I'm an art director / graphic designer, working in Flagstaff, Arizona (USA). I got my start designing for print media in 1990, down the hill in Phoenix. I especially enjoy working with technical illustration, and amateur astronomy has provided a great outlet for that.
I've been interested in astronomy since I was a kid growing up under the light-polluted skies of Phoenix. I made my first rough sketches while tracking Jupiter's moons with binoculars for a couple weeks during the '80s.
One evening during the summer of 2004, ten years after moving to Flagstaff, we had a lengthy power failure. So, my wife, two kids and I went outside, laid down on the driveway and feasted on the fat, marbled, summer Milky Way. With all the lights out on our side of town, it was magnificent beyond words. And it was peaceful. Quiet. Dark. Beautiful. I couldn't stand it. I felt that I really needed to explore this spectacle and see with my own eyes what I had been fascinated by for so long. And after living mere minutes from some of the darkest skies in the country for ten years, it seemed like it was about time.
After investing in my 6-inch (150 mm) Equatorial Newtonian, I got busy exploring the night sky every chance I could. Loads of online research had encouraged me to be sure I documented my observations as a means of learning how to see these marvelous objects, to track my progress in detecting them, and to just keep them as records. Several astronomy websites I browsed encouraged not just note-taking, but sketching. I decided to give it a try, and began with very casual, messy drawings of the first Messier objects I encountered. At first, those sketches helped me to confirm that I had indeed spotted the right object, and I was happy with that. After a few observations though, I realized that the process really was helping my ability to pick out details. I started to see each object not just as another splash of stars or lump of mist, but as unique marvels, rich with personality and detail waiting to be extracted by a patient eye. I also realized that I actually enjoyed trying to accurately capture the visual impression of those wondrous forms on paper. And that's what I've been working on since then, and what I hope to convey on this site.
I had the pleasure of working with four other amateur astronomers/sketchers to co-author a book published in May 2007:
(published by Springer).
I currently write and illustrate a column on astronomical sketching for Astronomy Now and provide sketches to Astronomy Now (UK), Astronomy Magazine (US), Sky and Telescope, and a few other publications. I'm trying to keep a list here: Published Material
I hope you enjoy the site,