New Art Additions to the Artsnova Space Art Gallery

Mistress Moon by Jim Plaxco
Mistress Moon

I have just completed adding three new pieces of astronomical art to my Artsnova Space Gallery. These are not new art but art that I had not previously added to my web site. In fact I still have a backlog of art to add. I am also planning on adding at least two new galleries in the near future. One will be a portrait gallery and the other will be an Americana gallery.

Following are thumbnails of the three new images. Clicking the thumbnail will take you to the pictures details page where you can see a larger version of the image.

Mistress Moon by Jim Plaxco
Mistress Moon

In Mistress Moon I have recreated an antiqued rendition of our Moon. Mistress Moon started out as a photograph of a moon globe. When I started working the piece I had no strong idea of what I wanted to accomplish. And therein lies the beauty of working digitally – the degree to which I can experiment with different styles and effects is far greater than the traditional artist can achieve. As I worked the final concept slowly evolved until finally I knew what impression I wanted to create.

Rorschach Moon by Jim Plaxco
Rorschach Moon

Rorschach Moon was created using a pastel-oriented palette of colors. You have probably heard the story of how the Beatles song A Day in the Life was actually the product of the merger of two different songs. Rorschach Moon is similar in that it started out as two different works of art. Individually I had been working on creating a nebula experimenting with different techniques. I was simultaneously working on an image of the Moon. As I was doing so it hit me that I was employing similar coloring techniques on both images. It was at that point that I decided to combine the two into one and to produce a final unified piece.

Sands of Mars by Jim Plaxco
Sands of Mars by Jim Plaxco

Unlike the two previous images, Sands of Mars is based on an actual photograph of the surface of Mars. I have long been a lecturer on the subject of Mars and have prided myself on illustrating my presentations with images created from the raw data files returned by the various robotic missions to Mars. This freed me from having to rely on the finished images offered up by the various NASA science and PR organizations.

I was searching through the newly released online archives of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at the Planetary Data System Imaging Node when I came across a MRO Context Camera (CTX) image that I found particularly arresting. I downloaded the PDS IMG file and converted it to a GIF using NASAVIEW. I then used Photoshop to crop, contrast enhance, clean, and colorize the image. Colorization consisted of using multiple coloring layers and masks to achieve the final effect. I must say that I am far more pleased with this image than the one that NASA included in their Mars As Art gallery (my entry appears on gallery page 2, last row, middle image). Of course this image did not exist at that time.

I hope that you enjoy the art and these brief explanations of the process by which they were created.

Ad Astra, Jim

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Saturday, May 3rd, 2008 at 11:33 amand is filed under Digital Art, Space Art.

3 Responses to “New Art Additions to the Artsnova Space Art Gallery”

  1. Jason A. says:
    May 5, 2008 at 9:13 pm


    I liked the pictures. I followed the links to the pictures but they're not all that big. Why don't you make the pictures bigger like wallpaper size?

  2. Plaxco says:
    May 5, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Hi Jason ,

    Thanks for the comment. As to the size of the pictures I use on the web page, there are several factors that led me to not go with larger sizes. First I wanted to integrate the large image within the web page layout which placed a limit on width. Second there is the issue of misappropriation of images, even with watermarks. I know of several instances where artists have had images from their web sites taken, enlarged, and re-marketed by others for financial gain.

    Note that I've just posted a new image to my site (Zero Energy in the Abstract Gallery) and for that image I do reproduce at full size a 3 by 2 inch portion of the picture.

  3. Cybasumo says:
    May 8, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Amazing! the sans of Mars, it looks like there was a closed-eye in the middle of that hole.