Image credit: Jillene Straub
Award winning artist Lucy West has over 40 years experience as a professional artist. Her works have been commissioned and/or exhibited by notable venues such as NASA's Launch Control Center at Kennedy Space Center, The House of Representatives in Washington D.C., The Art of Planetary Sciences in Tucson, AZ., World View Space Port in Tucson, AZ, Biosphere 2 in Oracle, AZ, the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center in Sagle, Idaho, fine art galleries and private collectors worldwide. Her space and science compositions are popular in the aerospace and science communities and are collected by astronauts, astronomers and scientists.
In both 2012 and 2013 Lucy won Best in Show at the internationally celebrated annual space conference, Spacefest. She is a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists - IAAA.
Lucy uses an experimental technique she describes as 'art exploration'. Through creativity she explores all that she is curious about; nature, science, quantum sciences, physics, space exploration, the cosmos, human nature, and the past, present and future of our planets diverse collection of life and human cultures.
Her works have been published in books, magazines and websites (some examples referenced below):
NASA website: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory
NASA website: Ames Research Center/Kepler Mission
Slate Magazine: Best Astronomy Images of 2012/Phil Plait
Discover Magazine: Bad Astronomy/ Phil Plait
Ron Miller's book: "The Art of Space"
Ken MacTaggart: "ASTRONAUT: 1961 onwards (Owners' Workshop Manual)
"I love to learn and so I confess to being an insatiable student of Life very active in research and observation. The information I gather often shows up in my work, especially my passion for astronomy, science, anthropology and particle physics. The facts I discover fuel my inspiration to create art that informs. Galaxies, nebula, otherworldly landscapes and starry skies fill my canvases to tell the stories of our remarkable human journey from Earth to the stars from ancient times to now. My ambition is to create fine art infused with the elegant beauty of the science that makes up the phenomenal mechanics of our world and the universe, and hopefully inspire others to look up at the night sky or look deeper into how nature works and always ask "how" and "why".
I have found that the act of creating art often feels equivalent to taking an exotic excursion into mysterious lands where I am awed by the discovery of the unexpected along the way. As I travel across my canvases I learn about the complexities of the subjects I'm rendering, the physical or emotional dynamics, or the hidden details that unexpectedly surface and send me reeling with a moment of joyful insight. I gain deep satisfaction when I discover something new that might not have surfaced for me through any other channel of inspection or expression than through the creative process.
People often ask me why I'm drawn to paint astronomical subjects. I answer from these realizations ; beyond believing that space is truly humankind's next destined frontier, I also find the cosmos exquisitely awe-inspiring and captivating in ways inexpressible, and offers answers to many of the proverbial and scientific questions asked by humankind throughout time. These are all the right elements to harness my fascination.
My love for astronomy began in 1986, when for the first time I looked through a small telescope. Though what I saw was an unimpressive fuzzy daub of dim light known as Halley's Comet, my psyche consented to the paradigm shift that instantly overwhelmed my awareness. I was hooked! As I gazed through the lens at the subtle elongated glowing blob, it's photons striking my retina through 39 million miles of travel, I realized how much I didn't know about the universe and how much I wished to know. The stars and planets were instantly alive in my mind and filled my being with so many questions that I felt intoxicated with wonderment. Because painting has always been my method of investigating the things I want to learn about, it wasn't long before nebula, galaxies and planets began showing up in my work.
While living on the east coast of Florida during 1984 to 2000, I had the opportunity to see many space shuttle launches from the Cape Canaveral area. It was just a natural progression that I became inspired by space exploration. Now, as I look back over my shoulder, hindsight reveals that I've been drawn to space since the age of four when I witnessed the grainy black and white images broadcast from the lunar surface as Apollo astronaut, Neil Armstrong, stepped onto the dusty ground of The Sea of Tranquility. Somewhere between July 1969 to December 1986 something gelled, the planets aligned (pun intended) and rendered me starstruck (pun intended).
The most surprising affect that's come to light for me from all my years of researching and rendering the stars and other worlds is that I've grown to look upon our planet with an indescribable depth of appreciation for Earth's rare diverse geological beauty and capacity to sustain so many different forms of life."
- Lucy West
Above image credit: Jackie Taylor
Space Art, Scientific Art, Fine Art, Art Commissions, Astronomical Art, Astro Art