Valles Marineris Sunrise / 2013
Original $4,000 / Acrylic on canvas 30" x 48" / Prints available. Description: When I was nine years old, my parents loaded the family car and took my two brothers and I on vacation to Daytona Beach, Florida. From my young perspective it seemed we were traveling in the car for weeks, especially since I was stuck between two crafty boys! But in reality, we drove from Kentucky to Florida in only 12 to 14 hours. I had never been in a tropical climate or seen the ocean before, and I was incredibly excited by the plan my parents had set into motion. Mile by mile, as the roadside scenery changed, I occupied my mind with wild imaginings of what Florida would offer. Tarzan-like episodes played out in elaborate mental adventures that caused my heart to race. As we shot down the interstate evidence of southern environs began to pepper the roadside, Spanish moss hung heavy from large oaks, Coppertone billboards and lanky pines outlined I-75. After we finally passed the Florida state line and neared Daytona, I remember driving down SR40 in Ormond Beach until we reached the Intercostal Waterway. Our vehicle climbed Granada Bridge from mainland to beachside. When we reached the crest of the bridge we were high enough to get a good look over several miles in all directions. That's when the magic moment happened, I viewed my very first glimpse of the ocean from my high perch. Breathtaking doesn't even begin to describe the profound way my mind, body and soul reacted to that unfamiliar horizon. It seemed to go on forever. I hadn't been able to fathom "forever" until I saw the vast reach of the ocean glittering in the hot sun. To this day I have literal chills when I think of that moment. Looking back, I now realize this journey that fostered my first view of the ocean gave me something that has lasted a lifetime, it gave me the experience of what it is like to arrive in a totally new world without a familiar point of reference by which to measure it.
You might be asking what this tory has to do with my rendering of Mars. The connection is this: As I researched and rendered the Valles Marineris region, I traveled adventurously in my imagination, just like I did as a kid traveling to Florida. My heart raced as my thoughts pushed intensely toward an imagined moment, a locomotive of reasoning contemplating this one thought over and again; "Imagine approaching Mars early one morning."
When we think of Mars explorations, we think of the roaring lift-off that carries our space travelers away from our home planet, we think of the long, dark journey it will take to reach the surface of the red planet, we think of the science and experiments and harsh environmental conditions and how our explorers will survive such a challenging journey. But its not mentioned very often of that one special moment when the destination is about to become a reality, when the goal is about to reach out and shake your hand and welcome you into its domain, that magic moment that can be like non other.
Imagine approaching Mars early one morning. What kind of unfamiliar horizons will be waiting there for the crossing? © Copyright 2013 Lucy West / All Rights Reserved. Contact Lucy West for information regarding image use.