Have you ever wonder how the night sky looked like the day you where born? Where were the planets or in which phase the Moon was*?
Recently I started making personalized celestial maps using metallic watercolors on black cotton paper. These are beautiful artworks that can be a great birthday present or a lovely gift for your spouse on your wedding anniversary. Because they are customized for each client, every map is unique and made to last for a very long time. I have received a lot of questions about the process and how they look when finished, so I wrote this article.
En Septiembre del 2012 empecé un blog de astronomía llamado "El Espinazo de la Noche" (www.elespinazodelanoche.com). Ese mismo año acababa de terminar mis estudios de doctorado en astrofísica en la Universidad de Guanajuato y me encontraba en la transición entre mi fase de estudiante y mi nueva vida como investigadora.
Hace poco más de un mes que empecé mi primer curso presencial de pintura. Después de dos años de "pandemia" y de varios cursos en línea y algunos libros, por fin estoy en un salón de clases con compañeros de verdad.
One of my favorite things about having a creative life is that I can play and experiment with a lot of ideas and they don't really have to be correct or accurate. The part that I am not very good at yet is to materialize those ideas and make them actual projects.
Sometimes I need a little motivation, and last week that motivation came from one of the most influential Planetary Scientists alive today, and one I particularly admire: Dr. Alan Stern, head of the NASA's New Horizons Mission that flew by Pluto in 2015.
Two years ago I attended a women's retreat in Colorado. It was an incredible experience to be held in a circle of 20 wise and kind women of all ages and backgrounds. It is rare in this modern age to be able to be open and raw with a group of people you never met before. And still we felt safe to talk, dance, scream and cry together.
After one of the sessions I made a sketch on my journal, showing a woman connected from the ground to the sky through a string. Back then I did't even think about painting it or do anything with it. It just came to me and I kept it.
En mi casa hay un nopal «verdura» del cual cortamos pencas casi cada domingo para comer. Tiene ya muchos años y es como un gran árbol con un tronco macizo y grueso. Cada primavera florea y da un par de tunas amarillas que a veces los pájaros se comen antes de que nosotros podamos cosecharlas.
Since I started to paint with watercolor this summer, it was clear to me that I was going to paint many moons: the waxing moon, the waning moon, the full moon, the eclipsed moon ... the latter being the least common and the most fascinating; I have seen it reddish, brown, orange, with a little blue around the edge. They are what some call "blood moons", and they have many mysterious connotations.
On June 10th there will be a total solar eclipse. Although it will be only visible in the Arctic, it reminded me of a painting I made last December when the last solar eclipse happened. I have a great fascination for pre-Hispanic cultures and their astronomical knowledge, especially for the Mayan culture. They understood very well the motions and cycles of the celestial bodies and could predict eclipses with great precision, even those eclipses that were not visible in their territories.
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