In the Beginning...

Neil raises his arms in triumph while Gene gestures toward Earth

Painting Completed 1993
30 x 26 inches, Acrylic on Aircraft Plywood

I knew that creating a painting to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first lunar landing and the total Apollo program would be difficult. I wanted it to show some of the more important things we did on the Moon and, most of all, the spirit of the adventure as we astronauts experienced it.

But how does one show in a single painting the dedication, the intensity, the self sacrifice, the sense of duty, history and patriotism that engulfed us all our quest for the Moon? I didn't know if it could be done, but I began.

I made a number of preliminary sketches but none seemed adequate. I talked with other artists, fellow astronauts and interested friends. More ideas and sketches, but still the feeling just wasn't there. Then an artist friend sent me a rough but imaginative sketch. He didn't know all about spacesuits. But he knew a lot about emotion and design. His idea served as the basis for my painting. Thanks, Peter Landa.

About two month later, when the painting was almost complete, I began working on a title. I made a list of about 50, but none seemed quite right. I was talking with Pete Conrad, my fellow Apollo 12 moonwalker, when his wife said, "I like In the Beginning", and, you know, so did we. Thanks, Nancy Conrad.

I enjoyed creating "In the Beginning..." in this way because it was created just like Apollo. It was not the handiwork of any one person but of many dedicated people working together to make an ages-old dream come true. That was some 25 years, and a lot of wonderful memories, ago. Thanks, America.