Hi, Mom (1985)

Is Apollo 15 Astronaut Jim Irwin rendering a smart, military salute as he stands beside the American flag on the plain at Hadley? Jim and I think so; but will his partner, Dave Scott, agree?

The Apollo 15 lunar module, Falcon, carrying Jim and Dave, had touched down on the stark, lonely, and beautiful surface the day before. Since then, they had collected many rocks, deployed a number of experiments, and made significant scientific observations. Much of their success was made possible by the fact that they could drive around in the first moon car. Dave and Jim could travel faster, gather more samples, and make more scientific observations with their lunar wheels. It was a great mission.

When this painting was about half completed, Jim Irwin dropped by my studio to visit. We looked at some of the paintings I was working on at the time, and I asked him to make suggestions for motifs I might paint in the future to more completely capture the essence of Apollo 15.

Jim made some excellent suggestions and it was an enjoyable afternoon. As he was leaving, he said, "You know, when Dave Scott sees this, he probably won't think you've painted me saluting the flag at all, because my feet aren't together; and, from the looks of my casual body position, he'll say I'm just waving, 'Hi, Mom.'"

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