Priscilla Thomas captures the human touch within the setting of our reach for the stars.
Her 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 by addition of color through oil painting and details with pastel. This allows her to create denser and more highly detailed images with subtlety and rich accuracy.
Several pieces of her art have been accepted for the juried Art of Planetary Science (2019 &2020) art shows , frequented by astronauts and scientists in the Astronomy and Space Exploration fields. Her art has also been accepted into, and appeared at a booth at, the juried show for Norwescon 2021 (Norwescon is the Pacific Northwest’s premier science fiction convention).
Priscilla's art and illustrations have been featured in print publications such as Astronomy magazine, Pulsar by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Times Publishing in Virginia, Feral Cat Publishing, and has frequently been featured in Trend & Tradition magazine.
Her art education includes a program through Maine School of Art, graphic design through CalArts (California Institute of the Arts), 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.
She has also taken numerous classes in aerospace engineering & astronomy and is a NASA certified Aerospace Technician.
Priscilla's most recent 'highs' have been:
- to participate in presenting at The Mars Society's annual conference (2020 & 2022)!!!
- to participate in studio figure drawing session instructed by ROBERT LIBERACE
- to act as docent for NASA's traveling “SOAR - NASA Art Program/NASAs 50th Anniversary” exhibit. 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 NASA Langley wind-tunnel depicted in "Hidden Figures"; while it was operating (at low velocity) testing aerodynamics of NASA's new Space Launch System as part of an event for 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, and economic status. As such, art is a perfect way to share enthusiasm. It gives us the ability to express how space exploration causes us to strive for our best efforts;
testing 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 art software, and then printed back out for more hand sketching.
I then add oil paint and pastels to build depth and richness.
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 and James Vaughan, and traditional artists such
as William Merritt Chase and John Singer Sargent.
Some Space & NASA articles
I've written, or contributed to
Education / Certification:
* Maine School of Art – summer scholarship program
* CAL-ARTS (California Institute of the Arts) - Graphic Design
Artist Professional Development:
* Art & Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies - MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) - Certificate
* Art Techniques and Appreciation - Saylor Academy
* Narrative Concept Art course - Jama Jurabaev instructor
Art Society memberships:
* Juried membership - International Assoc. of Astronomical Artists
* Juried membership - Oil Painters of America
* American Women Artists
* American Impressionist Society
Certifications/classes augmenting art (specific to space)
* Space Systems Engineering (NASA course through Saylor Academy) -Issuing authority:
NASA (through Saylor Academy) Apr 2013 Credential Identifier/Credential ID Accredible-10395221
* NASA/ National Science Foundation Certified Aerospace Technician- 2009
* Space Renaissance International Fest Art Exhibit, Berlin, GE 07/2022
* American Inst. of Aeronautics & Astronautics Women Artist Show 03/2022
* Art selected for feature in Astronomy magazine
* Art selected for show at Lowell Observatory, I Heart Pluto show
* Art featured in Pulsar, the Journal of the International Astronomical Artists Association
* Norwescon (Pacific Northwest’s Science Fiction convention) 2021 - juried show, booth
* The Mars Society's 2020 annual convention - Presenter – illustration presentation/discussion
* Art of Planetary Science 2020 and 2019 - juried show
* Magazine illustrations and Foundation marketing materials for Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
* Book Design/Illustrations for The Moon Society, and for The Mars Society
Space Art Activism:
* NASA Art Program: SOAR, 50 years Anniversary Exhibition - Docent Apr 2017 – Jun 2017;
including 30 works of art from the NASA art program. Artists included Robert McCall, Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz,
William Wegman, Jaime Wyeth. Giving back-stories on pieces, art technique details, Q&A
* Adler Planetarium- ‘Tag Along with Adler’ – identifying and adding metadata and tags to
Adler Planetarium images 2021
* Martian Surface Feature identification- ‘Cosmic’ Martian Terrain Images identification.
NASA Mars HiRise. 2019
* Martian South Pole Image - Planet Four/Terrains - Martian South Pole Images, terrain Identification. Sept 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 -
* Cover Orion space capsule testing , splash basin at NASA Langley's historic gantry - art/illustration/reporting
* Antares rocket construction /
Moon launch coverage, NASA Wallops - art/illustration/reporting
* NASA Langley Open House, including historic wind-tunnels - art/illustration/reporting
Space related courses (taken 2013-2017:
* Intro to Solar System Astronomy - Arizona State University
* Intro to Aerospace Engineering: Astronautics & Human Spaceflight - MIT
* Space Mission: Process & Lifetime - Arizona State University
* Space Mission Design and Operations -Claude Nicollier, ESA astronaut, instructor
* Astrobiology - University of Edinburgh, Charles Cockel instructor
* Galaxies and Cosmology - CalTech,-S. George Djorgovski Instructor
* Materials and Processes of Aerospace Industry – Thomas Nelson Community College
* Intro to Aerospace – Thomas Nelson Community College
* Safety and Quality in Aerospace Industry – Thomas Nelson Community College