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Falling Fire (Shooting Star)



Oil, 18 x 24 inches

In this figure painting with the Milky Way I'm hoping to express my appreciation for the natural world. I'm also hoping to express my interest in thinking about how earlier cultures saw and understood the world. For one thing, I like to remember that before electricity and light pollution, the Milky Way was visible from everywhere, and visible every night that the moon wasn't too exceedingly bright. The best starry night sky you've ever seen was the regular nightly show. Now, I'm not disappointed that we have electricity, but what a different experience our ancestors had!

I also like to think about what people would have thought of all those lights up in the sky. We tend to take for granted our knowledge that stars are burning balls of gas, and that we know what space is. But, before science told us these things, people could only guess at what all those lights were based on what they saw from hill tops such as this. The astronomer, Carl Sagan, proposed that a star looks not unlike a campfire from a great distance and people may have seen stars as distant campfires of the gods. This thought is one of my main inspirations for this piece. This is the reason I included distant campfires dotting the landscape below as well as the reason for the title "Falling Fire."

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