module. I concentrated upon the figure of Dave Scott for my painting, adding the colour and missing detail from the grainy black and white image, making this image unique in that it is exactly as it was on the moon, and yet improving upon the original image to give us a better appreciation of that magnificent moment.
I have been painting the Apollo astronauts for many years now. Below are a few of examples of my early space art from the days way before I became a professional Artist. To the left is legendary Astronaut John Young, the most experienced spaceman in history. Veteran of Geminis 3 and 10 and Apollos 10 and 16. He ventured to the moon on two occasions and went on to fly two Space Shuttle missions, Commanding the very first Space Shuttle mission and then STS 9. The title of this painting is 'John you are beautiful' after the words his fellow moonwalker Charlie Duke said to him as he stood on the rim South Ray Crater. 'You just standin there on the rim of that crater, it's a beautiful sight' - Indeed it was. Center and right are two shots of a very old painting I did of Apollo 15 Astronauts Dave Scott and James Irwin on the plains at Hadley. I was just a teenage when I did this. I like to think I've improved my techniques a little since then but as you can see, Apollo is something I have held dear to my heart my whole life.
Theory into Practice
To the left is an even earlier example of my enthusiasm for space travel. It is a salute to the great minds of history that have brought mankind to the level at which he can begin to explore the stars.
Oil on board.
Statue Of Liberty
17 x 25 inches
This was actually my first pastel painting. I was experimenting with pastel at the time and chose the Statue of Liberty as my subject because I had drawn her so often as a child. The idea of monumental sculpture had captured my imagination back then and it seemed fitting that as an adult I would return my attentions to her.