A very simple, very quick, spontaneous finger painting in fluorescent acrylics, inspired by the idea of a planetary nebula, roughly influenced by famous images of the Ring and Helix Nebulae, with a little bit of fine brush work and stars added using the sharp end of a wooden cocktail stick… Size of painting: 25.5 x 17.7 cm on acrylic paper pad, dressed in a floating black frame, circle diameter: 16 cm, frame size: 33 x 33 cm. The choice to use fluorescent acrylics here is partly an aesthetic interest in their hard-hitting intensity and also in some sense to try and evoke a latent inexhaustible energy within all nature becoming. Although this application of fluorescent colour also ties this painting to another one inspired from observing the Sun through a hydrogen-alpha solar telescope, in which I was originally trying to capture the visual intensity of the Sun’s Chromosphere, even while viewed very safely through a protective solar filter. What links these paintings is that a planetary nebula is the long term fate of a Sun-like star like our own; in fact the very first time I saw the Sun through this wonderful solar filter, I could not help imagining the Sun in its Red Giant phase due to the pinky-reddish colour – so it only seems natural that a planetary nebula should come next, linking these paintings through the style of colour application, more visually than the realism that underpins or conjoins them. Also, the brush marks radiating out from the white dwarf (dot) convey the invisible radiance within the visible, rather than implying a “violent explosion” since planetary nebulae form very gently, in great contrast to supernovae from much more massive stars. However, I can say that the arrangement of the colours, with the red on the outside and the blue and green inside, closer to the white dwarf (dot), links this painting to a talk I attended at my local astronomy club about such phenomena. So, the unnatural, partly symbolic representation of colour is still informed by something I learned about planetary nebulae…
I am an emerging artist based in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, in the United Kingdom. I produce landscape paintings from a home studio, primarily in acrylics but also occasionally in oils and watercolours as well. My interest to begin producing paintings on the subject of astronomy in the last several years has partially arisen from a father-son interest going back to my early years; as a teenager, my father would treat me to views of the planets, such as Mars, Jupiter and Saturn through his telescope, as well as the Ring Nebula and Andromeda galaxy. However, once I left college to study in Fine Art at Southampton Solent University, student life soon took over and my adolescent enthusiasm for astronomy took a back seat. For at least three years, longer in fact, I all but forgot that the night sky existed and seldom ever looked up; my entire universe shrank down to university life and even the Moon became a stale and distant concept lurking somewhere in the back of my head. The stars and celestial bodies of our Solar System arced across the great firmament above, rolling around the dark dome of the night sky for more than a thousand daily cycles, just out of sight and mind… A few years after I graduated in 2006 and during my five year artist residency at the Arches Studios in Southampton, a friend contacted me one day with great enthusiasm, to tell me all about an exciting new BBC television series called “Wonders of the Solar System” with Professor Brian Cox. Many things I forgot I learned about as a boy came bubbling back to the surface. As my interest was rekindled, it crept into my artwork and paved the way for everything that would follow and everything yet to come; in the space of a few years, robotic space exploration seemed to be exploding in a way that I had not really experienced when I was younger. Never before in my life has this sense of wonder and fascination been elevated to such heights as it is right now; I am convinced that I could not have chosen a better time to begin to engage in this subject. To coincide with this feeling, I have now discovered a whole movement in space and astronomical art that I previously had no awareness of and which is perfectly appropriate to my new direction in landscape painting; this is all thanks to an announcement made at my local astronomy club about an exhibition of space art at the Wells & Mendip Museum in Somerset in 2017, which I attended. It answers my calling and shows me an avenue through which I can begin to creatively channel my interest in the exploration of the universe. I now join the IAAA to seek guidance on how I can learn more about astronomical art in general and to seek feedback on my work to explore ways in which I can develop ideas and visual concepts, for which the IAAA is uniquely suited. Finding out about this association, the only one of its kind, is an extremely fortuitous turn of fate I could never have hoped for or anticipated in a billion years. The universe has opened a valuable opportunity, for which I cannot be grateful enough. My aim is to use the ideas I develop through my paintings, with the support of the IAAA, to invigorate my objective, which is to share the wonder and fascination of the cosmos with other like minded people and to help breathe the presence of astronomy into local art exhibitions in the Forest of Dean, where there is usually none to be seen. In this way my goal is to help inspire more people in my locality to take a greater interest in the exploration and wonder of the universe in which we live and, in art inspired by our final frontier… Go to the artist's portfolio
This artwork is copyright © Roger Jarvis. All rights reserved.