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Alan Bean - Rollin´ Home -  LIMITED EDITION CANVAS Published by the Greenwich Workshop

          Rollin´ Home
by Alan Bean

Original Retail Price $450.00
May Not Reflect Current Price

Limited Edition of: 75
Image Size: 24"w x 19"h.
Published: November 2016

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"Rollin' home, rollin' home, at the light of the silvery moon. I'll be happy as a king, believe me, when I go rollin' home": These are the words of an Ol' English drinking ballad. Pete has just rolled Yankee Clipper "heads-up" relative to the north pole of the Earth, and Pete, Dick and I can now see planet Earth out our front windows. We are headed back home, and we all feel like kings.

Except for a couple of lightning strikes during our launch, all has gone well. About 45 minutes ago, the service module engine again performed perfectly, increasing our speed 3,042 feet per second. This increased velocity moved us out of lunar orbit and sent us on the way back to our rendezvous with planet Earth some three days from now.

It sure felt good when our rocket engine fired. We could not hear any noise, but the thrust banged us back into our couches and held us there for the entire two minute and eleven second burn. I always felt our crew was so well trained that we could fly the mission as planned. The question that crept into my mind from time to time was, "will our spacecraft continue to perform as it has been designed to do, or would something break?" We were flying in the most complex machine which was ever built. I knew every vehicle, every machine, fails eventually, the question is, when?

Because of orbital mechanics, we had to perform the trans-Earth burn on the far side of the Moon. As a result, Mission Control, back on Earth, was not able to monitor our spacecraft systems as they could during other critical maneuvers. This was OK with us, but it was always preferable to have as many expert eyes as possible on our spacecraft.

We had been heads down, with the moon at the top of our windows, for the burn. This allowed us to see the lunar horizon out our forward windows to ensure we were at the precise attitude. When the burn was complete, Pete pitched our spacecraft slightly so the we could look out the hatch window and see the Moon as we were leaving it.

What an incredible sight. It looked to me like we were going straight up on the fastest elevator imaginable! After just a few minutes we could see the Moon as a big round gray ball outside the hatch window. It was magnificent, and we humans need it out there circling the Earth every 28 days.

I read somewhere that our Moon not only helps light the night sky, the gravity of the moon acts as a gyroscope, keeping the earth's axis steady at 23.5 degrees. This stability has given life a chance to arise amidst a cycle of regular seasonal changes.

Alan Bean
Twelve people have walked on the moon. Only one was an explorer artist, Alan Bean—Apollo XII astronaut, commander of Skylab II and artist. Born in 1932 in Wheeler, Texas and in 1950, Alan was selected for an NROTC scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin. Alan was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy in 1955. Holder of eleven world records in space and astronautics, Alan Bean has had a most distinguished peacetime career. His awards include two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal and the Robert J. Collier Trophy. As part of the Apollo XII crew, he became the fourth of only twelve men ever to walk on the Moon. As the spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II, he set a world record: 24,400,000 miles traveled during the 59-day flight. When he wasn’t flying, Bean always enjoyed painting as a hobby. Attending night classes at St. Mary’s College in Maryland in 1962, Alan experimented with landscapes. During training and between missions as a test pilot and astronaut, he continued private art lessons. On space voyages, his artist’s eye and talent enabled him to document impressions of the Moon and space to be preserved later on canvas. A voracious student, Alan began to immerse himself in polishing his talent with the same intensity he gave to his astronaut training. Inspired by the impressionists and studying under contemporary masters, he is a first-rate artist who is as comfortable rendering sharp realism as he is with portraying subtle emotions through a faceless spacesuit— but there's a bonus: As the only artist who has visited another world, Bean paints with an authenticity and insight completely unique in the entire history of art by creating a palette mirroring his artistic eye. His is a personal portfolio of the golden era of space exploration as viewed by the only artist who has BEEN there. His art reflects the attention to detail of the aeronautical engineer, the respect for the unknown of the astronaut and the unabashed appreciation of a skilled explorer artist. The space program has seen unprecedented achievements and Bean realized that most of those who participated actively in this adventure would be gone in forty years. He knew that if any credible artistic impressions were to remain for future generations, he must paint them now. “My decision to resign from NASA in 1981 was based on the fact that I am fortunate enough to have seen sights no other artist ever has,” Bean said, “and I hope to communicate these experiences through art.” He is pursuing this dream at his home and studio in Houston. Bean’s book, Apollo: An Eyewitness Account, which chronicles his first-person experience as an Apollo astronaut and explorer artist in words and paintings, was received with critical and popular acclaim upon its publication in 1998.


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