Paintings: Mars

Here are some of my paintings relating to Mars, displayed in reverse chronological order of creation. Click on any one for a larger view.

MARS CRATER DRIVE-BY

(Oil on board, 24 x 18 inches, 2020)

SOLD

 

We stopped by this little fresh crater in Utopia and EVA'd by ATV to the rim.

 

This painting depicts two pressurized rovers, each escorted by two smaller robotic ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles), traversing the Martian landscape (see detail below). This concept of operation stems from the field lessons my teammates and I have learned over the years on the NASA HMP (Haughton-Mars Project) on Devon Island in the Arctic.

 

 

Detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, pressurized rovers should always go out on traverses in at least pairs, so that one rover may rescue the other if one rover becomes immobilized. The lead pressurized rover normally serves as the exploration vehicle, while the second rover focuses on logistical and safety support, for instance comms relay. The second rover will minimize risk by following in the exact path blazed by the first rover, provided it proves safe of course.


Secondly, the ATVs serve as self-driving robotic scouts and also as drivable unpressurized individual astronaut transports once a region of interest (ROI) is reached and local short-range (< 2km) EVAs are needed. Each ATV is a mobile PLSS (Portable Life Support System) and remains in close proximity to the astronaut it is assigned to during EVAs. This allows the Mars astronaut's spacesuit to carry less oxygen and smaller batteries, thus helping make the suit as light as possible. The ATVs may also be positioned to serve as comms relays. In a contingency, each ATV can carry two astronauts.


In this painting, wide trails show where the column of vehicles went. As the column approached the crater, the explorers first rounded the rougher parts of the ejecta blanket and drove by a few large distal ejecta blocks. Then, a smoother approach path was taken to get closer to the crater's rim. The pressurized rovers were parked shy of the rim itself, and the astronauts went on EVA, taking ATVs to reach the rim crest and eventually back to their pressurized rovers. They created tighter ATV trails in the process.

 

The dark circles to the left are where I left my coffee pot and coffee mug. Just kidding! They are "palimpsests", heavily eroded older craters reduced to barely visible scars in the landscape.

 

THE PREDICAMENT

(Oil on board, 26 1/4 x 14 3/4 inches, 2020)

 

The Mars astronauts should have known better not to go out in just one pressurized rover. But complacency had set in, and now they were left wondering if the second rover would rescue them in time.

 

MARS BASE COMMANDER

(Oil on board, 7 x 5 inches, 2020)

 

As late afternoon fog rolls in, the commander of an early Mars base pauses to look at the Martian landscape and the base's installations on the vast canyon floor. Who will he or she be?...

 

The nuclear powerplant in the foreground is located some distance away from the base, behind a large rocky outcrop, to shield the base from the reactor's radiation.

 

In the distance, a SpaceX Starship stands at the newly established launch and landing pad. The pad is located a few kilometers away from the base and beyond a hill to protect the base from rocket exhaust sandblasting during Starship liftoffs and landings.

 

MARS ASTRONAUT

(Oil on board, 11 x 14 inches, 2020)

 

A Mars astronaut returns to base by ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) at the end of a long day of gritty fieldwork. Name tag left blank. Who will he or she be?...

 

MARS CAVERS

(Oil on board, 17.5 x 12 inches, 2019)

 

Astronauts explore a large pit crater on Mars and discover what might be extant life in ice at the edge of an underground rock glacier. Based on the Jeanne Pit on Arsia Mons, Mars, and our journey into Lofthellir Lava Tube Ice Cave, Iceland.

 

A TESLA ROADSTER DRIFTS BY MARS

(Oil on board, 10 x 8 inches, 2019)

SOLD

 

Some time in the distant future, Starman in his Tesla Roadster, bleached by radiation and dinged with a few impact craters, tumbles past Mars in the silence of deep space.

 

ABOVE MARS

Mars Transfer Vehicle Stabilized by Gravity Gradient in Mars Orbit

(Oil on board, 11 x 14 inches, 2019)

SOLD

 

Painting depicting a Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV) in orbit above Mars, stabilized by gravity gradient. By pointing its long axis towards Mars, the MTV is able to remain stably parked in Mars orbit and save on attitude control fuel.

 

ARRIVAL AT MARS - NOCTIS LANDING IN SIGHT

(Oil on board, 20 x 16 inches, 2018)

 

Painting depicting a Mars Transfer Vehicle arriving at the Red Planet, with its two small moons, Phobos and Deimos, in view. The Noctis Landing human landing site at the west end of Valles Marineris is also in sight.

 

THE MARTIAN SYSTEM

(Oil on board, 10 x 8 inches, 2018)

SOLD

 

Painting depicting Mars and its two small moons, Phobos and Deimos.

 

HUMAN EXPLORATION OF DEIMOS - VENTURING OUT

(Oil on board, 8 x 6 inches, 2018)

 

Painting depicting the human exploration of Mars' outer moon, Deimos. Astronauts use jetpacks to examine a boulder near the North Pole of Deimos.

 

HUMAN EXPLORATION OF PHOBOS - ON THE RIM OF LIMTOC

(Oil on board, 15 x 16 inches, 2018)

 

Painting depicting the human exploration of Mars' inner moon, Phobos. Astronauts use jetpacks to examine a giant boulder on the rim of Limtoc Crater in Stickney Crater on Phobos.

 

MARS ATTACK

(Oil on board, 8 x 10 inches, 2014)

 

Painting commissioned as cover art for the sci-fi novel "The Greater Good" by Scott N. Giarman.

 

MARS DUST STORM

(Oil on board, 24 x 13 inches, 2013)

 

A massive dust storm approaches a human landing site on Mars.

 

HUMAN EXPLORATION OF DEIMOS

(Oil on board, 8 x 10 inches, 2012)

SOLD

 

Painting depicting the human exploration of Mars's outer moon, Deimos.

 

 

PRESSURIZED ROVER ON MARS

(Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 12 inches, 2011)

 

Painting depicting a pressurized rover exploring the Valles Marineris canyon system on Mars.

 

 

NORTH POLE OF PHOBOS

(Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches, 2011)

 

Painting depicting a view of Mars from the North Pole of the planet's dark inner moon, Phobos.

 

 

ARRIVAL AT PHOBOS

(Acrylic on board, 16 x 20 inches, 2011)

 

Painting depicting a hybrid nuclear and solar powered spacecraft in orbit around Mars, as seen from its inner moon, Phobos.

 

 

MARS FROM DEIMOS

(Acrylic on board, 20 x 16 inches, 2010)

 

Painting depicting Mars as seen from the dark surface of its outer moon, Deimos.

 

 

 

HUMANS EXPLORE PHOBOS

(Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2008)

 

Painting depicting the human exploration of Mars's inner moon, Phobos. Spacecraft is a nuclear thermal rocket.

 

 

MARS MOBILITY SYSTEMS

(Acrylic on board, 11.5 x 9 inches, 2004)

 

Painting depicting a human mission to Valles Marineris on Mars and the use of a pressurized rover and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as surface mobility systems.

 

 

MARS RETURN JOURNEY

(Acrylic on board, 8 x 5 inches, 2004)

SOLD

 

Painting depicting a nuclear thermal rocket departing Mars on its return journey to Earth.

 

 

MARS FROM DEIMOS

(Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2003)

 

Painting depicting Mars as seen from the vicinity of its outer moon, Deimos.

 

 

FLASHLINE ON MARS

(Watercolor and ink, 12 x 9 inches, 2001)

 

Painting depicting the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station imagined on Mars. Painting executed inside the FMARS on Devon Island, Arctic, on 28 July 2001.

 

 

 

THE HAB WAS VISIBLE IN THE DISTANCE

(Watercolor, 7 x 5 inches, 2000)

 

Painting depicting a pressurized rover equipped with a tethered balloon returning to the expedition's habitat on the floor of Valles Marineris on Mars.