The Webb Telescope

Deep Space

Humanity has achieved the most remarkable achievement, looking deep into space with the most sophisticated telescope in existence to capture the beginning of the universe. We search for the answer to our origin. We filter the infrared light into colors we can understand and see stars being born. Seeing the first five images brought me to tears. It was beautiful and emotional. It gave me hope that we can rise above violence and focus our intellect on achieving amazing things.

It took 20 years; so much could and did go wrong in birthing this telescope. But now it drifts millions of miles from earth and works. We built a machine to look back in time and see the light from stars billions of light years away. I remember being 11 years old and seeing a post from the Hubble Telescope. It was black with all these fuzzy spiraling pinwheels and a red arrow pointing to a single pixel “You Are Here”. One image shifted the perspective of my own existence and left me curious about life in other galaxies.

The Webb Telescope is so much more sophisticated. It can also measure the elemental makeup of the galaxies it sees. Measuring hydrogen, helium, oxygen levels, etc. in distant stars. I believe we are made of stardust. When our bodies rot, we return to the same elements that make up the universe. Recycled slowly over billions of years.

Science is the path forward. Humanity must evolve and shed the old orders of religion and tyranny that hold us back from achievement. The Webb telescope proves humans want to work together, sharing knowledge and inventing the tools for a common good. We can pursue projects with outcomes beyond making money or clout. If we can achieve the Webb Telescope and Perseverance on Mars, then we can under and climate – but only if we set our egos aside and work together.

Watching NASA’s broadcast of the first five images, I noticed the honeycomb design of the telescope’s mirror. The scientist engineered a machine after the design of bees. The small insects on this planet contributed to a tool we use to peer into deep space. I wonder what shape the telescopes floating in other galaxies are looking back at Earth? Would they be able to see the birth of our sun?

Romi the Midnight Cricket Eater Doodle by Rebecca Ruggles

Midnight Crickets

Creatures emerge from the page, and I never know what they will be. Like film development, the life form is already there, I am only the mover of the pencil. Listening for the next detail; a pointy ear, an underbite, big eyes. Time passes, and a creature now sits before me. I talk to it. Ask it what do you like to eat?

Today, Romi came to life. A midnight cricket eater who loves crunchy bugs with juicy filling. A lazy hunter who takes his fill of the easy jumpers and then naps in the shadows of the trees.

watercolor doodle drawing by Rebecca Ruggles

Fox, Pig, Rabbit

Watercolor doodles of three critters inside a round frame. Mason jar lid gang down on the farm. I began by drawing the frame in pencil, a mason jar lid was the trick today. Then starting with three unique face shapes, the creatures emerged. I also played with using mini marker pens, drawing lines and patterns on dried watercolor.

Big Bird

Today I experimented with making large-scale art using my iPad, the ShopBot, and acrylic paints:

  1. I created a digital doodle on my iPad with Procreate.
  2. That artwork file was exported as a PNG into Vcarve, enlarged to 24″, and set up the cutting tool paths for the ShopBot.
  3. I cut my project on a 5mm multilayer PVC board with a black core and a 1/4″ 3-flute Upcut finisher endmill. 
  4. The giant bird was decorated with two coats of acrylic paint, filling in each section of white. The result reminded me of stained glass, with each colorful area bordered by metal.

I was thrilled with the results and want to make three more birds to stack on top of this one for a whimsical totem pole of cuteness. I genuinely feel large-scale art is my future. 

Watch Video Diary – Going Big

Monster Holding Wand

Today I picked up on an UFO (un-finished object) that was starting to speak to me again after sitting on the shelf since September 2021. This Wand Troll, began as a coffee jar and a foil ball for the head. Then, using Apoxie Sculpt, I started forming the head and large ears. The scales were an accident playing with leftover clay.

My initial vision was a large ear creature holding a balloon. Then, after months of being on the shelf, I realized the arm did not feel right, so I cut it off and at Sooz Art Group today, sculpted a bent elbow pose that revealed more of his personality.

I find it’s very natural for me to have 8-10 projects in various states of progress. So rather than scold myself about how I never finish anything, I’m choosing to work on the pieces telling me the “next steps”. The rest are simmering, and I need to give them time to develop.