Graphite pencil on paper – I always really liked this image of the white Saturn V lit up at night, just before launch. I made me want to go too. Rick Armstrong told me that he could vividly remember this view, the night before his dad went to the Moon. This drawing was an experiment, because I wanted the blacks to be really black. Much more so than even the softest pencil could create. I drew it as a negative (black rocket on white paper), so that I could reverse it when I printed it and avoid having to fill in all the black. Of course, getting all the grey levels of the lights proved to be much more of a challenge than I had anticipated, and there were a lot of revisions before I was happy with it. Needless to say, I will probably never repeat the experiment.
I was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. As a very young child, I was enthralled watching the Apollo astronauts walking on the Moon. That was the foundation of a life long fascination for those missions. I’ve always liked to be creative and drawing was my favorite medium. As a child, I always believed that creating artwork, or a model would somehow bring me closer to the subject. As an adult, I moved to London and started working as a visual effects cameraman in the movie industry. In the mid 90’s, during the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11, I began collecting books, photographs and models, relating to the early manned space flight programs. Since then, I have been fortunate to meet a lot of people who share my passion and I have built a fairly large collection, including some actual artifacts from the Apollo program. In 1996, after the movie industry swapped optical cameras for computers, I moved to Los Angeles to work as a visual effects compositor. I currently live here with my partner, Yoshiko and our son, Mark. As an artist, I’m interested in the human side of the early missions, and also, the geometry of the machines and equipment. I like the engineering of the launch towers, the spacesuits and the rocket engines. I’ve always been fascinated by the complexity of them and think that they can be looked at as pieces of art in themselves. I’m a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) and the National Space Society (NSS). In 2001, I wrote an article: "A Bid To Save A Modern Day Santa Maria" for the BIS magazine, “Spaceflight”, about preserving the last Saturn V launch umbilical tower (LUT). Since the mobile base was needed for the Space Shuttle program, the tower was dismantled and sat, in pieces, in a restricted area of the Kennedy Space Center. After learning that it was to be scrapped, I decided to write an article that was intended to increase awareness for the tower. I wanted to see it preserved and rebuilt again, as a monument to the program and the people that made it happen. The idea was to pair it with a full scale mock-up of a Saturn V standing next to it. My article created interest in the tower and a new campaign called “Save The Lut” was started. I was involved in the campaign for several years with others from around the world, via the internet. We came very close to raising the required funds, but unfortunately, due to environmental reasons, the tower remains were scrapped in 2004. Now I hope, through my art, to help preserve the most amazing chapter of human exploration, ingenuity and achievement. One of my lifelong regrets is that I wasn’t able to attend a Saturn V launch, but I feel lucky to have witnessed the missions as they happened, and I'm looking forward to the next generation of exploration. Go to the artist's portfolio
This artwork is copyright © Doug Forrest. All rights reserved.