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Touched by the Moon by Chris Calle

“I have always been inspired by images that the astronauts photographed on their missions. Earth, that beautiful blue marble in the vastness of Space has captivated the imagination of philosophers, poets, and artists for millennia. When the Apollo 8 astronauts photographed their view of Earthrise the resulting images were largely credited with giving momentum to the environmental movement and helped change the way humans viewed our fragile planet. There is a great quote from astronaut Bill Anders who said, "We came all the way to explore the Moon and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth."

The impetus for this painting came from the idea that Apollo 14 astronaut Stuart Roosa carried with him on the mission to the Moon seeds from five tree species with the idea of planting them back home.

Leading up to the Apollo 14 50th anniversary former Space Shuttle technician Scott Phillips approached me with an interesting idea. One of the moon trees planted in 1978 at Kennedy Space Center's Visitors Complex was uprooted by a hurricane in 2017. Phillips who sculpts unique models of the Space Shuttle using various woods was entrusted with a segment of the Sycamore tree, and as a byproduct of his work was left with a pile of sawdust. This "Moon Tree" sawdust seemed destined for something more, and I agreed that one of my paintings would be a perfect continuation.

When I began to think of an image to paint which would best represent the seeds flying to Moon and returning to be planted on Earth, I immediately thought of Earthrise. Mixing the sawdust in with the paint seemed a very natural idea. I like to apply thick paint in areas of my paintings and the dust added an interesting texture. In a nod to astronaut artist Alan Bean, I plan to add other unique items embedded in the paint of my artwork as he did.

With this painting and onward with all my artwork, I am continuing the legacy of my father, artist Paul Calle who in 1962 was one of the original eight artists chosen for the newly established NASA Fine Art Program to document manned space exploration through the eyes of artists.

Dr. Lester Cooke, Curator of Painting at the National Gallery of Art at the time wrote to the prospective artists at the time, “It is the emotional impact, interpretation and hidden significance of these events which lie within the scope of the artist’s vision. Perhaps this project will help to prove to future generations that the United States in the sixties produced not only engineers and scientists capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company...”

What is exciting for me is seeing artists interpreting the same scene or image in many different ways. Through the individual perspective of the artist, art can capture the soul.”

Today the moon tree lives on in Calle's painting and the canvas prints. Each limited-edition canvas print in this edition contains sawdust from the Moon Tree.
Touched by the Moon
by Chris Calle

Chris Calle - Touched by the Moon
This Piece has been Signed by Chris Calle

  • Signed by the Artist
  • Canvas Giclee
  • Limited Edition
  • 250 S/N
  • 28 x 24
  • Price: $375.00

Touched by the Moon by Chris Calle

“I have always been inspired by images that the astronauts photographed on their missions. Earth, that beautiful blue marble in the vastness of Space has captivated the imagination of philosophers, poets, and artists for millennia. When the Apollo 8 astronauts photographed their view of Earthrise the resulting images were largely credited with giving momentum to the environmental movement and helped change the way humans viewed our fragile planet. There is a great quote from astronaut Bill Anders who said, "We came all the way to explore the Moon and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth."

The impetus for this painting came from the idea that Apollo 14 astronaut Stuart Roosa carried with him on the mission to the Moon seeds from five tree species with the idea of planting them back home.

Leading up to the Apollo 14 50th anniversary former Space Shuttle technician Scott Phillips approached me with an interesting idea. One of the moon trees planted in 1978 at Kennedy Space Center's Visitors Complex was uprooted by a hurricane in 2017. Phillips who sculpts unique models of the Space Shuttle using various woods was entrusted with a segment of the Sycamore tree, and as a byproduct of his work was left with a pile of sawdust. This "Moon Tree" sawdust seemed destined for something more, and I agreed that one of my paintings would be a perfect continuation.

When I began to think of an image to paint which would best represent the seeds flying to Moon and returning to be planted on Earth, I immediately thought of Earthrise. Mixing the sawdust in with the paint seemed a very natural idea. I like to apply thick paint in areas of my paintings and the dust added an interesting texture. In a nod to astronaut artist Alan Bean, I plan to add other unique items embedded in the paint of my artwork as he did.

With this painting and onward with all my artwork, I am continuing the legacy of my father, artist Paul Calle who in 1962 was one of the original eight artists chosen for the newly established NASA Fine Art Program to document manned space exploration through the eyes of artists.

Dr. Lester Cooke, Curator of Painting at the National Gallery of Art at the time wrote to the prospective artists at the time, “It is the emotional impact, interpretation and hidden significance of these events which lie within the scope of the artist’s vision. Perhaps this project will help to prove to future generations that the United States in the sixties produced not only engineers and scientists capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company...”

What is exciting for me is seeing artists interpreting the same scene or image in many different ways. Through the individual perspective of the artist, art can capture the soul.”

Today the moon tree lives on in Calle's painting and the canvas prints. Each limited-edition canvas print in this edition contains sawdust from the Moon Tree.

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