Often Alan Bean is described as an artist who flew to the Moon, but that's a stereotypical idea. He walked on the Moon and later flew aboard Skylab as a highly trained astronaut who was completely focused on the success of his mission: no time for sketches, no time for little paintings. It would be a couple of years after his Skylab flight before he began to express his own memories and feelings, as well as   the memories of his fellow moonwalkers in an artistic manner.

Bean's development as a painter began when he took his first art class while he was a test pilot at Patuxent River, Maryland. Among the early works are flower motifs, abstract flight motifs, and copies of paintings by Cezanne, Degas, and Greacen.

Alan Bean learning his craft in 1965   Alan's 1962 painting
My Mother's Love
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