Alan Bean was the fourth man to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 12 space mission. He says he remembers ``looking up at the earth and thinking `how beautiful,' but then I had to get back to work. I didn't have the time to savor it. Now I'd like to enjoy it and share that beauty with others.'' Bean started his first lunar painting in 1974 and resigned from NASA in 1981. He had been an amateur artist for 25 years, taking art classes at night while learning to be a test pilot. The colors Bean uses are not only the blacks, whites, and grays found in space. He also uses the pastels of Monet, reflecting his admiration for Impressionist paintings.
Bean left the space program in order to devote full time to his painting. ``I'm the only artist who's been to the moon and can share its beauty. I know the stories, the people, the hardware. So the decision was that simple,'' he said. Bean wants to document history and refers to himself as a ``tribal storyteller.''