Captain Alan Bean, the fourth man in history to set foot on the moon, knows about reaching for the stars, both organizationally and individually. In 1973, he was the Commander of Skylab Mission II (SL III), where he lived 59 days in space, orbiting 270 miles above Earth, leading his crew to accomplish 150% of their pre-mission goals – a record unsurpassed before or since. Captain Bean shows why human beings are the most extraordinary creatures in the universe. We are unique because as far as we know we are the only beings in the universe whose only limits are those we place on ourselves.
As a NASA Astronaut, Bean learned that people do not have to be especially gifted or talented to do something great, and that no matter the level of past achievement, with extra effort and dedication they can be great in the future. Organizations and individuals are almost always significantly better than they know or believe. In his presentation, Alan will take each person in the audience along with him on the flight of Apollo 12 and along the way present some thoughts and ideas that will help each individual reach for his or her own professional and personal stars. By talking with and listening to the client prior to an event, Alan custom tailors each speech around the theme and specific goals of the event; the emphasis can focus on a broad variety of subjects from teamwork, high achievement, risk taking, goal setting, attitude control, achieving maximum potential, creative thinking, leadership, and effective followership, to showing how a company and an individual can find ways to accomplish specific goals.
Captain Bean is also an extraordinary artist, creating paintings that artistically record for future generations mankind’s first exploration of another world, and illustrates his personal journey to the moon through a visual extravaganza of pictures and paintings of outer space.
Reaching for the Stars
Tailored to each audience’s particular goals, Captain Bean’s program is entertaining and motivational and incorporates slides of his mission to the moon on Apollo 12. By offering a look inside the hearts and minds of astronauts, scientists, and engineers who worked together as a team, took risks, and made an impossible dream a reality, he inspires audience members to realize they can accomplish equally challenging goals in their own lives.
Part of the mystery of art, and part of the difficulty as an artist, is to decide what the goals are for a painting, what details to show or not show.The artist’s role is to communicate an emotional experience to people in more ways than a photograph could. I also want my paintings to represent how we really looked on the moon. – Alan Bean
Twelve people have walked on the moon. Only one was an explorer artist,Alan Bean—Apollo XII astronaut, commander of Skylab II and artist. Born in 1932 in Wheeler,Texas, Alan was selected for an NROTC scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin in 1950. Alan was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy in 1955. Holder of eleven world records in space and astronautics, Alan Bean has had a most distinguished peacetime career. His awards include two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal and the Robert J. Collier Trophy. As
part of the Apollo XII crew, he became the fourth of only twelve men ever to walk on the Moon. As the spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II, he set a world record: 24,400,000 miles traveled during the 59-day flight.
When he wasn’t flying, Bean always enjoyed painting as a hobby. Attending night classes at St. Mary’s College in Maryland in 1962, Alan experimented with landscapes. During training and between missions as a test pilot and astronaut, he continued private art lessons. On space voyages, his artist’s eye and talent enabled him to document impressions of the Moon and space to be preserved later on canvas.A voracious student, Alan began to immerse himself in polishing his talent with the same intensity he gave to his astronaut training. Inspired by the impressionists and studying under contemporary masters, he is a first-rate artist who is as comfortable rendering sharp realism as he is with portraying subtle emotions through a faceless spacesuit—but there’s a bonus: as the only artist who has visited another world, Bean paints with an authenticity and insight completely unique in the entire history of art by creating a palette mirroring his artistic eye. His is a personal portfolio of the golden era of space exploration as viewed by the only artist who has BEEN there. His art reflects the attention to detail of the aeronautical engineer, the respect for the unknown of the astronaut and the unabashed appreciation of a skilled explorer artist.
The space program has seen unprecedented achievements and Bean realized that most of those who participated actively in this adventure would be gone in forty years. He knew that if any credible artistic impressions were to remain for future generations, he must paint them now. “My decision to resign from NASA in 1981 was based on the fact that I am fortunate enough to have seen sights no other artist ever has,” Bean said, “and I hope to communicate these experiences through art.” He is pursuing this dream at his home and studio in Houston.
Bean’s book, Apollo: An Eyewitness Account, which chronicles his first-person experience as an Apollo astronaut and explorer artist in words and paintings, was received with critical and popular acclaim upon its publication in 1998.