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Painting Gallery -- Astronomical Observatories

Painting Gallery: Astronomical Observatories
450 - Kitt Peak: Waiting Out a Summer Storm.
450 -- Kitt Peak: Waiting Out a Summer Storm. This view was made during an observing run atop Kitt Peak, late afternoon or early evening, looking West across the O'odham Reservation. (Copyright William K. Hartmann).

An Expedition to Mt. Palomar

In June, 1997, the writer Andrew Chaikin invited a number of artists to spend a few days on Mt. Palomar making paintings in preparation for a show in connection with the 50th anniversary of the famous 200 inch telescope, which went on line in 1948. We lived for several days at a guest ranch below the summit, a favorite headquarters for the late Gene Shoemaker, his wife Carolyn, David Levy, and other well known observers. It was a great experience to be onsite for several days, not just because of the beauty and significance of the location, but also because I could follow Monet's technique of coming back to a painting each day at the same time of day and continuing work on it.

477 - Evocation of Mt. Palomar 480 - Dome of the 200-inch Telescope: Midday
477 -- Evocation of Mt. Palomar. This view was made from the guest ranch below the summit in an idyllic valley that affords views of the domes from various locations. I worked several afternoons on this view. (Copyright William K. Hartmann). 480 -- Dome of the 200-inch Telescope: Midday. Coming out of the dome, I turned and was struck by the abstract pattern of the sun glinting off the huge curved surface. (Copyright William K. Hartmann).
478 - Palomar Observatory: Gateway to Galaxies
478 -- Palomar Observatory: Gateway to Galaxies. This is a view of the 200-inch dome from the visitor's parking lot. Playing with the thin cloud patterns, I turned them into a hint of the galaxies beyond the blue sky. (Copyright William K. Hartmann). 481 -- At the end of one of our days of painting, staff members took us up a winding and rough dirt road to a summit area which affords a view back toward the slightly lower observatory domes. In the fading pink light, I couldn't resist a hurried painting. Perhaps it should be called more of a sketch, since I painted for half an hour until I literally could no longer see the board I was painting on. (Copyright William K. Hartmann).
382 - View of Los Angeles and Pasadena at dusk from Mt. Wilson Observatory.
382 -- View of Los Angeles and Pasadena at dusk from Mt. Wilson Observatory. The International Association for the Astronomical Arts held a workshop at the historic Mt. Wilson site. I was amazed by the luminous, violet-glowing L.A. smog layer, lit from below at dusk. In the distance, a la scenes from Blade Runner, airplanes swarmed over the L.A. airport.

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