Phases (20 by 20 in. acrylic on canvas) is a painting of the Moon and Venus as observed through my telescope in October 1991. Many of my paintings are derived from my observational sketches and notes. At the time, I was surprised to see both Venus and the Moon in identical phases, but the addition of the Earthglow lighting the nightside of the Moon made this an unforgettable experience.
My name is Richard Miles and I have dabbled in astronomical painting (mostly acrylic on canvas) for the better part of 40 years. I am a lifelong amateur astronomer, the former editor and publisher of Deep Sky Journal, and a part-time college Astronomy Instructor for the last 26 years. I am also a long-time member of Astronomers Without Borders. My other interests include High Powered Rocketry and telescope making. I have built rockets that have flown to 14,000 feet and constructed well over twenty telescopes for deep sky observing.
My astronomical paintings began as eyepiece sketches from my telescope observations. At the time I did not have the resources to get into astrophotography, so I began doing paintings to show others what I was experiencing through my observations. Most of my early paintings were small round tiles that duplicated the round field of my telescope view, but in the 1980’s I began doing larger paintings and showing them in local art shows. For the most part, I tried to make my paintings as realistic as possible, but overtime I began to introduce more artistic flair to my compositions. Rapidly, my new pastime of astronomical painting became the source of funding for furthering my obsession with astronomy, and painting profits went directly into upgrading my astronomy equipment (and buying more painting supplies).
It was through painting that my love of astronomy (and space in general) has flourished and kept my spirits among the stars even on cold rainy winter nights. Since childhood I have been collecting books and magazines that depicted art works of space illustration and have developed a deep love and respect of astronomical art. Along with the painting came three-dimensional art including; fully functional whimsical telescopes, planetary globes based on 19th century astronomical illustrations, and fanciful rocket sculptures.
Living in the Pacific Northwest (USA), I primarily paint in the winter when rainy nights keep me indoors. I typically do several art pieces each year and sell them through art shows in Oregon, Washington, Montana and California. Going to these shows not only gets me exposure as an artist, but also gives me opportunities to set up my telescope in new locations and get more inspiration for future paintings and my three-dimensional art pieces. Go to the artist's portfolio
This artwork is copyright © Richard Miles. All rights reserved.