A New Frontier

Al Bean with Vacuum Sample Container

Painting Completed 1999
14 x 18 inches, Acrylic on Aircraft Plywood

When my book, "Apollo, An Eyewitness Account", was published in October of 1998, I felt an overall sense of satisfaction. I was, in fact, preserving some of my special memories of the Apollo program. This was the reason I resigned from NASA to become an artist.

I was moving right along but I noticed my goals for the future were even more ambitious. I wanted to paint the Moon more beautifully than I had done so far, as colorful as it could be painted, and still look like the Moon to me, a worthy but elusive goal.

I stopped painting commissions and began painting several series of studies to explore and develop new color techniques and combinations. This intense and dedicated effort consumed me for the better part of a year with the resulting changes first coming to full fruition in this painting.

Sometimes when I look at this painting I wonder if the changes were all that much. I question if anyone other than me can see them or even care? I don't know. Was it worth the time? I hope so. All I know is that when I look at this painting now I think it has some of the most beautiful color harmonies I've ever created. I dream that my future efforts will improve as much as well.

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