That's How It Felt to Walk On The Moon

Al Bean stands with his feet lost in a mist

Painting Completed 1986
48 x 34 inches, Acrylic on Masonite

"How did it feel to walk on the Moon?"

That is the single question I've been asked most often since November 19, 1969. I've said, "It's the feeling of excitement a person experiences only when their life's vision becomes a reality." Or, "It's the feeling one has when years of dedication and training finally make their most cherished dream come true." Often I'll remember, "I felt a long, long way - 239,000 miles at least - from most of the people and places I love." I might also add, "It seemed unreal...impossible...but my space gear, and the familiar voices from Earth told me otherwise." From time to time, I would look down and say to myself, "This is the Moon," and then I would look up at a small, beautiful, bright, blue-and-white sphere hanging in the mysterious, luminous black sky and say to myself, "that is the Earth." I've tried a lot of words over the years, but I don't think I've ever completely expressed my feelings about that incredible experience.

The original idea for this painting came to me in 1986. I began painting what had taken shape in my mind but, when it was nearly completed, the painting just didn't feel right.

I set it aside for several months, but studied it every day or so. A new vision emerged that elicited happier and more exhilarating thoughts and emotions, ones closely related to how it actually felt. Then I was able to finish the painting.