on Illustration Board Digitally Enhanced
illustrates the short story of the same name by Arthur C. Clarke.
The star is the white dwarf remnant of a supernova. Astronauts explore
a planet located in the region of the former Oort cloud where they
find a subterranean cache of cultural artifacts left there by the
inhabitants of an earthlike world destroyed in the explosion. The
formation behind them is what's left of a monument that marked the
spot. Those cross-like glints seem particularly poignant given the
tone of Clarke's mournful little story.
idea for this piece goes way back to the 1970s. With Clarke's story
in mind, I did a sketch of a candle that had burned down to a stump.
When I finally decided to paint, I still had that very sketch, though
the candle was long gone. I then rendered it in acrylics on illustration
board. I was never happy with the sky, however, so later on I scanned
it from a 35mm slide and replaced the sky in Photoshop.
had difficulty imagining the appearance of the sky from inside the
Crab Nebula, but once Hubble was up and running I got help with that.