In my previous post I talked a bit about the genesis of the SDO Project. At the time, there wasn’t a project, just a one off CME painting.  It became project, or at least the start of one as I was finishing up CME #1.

To explain my idea for the next work, we need a bit more science. SDO has multiple cameras that take high resolution images of the Sun’s surface and atmosphere. These cameras take pictures based on temperature, from 20,000 to 20,000,000 degrees. There is also a camera array that images in the extreme ultraviolet. These images all have distinctive colours depending on the temperature filters they are using. The cameras can image multiple views with these different filters at the same time. Each filter set provides views of different details of the dynamic Sun.

So the current work is actually a group of 4 paintings that represent a single view of a solar flare, as would be seen through 4 different filters. 50,000 kelvin, 1 million kelvin, 2.5 million kelvin and 10 million kelvin. (note: the image below isn’t in temperature order, only the order I’m working on them)

SDO Project: Work In Progess. Tetrapytch, 4 x 18x42 oil on canvas
SDO Project: Work In Progess. Tetrapytch, 4 x 18×42 oil on canvas © 2014 JayB

Each painting is to be titled with its temperature but intended to be viewed together. Even at this early stage you can see that, while similar, each has different detail. This echos what is seen when viewing actual images at the different temperatures, albeit in an exaggerated form.

I’ve never done anything like this and am quite excited by how its coming together. It’s also quite technically challenging for me and I’m learning a lot. (most importantly, don’t buy cheap paint)

I must admit, the biggest challenge in doing this series is that the actual images coming from SDO are so intensely beautiful, that trying to capture a bit of that on canvas is pretty daunting.

I have at least a couple of more weeks on these before I’ll be able to call them done. You can follow their progress on Twitter if you want and I’ll certainly post the finished work here.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve already got the next one planned, at least in general. Extreme Ultraviolet. So it really does look like a project. 🙂

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