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Reflections of America Series: Volume 12 – Shuttle Launch

March 28th, 2011 by Stu

Acrylic on canvas – 32” x 20”

President Obama’s John Hancock on the NASA Authorization Act 2010 has officially retired the Shuttle orbiter fleet that included names like Discovery, Endeavor and Atlantis, to name a few. But that doesn’t negate all of the brave astronauts and amazing technical achievements that the program has seen over the years. To pay homage, our vey own photorealist Bob Petillo has crafted this amazing piece, aptly named “Shuttle Launch”. Check out the awe-inspiring reflection coming off the fender of this gorgeous ’40 Ford and see what the man with the paint brush had to say…

“What can be more American than the space shuttle? It looks like that reflection is going to turn into a big blur by the time the vibrations reach the car. Of course, no car gets close enough to a launch for all this to actually happen, so I conceptualized the painting, put it together like a puzzle and pulled it off.  It looks just like a photo, lens prisms and all. It’s always more than just copying a picture. For some paintings, I take as many as a hundred photos and put it all together.”

Another great one Bob. Thanks for sharing!


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  • This is just another in a long series of
    gorgeous pieces… certainly something
    to reflect on.

    I love the pinstripe and the flag
    all to itself on the nose, Great stuff.