Mountains of the Moon - Their Inherent Majesty

Footprints at a small crater, with rounded mountains in the distance

Painting Completed 1993
13 1/2 x 33 1/4 inches, Textured Acrylic on Aircraft Board

I have painted the beautiful rolling surface of the Taurus-Littrow Valley. On the horizon are the mountainous highlands at the eastern end of the Serenitatis Basin, the outside edge of the left eye of the man in the Moon. We are looking southeast with the Sculptured Hills to our left, Bear Mountain, then the prominent slope of South Massif. It doesn't look or feel like any place on Earth.

Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt have packed their samples and driven away but we can see their characteristic marks. We can see where they walked up to the edge of the central crater. It looks like an older crater because of its rounded rim and gently sloping walls. It was probably formed by a meteorite impact several billion years ago.

The Moon is actually gray dirt and rocks with a black sky. When I was an astronaut, I reported it exactly that way. But now that I am an artist, I do not believe that my job is to precisely reproduce the real world. This painting is then a feeling I have of the Taurus-Littrow landscape.

As Jack would later say, "Every once in a while, both of us would pause from our work and silently look at the inherent majesty of those mountains. Those views are some of the most majestic and awe inspiring that nature has to offer in the solar system."