This year's book pick for the award winning Lake Oswego Reads program is Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt.
My acrylic painting, Pinnacle, depicts a partial image of Saturn surrounded by handwritten formulas floating in deep space and is bordered in white. This piece represents the Jet Propulsion Lab’s achievements after many trials and failures. The success of the Voyager spacecraft was considered the pinnacle of their careers and the launching pad for future space exploration. I was inspired by the ingenuity of using cameras on board to take photos and send the fascinating images back to earth. This could not be possible without the efforts and perseverance of these impressive women.
The silvery handwritten formulas floating around in space are actual jet propulsion equations given to me by my brother, an ambitious aerospace engineer who received all the math genes in our family. The formulas are painted using “interference paints” that change color when applied to a dark surface depending on the direction they are viewed from. Perfect for a space painting!
The white border symbolizes purity, birth, simplicity, precision and youth. These characteristics describe the “human computers” whose committment, passion and love of their work might inspire and encourage all women in life’s pursuits.