A native New Englander living and working in Connecticut, Priscilla Thomas captures the human touch within the setting of our reach for the stars. Her representational depictions of transformative and encouraging human moments both reassure and warm the spirit.
A member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists, she has a reverence for the awe-inspiring capabilities of the explorers and adventurers of our future.
Her activities include travel to NASA rocket launches, NASA open houses and, as media, to NASA media events. She also participates in crowd-sourced space image identification and classification of NASA images.
The artist uses an alternating sequence of graphite sketching and digital sketching, followed occasionally by addition of color primarily through digital painting. This allows her to create denser and more highly detailed images with subtlety and rich accuracy.
Her art was recently accepted for the juried Art of Planetary Science art show , frequented by astronauts and scientists in the Astronomical and Space fields.
Priscilla's art and illustrations have been featured in publications by Times Publishing in Virginia, Feral Cat Publishing, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and has frequently been featured in Trend & Tradition magazine.
Her art education includes CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) graphic design certificate, Art Techniques & Appreciation through Saylor Academy, and independent classes such as Narrative Concept Art instructed by Jama Jurabaev, a major artist for the film industry.
Priscilla's most recent 'highs' have been:
- to act as docent for NASA's traveling “SOAR - NASA Art Program/NASAs 50th Anniversary”. She shared back-stories, history and artistic technical details about pieces by Rockwell, Wyeth, Warhol and many others who participated in NASA's art program.
- to see, and actually stand in, the wind-tunnel depicted in "Hidden Figures" while it was operating (at low velocity) testing NASA's new Space Launch System, as a selected member of social media.
ARTIST'S STATEMENT OF INTENTION
All my efforts go toward spreading a love for space exploration.
Art is a universal language, speaking to people of all cultures, lifestyles, economic status. Art is a perfect way to share enthusiasm and effort, and how space exploration causes us to strive for our best efforts and test our boundaries as humanity; not as separate peoples.
I create my art using multiple media, in steps. I begin with a sketch which I slowly build, then repeated rotations between adding detail with a Wacom tablet, and then printed back out for more hand sketching. I often then transfer the sketch to art board at that point. I add paint as appropriate for effect.
The compositions incorporate a human element to the subject of space in a traditional, realistic form. I want to make the human connection, the emotion, REAL.
I've found inspiration in space artists like Chesley Bonestell, James Vaughan and Ron Miller.
I've started a Patreon page to help cover the cost of art materials.
I know that for far too many folks any sort of financial commitment has to be very carefully weighed.
Even a $1 donation is treasured by me,
and I understand the hit "small" contributions
take on many budgets.
I only have one tier - it starts at $1.
Contribute if you would like to help me
spread inspiration, excitement and
support for space exploration.
Visit my Patreon page here:
Some Space & NASA articles
I've written, or contributed to
Education / Certification
CAL-ARTS (CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS) -
Graphic Design 2015 – 2016
Other art courses:
Art Techniques and Appreciation - Saylor Academy
Narrative Concept Art - Jama Jurabaev instructor
2D to 3D Design - Jama Jurabaev instructor
Art & Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies-MoMA
Space Systems Engineering (NASA course through Saylor Academy) - Part 1 - Issuing authority: NASA (through Saylor Academy) Issued Apr 2013 Credential Identifier/Credential ID Accredible-10395221
NASA/ National Science Foundation - Certified Aerospace Technician - 2009
Art of Planetary Science 2019 - juried show
Design/Illustration: Graphic Design, multiple awards from Virginia Press Association, Times Publishing, Virginia
Illustration: Magazine illustrations for opening spreads, illustrations for other foundation marketing materials, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Samples provided on request.
Book Cover Illustration: 'Bubble off Plumb', Feral Cat Publishers
Logo Design: Many, including Busted Cage Cocktail lounge among others. Samples on Illustration Page.
Space Art Activism
NASA Art Program: 50 years Anniversary Exhibition - Docent -Peninsula Fine Arts Center
Apr 2017 – Jun 2017; including 30 works of art: including paintings, photographs, drawings, and mixed media from the NASA art program. Artists included Robert McCall, Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, Nam June Paik, William Wegman and Jaime Wyeth.
acted as docent, giving background on pieces, answering questions
Martian Surface Feature identification - Cosmic (Content-based Object Summarization to Monitor Infrequent Change) - Crowdsource Martian Terrain Images, surface feature Identification. Uses images from Mars HiRise. April 2019
Martian South Pole Image - terrain identification - Planet Four/Terrains - Crowdsource Martian South Pole Images, terrain Identification. Sep 2017
LADEE Launch - Moon Launch - art/illustration/reporting
Mars Curiosity Launch story for newspaper- art/illustration/reporting
SME (Subject Matter Expert) Interviews and on-site coverage at NASA Langley for numerous events - art/illustration/reporting
Cover Orion space capsule testing in splash basin at NASA Langley's historic gantry - art/illustration/reporting
Antares rocket construction /launch coverage, NASA Wallops - art/illustration/reporting
NASA Langley Open House, including historic wind-tunnels - art/illustration/reporting
Space Related Courses:
Intro to Solar System Astronomy - Arizona State University
Intro to Aerospace Engineering: Astronautics & Human Spaceflight - MIT certification Issued Apr 2015
Space Mission Design and Operations - Claude Nicollier, ESA astronaut, instructor, Ecole Polytechnique through EdX
Astrobiology - University of Edinburgh, Charles Cockel instructor - University of Edinburgh, Issued Mar 2013
Galaxies and Cosmology - CalTech,- S. George Djorgovski Instructor, Issuing authority Coursera, Issued Mar 2013
Thermodynamics: Transferring Energy, Issuing authority Coursera Issued Jul 2013
CCAF - Community College of the Air Force - Aerospace Technician
Thomas Nelson Community College - Courses:
Materials and Processes of Aerospace Industry
Intro to Aerospace
Safety and Quality in Aerospace Industry