Within the light of Orion

The Orion Nebula is a massive, and much studied, object in the constellation of Orion. From Earth the nebula is seen as the middle star in the sword of Orion.

The painting is set much closer than the 1344 light years from Earth and this one tiny section of the nebula shines brightly lit by the wave of hundreds of stars forming within the huge, dense stellar clouds. The dramatic mix of hues in the wider nebula image are created by the spectrum of gases & particles, and their relative densities, illuminated by the mix of bright white, yellow and red stars born within.

Original oil on canvas, image size 91cm x 61cm. The 999px wide image doesn’t quite do justice to the layers and micro-detail in this 910mm wide image.

Published by

Simon Cattlin

I sold my first painting in 1978, having just completed my Art 'A' level, and I've been selling a wide range of predominately aviation, aerospace and astronomical art for many years alongside my more recent abstract works. I started working with oil paints when I was 13 and it's the medium I love the most; there is nothing quite like the creative anticipation of a large blank canvas to test your imaginative skills and artist quality oil paints give you a fabulously rich palette to work with. As a small boy, I'd been fascinated by all things aeronautical, and it was that constant interest that started me sketching aircraft before I moved onto expressing myself in colour. The aviation art and aerospace art markets have developed tremendously since the late 1970s, largely thanks to the superb works of Robert Taylor, Gerald Coulson and their peers. The standards created by them set the bar for me and many other artists, who are drawn to aviation art and aerospace art individually, or via the Guild of Aviation Artists, which is the world's best established and most respected aviation art association. I'm an associate member of the GAVA and submit work to the annual exhibition in London. Science & astronomy has been a constant interest for over 30yrs, to have so much of our art inwardly focused on a minutely small particle within the fabric of the universe seems almost dismissive of the panoramic intensity of the wider cosmos. In our journeys beyond the stratosphere - art goes first. I've produced numerous paintings of planetary scenes, starscapes, galaxies, deep space nebulas and well-known icons of the space age, such as the NCC 1701 Enterprise, as well as my own future craft designs. The International Association of Astronomical Artists ( IAAA) is the collective "home" for those of us who combine our love and wonder of astronomical themes with expressive original art. We bring you the images the cameras can't get to, I'm an artist member of the IAAA. Away from the easel I'm a keen aerobatic pilot and produce "high energy" cloud top footage filmed from an Extra EA300.

This artwork is copyright © Simon Cattlin. All rights reserved.