Alan Bean was the fourth man to walk on the moon aboard Apollo 12 in October 1969. He also happens to be the only artist who paints the lunar surface based on personal observation.
In an exclusive interview with EE Times news director George Leopold, Bean recalled that after he spent overall more than 69 days in space, he decided to retire from NASA and take up painting full time.
Apparently Bean pursued his art in the same dogged fashion that he trained to become an astronaut.
George reports that "the former test pilot's unabashed enthusiasm for his art (he still sketches and paints at least six days a week and produces as many as seven works a year) was evident as he walked through the Smithsonian gallery where 50 of his paintings and drawings were displayed, along with some of the Apollo hardware used both as backdrops and as painter's tools."
My hat is off to Alan Bean .
How many of us can tear ourselves away from the everyday work duties of eking out another nanowatt from our next power management circuit to pursue a path in life that is really our calling? Most power management engineers love what they are doing. And that's good.
But how many of us are out there who, given the chance, can manage our power to change our careers. Leave it all behind and take up another business or craft that we may be excel at.
As the recession continues with rising unemployment, some of us might just have to do just that, not by choice. But in the end, the legacy of a painter who went to the moon might be just as long-lasting as a design engineer who decides to become a classical pianist.