8 Wonders of the Solar System, art by Ron Miller


14 Responses to “8 Wonders of the Solar System, art by Ron Miller”

  1. murrayhenson says:

    I suspect that the first people to stand and see Valles Marineris (and Olympus Mons) will think, more or less: holy shit.

    Mars will be real for those who make it their home.

  2. oasisob1 says:

    It’s Bonestell.

  3. Roy Trumbull says:

    Here’s the wiki page on Bonestell. He had his hand in more things than I thought.

  4. Byronshell says:

    A good find for sure. Discovering art on the Internet, what a novel concept.

  5. Roy Trumbull says:

    Have you heard of Chesley Bonestall? He was an artist who imagined different sites in the Solar System in a book with Wiley Ley providing the text. It came out in the 1950s. Many who went into the space program were inspired by that book. Several of his paintings are in the aerospace museum in Washington. He did the title graphics showing Mars in the original War of the Worlds. When the Pioneer first flew past Jupiter the scientists from Ames brought him for his home in the Santa Cruz mountains to see the images. He lived into his 90s and got to compare his paintings to the real thing.

  6. Roy Trumbull says:

    Sadly if you check out the art encyclopedias or the biographical dictionaries of artists you won’t find Bonestalls name. Says a lot about the constipated mental state of the gate keepers of art.

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      Agreed – illustrators ought to be more illustrious, IMHO.
      But over time people – the critics, that is – usually come around (even if only grudgingly). Sadly, that usually occurs after the artist’s passing. There are exceptions: Frank Frazetta’s star, for eg, seems to be on the rise: although IMO that respect is coming rather late, and Mr Frazetta’s getting on, too.

      Perhaps the “Fine artists” feel that since these “illustrating guys ‘n’ gals” (the ones who rise to some notice, any way) are actually earning monetary payment, they need not receive any critical accolades or attention or publicity, on top of their commercial success.

      I dunno: for me, commercial success for an artist does count.
      But I am not really sure in which tally it should so count.
      Is commercial success of a person’s art always a true indicator of the worth of the art? Is the presence of, or lack of, such success ever a valid aesthetic critique? Or is such a reflection of the society around the artist, rather than of any thing inherent in the art object itself?

      My answer always seems to hinge on something unique to the particular artist and society under consideration: a general principle on this point, applicable in all (or even most) cases, has eluded me.

      And I can’t even judge whether or not that’s important.

  7. Kid Geezer says:

    I thought of Chesley Bonestall before I finished reading the first sentence. Absolutely one of the greats.

  8. Anonymous says:

    He did some artwork in “Cosmos”, didn’t he?

  9. sam1148 says:

    No love for Earth? What Earth feature would you nominate?

    • Cornan says:

      Earth feature for nomination? That’s an easy one: Our Oceans. Nothing really like them anywhere else. Sure there’s methane clouds and what not, but H2O oceans? I’m pretty sure we’re unique in that regard.

  10. elix says:

    Woot for Terragen! I’m almost 100% sure the Mars picture was done using it, and possibly a few others for the terrain generation. Amazing paintings, too.

    • VagabondAstronomer says:

      @ elix…
      It probably is. I know that Ron and Bill Hartmann were experimenting with digital media prior to their release of the latest edition of “Grand Tour”; it features prominently throughout, in fact. Many folks in the IAAA (International Association of Astronomical Artists) had been messing with it for years, and I started playing with it myself around late 2003. Not a plug for the software, but it is great software, handy in a pinch (especially when you have to throw out some art depicting the surface of, say, Europa, you have your boss breathing down your neck, your Paasche is on the fritz…).
      I still prefer more traditional media, but nothing beats Terragen for fast, very realistic rendering.

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