Too Beautiful To Have Happened By Accident

View from knee height up at Gene and the Earth

Painting Completed 1983
40 x 30 inches, Acrylic on Canvas

This painting is the result of a conversation with Gene when he returned from the Moon. Gene said: "When I stood on the Moon and looked up at the Earth, I felt it was just too beautiful to have happened by accident. I could see all the fundamental elements that made up Apollo: the Moon, the planet and country from which the first explorers came, deep infinite space, and man himself. I wanted to record it, so I asked Jack Schmitt to hold this camera (which is normally mounted on his crest) upside down between his legs so that all these elements would be in the camera field of view at the same time." I used Jack's photograph as reference for the painting.

I enjoyed painting the close-up details of the suit and portable life support system backpack because they are a unique combination of efficiency and beauty. In the reflection of Gene's gold visor, we see the Sun, a mountain, and the front edge of the flag.

Apollo was an impossible dream that Americans made come true. It is the finest heritage of our generation and we can be justly proud of our contribution to it. Even though this flag is wrinkling from being folded up on the long trip from Earth, the American flag is still the only flag on the Moon.