Godspeed, Alan Bean
March 15, 1932 - May 26, 2018

Message from Alan Bean

Apollo was an impossible dream. To get to the moon and return safely we worked, prayed, and cheered together as a world. Together we made an impossible dream come true.

I was fortunate to be the first artist with the opportunity to be in the center of the action to capture what I saw and felt, and bring it back to earth to share with generations to come. It is my dream that on the wings of my paintbrush many people will see what I saw and feel what I felt, walking on another world some 240,000 miles from my studio here on planet earth.

I believe my paintings are beautiful and important art. It is art not of the distant past, but art of our time. Art we can understand, important art to us and our descendants because we were there as history was made.

Some of the tools I used on the moon are the same tools I use to create my uniquely textured surface. With careful observation you can see the imprints of Moonboots walking across the painting. These Moonprints are just like the ones we Apollo astronauts made as we went about our explorations. When you take a closer look you will see marks from the same hammer I used to chip off rock fragments for return to Earth. There are also circular marks made by a sharpened core tube bit I drove two meters into the lunar surface to collect several layers of soil.

With an even more careful inspection you can find small pieces of foil that provided insulation on the hatch between our Command Module Yankee Clipper and our Lunar Module Intrepid. You can also find pieces of the American flag, name tag, and NASA and Apollo 12 mission emblems that I wore on my space suit. These became covered with dust as I walked and worked on the lunar surface so within each painting are minute amounts of Moondust from the Ocean of Storms

It is with these techniques and artifacts that I create paintings with truly out-of-this-world texture, unique in all of art history. Texture with impressions of moonboots and hammer and core tube bit marks, to further amplify the feeling of actually being there.

Along the way, I have been inspired by other explorer artists such as Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt and Frederick Remington and Charles Russell. As the first artist on another world, I believe I am doing the same thing for the opening of the universe that they did for the opening of the American West, that my painting will satisfy the human need to record and remember new beginnings.

Our generation will be remembered for many achievements, and one of the greatest will be our movement off the Earth, from its gravitational pull, to begin our future generations' exploration of the universe. My paintings record the beginnings of a quest never to end, our journey out among the stars.

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