“We go about our days rarely thinking of the beauty of the sun itself [since] we can’t look at it directly,” Machin explains. “When I saw the original photo by Dr. Sebastian Voltmer, I was awestruck by the intensity and the beauty of the corona. Streaming through space, those incredibly beautiful ribbons of energy bloom out from its surface in a display that is equally violent and also oddly serene.” So, she used Votmer’s image as a reference in her own digital rendering of the solar eclipse—spending numerous hours drawing the rocky texture of the moon and coloring the golden rays of the sun. As a result, the darkened moon looks as though it is framed by flames.
“The moon is a powerful celestial timepiece,” Machin tells My Modern Met. “I’ve always felt deeply mesmerized by the moon. It’s the reason I fell in love with astronomy. I was 7 years old standing in my backyard with my dad’s old binocular (unstabilized image) looking up at a shaky moon and all its gorgeous craters. I was hooked.”
Select prints of some of Machin’s space paintings will be available to purchase via her website from January 29 to February 8, 2021. You can stay informed by signing up for her mailing list.
Scroll down to see more images of this amazing solar eclipse painting, and follow Machin on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest projects.
Australian artist Cathrin Machin captures a solar eclipse from 2017 in an incredible digital painting.
She spent about 10 days rendering all of the details on her Wacom tablet.
Watch this video for insight into Machin’s creative process: