(Stumbling upon this photo, seen on a greeting card, was worth interrupting my otherwise post-less vacation.)
I suppose it’s a bit of a cheat on my part, featuring Alan Bean, since obviously his pieces are inspired by space — by the moon, to be exact — but if you haven’t seen his works, I can’t recommend him enough. Not only are his paintings highly detailed, they are kaleidoscopes of color and texture, as he uses bits of his own (Apollo-era) spaceflight suit, tools and equipment to texturize the surface before painting. He also includes a tiny touch of the lunar surface in each piece, having sacrificed his own (lunar) dusty mission patches to the greater good of having a bit of Moon in every painting he creates.
I particularly love these aspects of his art, and admittedly, picked the feature piece for its lively palette and more visible texture. Many pieces show more “true” color, but always with an added vibrance — perhaps the artist’s own radiance, creeping into his work. I would love to own one of his pieces someday, but until then, I’ll enjoy his online gallery and his book.