STS-133 Launch – February 24, 2011

Ink, marker, pearlescent ink and watercolor, on illustration board. STS-133 is very special to me: my first launch seen in person (and from the press site, to boot!) I was part of the NASA Tweetup for that mission, and 150 of us bonded in person and over Twitter, waiting patiently as the launch was delayed multiple times from November 2010. It finally lit up a perfectly clear sky on February 24, 2011. I cheered, I wept. I wandered around the press site for a long time afterwards with my friends, trying to absorb the experience. It was one of the best days of my life, watching that beautiful bird soar into the sky. I spent a long time away from my art, but having come back to it last year, I realized I was very overdue in drawing a Space Shuttle. I decided to give the background a bit of a 1980s vibe. (This is the second in a series of technical launch pieces I’m working on; the first is of the SpaceX DM-2 launch from May 2020.)

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Danielle Rose

Danielle Rose is a native Californian, happily transplanted to Southern Oregon in 2016. She works in watercolor, ink and colored pencil, and enjoys both technical drawing, and painting vivid landscapes and sunsets (sometimes combining the two.) Danielle grew up surrounded by art and culture—some of her earliest memories are of art museums and galleries—alongside an accomplished artist mother and musician father. She is inspired by the works of Alphonse Mucha, Vincent van Gogh, Alan Lee, John Howe, Alan Bean, Robert McCall, and Hayao Miyazaki. Her background in geology and chemistry, a lifelong interest in spaceflight, and a deep love of nature, give a unique combination of influences to her work. Danielle can be found at home illustrating a SpaceX launch, or hiking to local waterfalls to paint en plein air, with equal probability. She is also a jeweler, Graduate Gemologist, graphic designer, Star Wars nerd and die-hard Sailor Moon fan.

This artwork is copyright © Danielle Rose. All rights reserved.