Living and working in Asia for nearly a decade afforded me an objective view of our culture. In 1978 when I returned to the U.S. what I found to be the most unique and original achievement was the U.S. Space program. I was living in Washington D.C., so one day I laced up my sneakers and literally ran into NASA headquarters. When I got there, I told them I was there to paint space. What followed was much bigger than even I could have imagined. I was put into direct contact with the astronauts and scientists who pioneered our first explorations of Space. At that time there had been only 22 people in the NASA Art Program.
On technique in general I use whatever medium it takes to nail the thoughts and subject I am after. For Spacescapes, I had to invent a new technique in order to convey what I learned from the astronauts and scientists. I spent a total of five months researching the different mediums and techniques I would come to use creating this collection. It was a challenge to paint these works from a perspective new to us all. The black is lacquer applied in three fine coats to reverse side of an overlay of a clear acrylic sheet or glass in my smaller works. The planets are primarily pastel on matte board or paper, mixed media seen through the overlay left clear. I’ve done a group of smaller pieces which I call my Faberge collection (8×10 “little jewels”).
“Painting is an idealistic expression and a symbol of human wisdom. Human progress is the result of our persistence in pursuing our ideals in life.” — Laurence Tam