Tuesday, 18 October 2016

We all have to start somewhere

When rummaging in some old boxes I came across a plastic folder containing my very first astronomical sketches. Back in 1983 I was still a kid but incredibly passionate about the stars, as is obvious from the sketch and the many details I added about the observation. Do you want to know how I made it? You're going to laugh... :-) First, I drew a black disk with india ink for the field of view of my little 60mm refractor with 20mm Kellner eyepiece. By the way, can you believe that I was incredibly proud of that eyepiece at the time? For those of you who don't know anything about telescope eyepieces... suffice to say it equals staring through a small keyhole and these days such an eyepiece would only be used as a doorstop. The object was M13, a globular cluster somewhat bigger than M15, which in my first telescope looked exactly like how I've drawn it: a dull, greyish blob. But... now we come to the real masterpiece: the three stars I chose to portray as well. I painted those with the only bright white substance I could lay my hands on... corrector fluid! Let's say that at times emerging artists have to improvise. :-) 

Browsing through the dozen or so sketches I made this way, brought back fond memories of innocent days and unstoppable dedication to the discovery of astronomy. We should never lose this passion because, although seemingly childish and therefore too often neglected, it will push us to new heights. It's the spirit that drove an extraordinary genius like Bach to write the St. Matthew Passion or Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa. It will also drive you to achieve new goals which you'll be so proud of afterwards, just like I'm proud of my latest sketches, yet convinced that I can do even better next time. I'm not a genius at all. Heck, I'm just an ordinary guy making ordinary sketches that you too can make just as well, as I'm demonstrating with my video series. But nonetheless the satisfaction's equally strong as if you'd created the greatest of all masterpieces.


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