Thursday, November 14, 2013

11-14-13. Maxwell's otter bath toy.

Van Allen (408)

"Van Allen (408)", oil on canvas, 24 x 24 in. For sale on Etsy.
The Van Allen radiation belts are composed of charged particles held in place around the Earth by its magnetic field. These radiation zones can endanger satellites. In this painting, three satellites have been damaged by the Van Allen belts and are falling out of orbit. They are small and spherical and drifting down like balloons running out of helium. The three satellites are based on three online photos of Greg Allen's 2013 sculpture "Beacon Inflatable Satellite". Each photo has different reflections of people viewing the artwork. The sculpture is based on a 1958 model satellite which was never actually launched into space. 

Behind the satellites is an abstracted image based on a still from my Vine video of a Vimeo video of the aurora borealis over Norway. The Van Allen belts might influence the auroras, according to some sources, but I'm not sure what the latest scientific opinion is about this. 

In the foreground is a stylized rendering of my son's Global Glowball globe toy, which I had sitting in front of me while I painted. Like most of my oil paintings, this is part of a series meant to portray all of the colors in Naomi Kuno's Colorscape book. This one is Aurora Pink, color #408.

The soundtrack for this painting is two different Pandora stations, played on alternate days. One is based on the song "Satellite" by the Dave Matthews Band. The other is based on the 1962 instrumental track "Telstar" by the Tornadoes. It's named for the Telstar communications satellite launched in the same year.

11-13-13. Harold's calculator-shaped iPhone case.