Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Nestled in Nebulae

Made of starstuff, we are in this universe, and the universe is in us. May this unity help you to feel comfort in your surroundings.

A small study available tomorrow on Every Day Original.

Nestled in Nebulae, Study by Rob Rey -
Oil 6x8 inches

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Human Light

Reason, Compassion, and Hope are the ideals celebrated by the Humanist winter solstice holiday of Human Light on December 23rd, and the titles of these three small paintings. Happy Holidays!

These paintings will appear in Abend Gallery's Annual Miniatures Exhibition opening Saturday night. 

Bioluminescence - Compassion by Rob Rey -
Bioluminescence - Compassion
Oil, 8 x 10 inches

Bioluminescence - Hope by Rob Rey -
Bioluminescence - Hope
Oil, 8 x 10 inches
Bioluminescence - Reason by Rob Rey -
Bioluminescence - Reason
Oil, 8 x 10 inches

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hidden in the Light

Spectroscopy is a method of measuring light split into it's spectrum, as by a prism. The atoms of every element emit and absorb specific wavelengths of light which appear as a specific pattern of bands or gaps in it's light spectrum. As we attempt to learn about our vast universe while confined to our tiny vantage point of earth, spectroscopy is how we know what distant planets, stars, and galaxies are made of, their mass, temperature, and more, without needing to travel to them. It's even how we know that our universe is expanding. Very distant galaxies don't just happen to emit more red light, the pattern of their emissions spectrum is red shifted and thus racing away from us in all directions. There is a beautiful wealth of knowledge hidden in the light!

Hidden in the Light study by Rob Rey -
Oil Study, 6 x 8 inches

This study will be up on Every Day Original tomorrow!

More on spectroscopy:

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Tremendous Mess of Waves

“It's kind of incredible, because when I'm looking at you, someone standing at my left can see someone who is standing at my right. . . . completely undisturbed . . . So that there is this tremendous mess of waves [photons] . . . all through the same space, all these things are going on at the same time . . . there's not only information of my vision of you, but information from Moscow radio, being broadcast at the present moment and the singing of someone from Peru. All the radio waves are just the same kind of waves only longer waves. And there's the radar from an airplane which is looking at the ground to figure out where it is, which is coming through this room at the same time. Plus the x-rays, cosmic rays, and all the other things which are the same kind of waves, but shorter, faster [higher frequency], or longer, slower [lower frequency]. It's exactly the same thing. So this big field, this area of irregular motions of this electric field, this vibration, contains this tremendous amount of information. And it's all really there. . . . you've got to stop and think about it to really get the pleasure of the complexity, the inconceivable nature of nature.”
- Richard Feynman (

A Tremendous Mess of Waves by Rob Rey -
Oil Study, 6 x 8 inches

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Magnificent Universe

"Perhaps the most wrenching by-product of the scientific revolution has been to render untenable many of our most cherished and most comforting beliefs. The tidy anthropocentric proscenium of our ancestors has been replaced by a cold, immense, indifferent Universe in which humans are relagated to obscurity. But I see the emergence in our consciousness of a Universe of a magnificence, and an intricate, elegant order far beyond anything our ancestors imagined. And if much of the Universe can be understood in terms of a few simple laws of Nature, those wishing to believe in God can certainly ascribe those beautiful laws to a Reason underpinning all of Nature. My own view is that it is far better to understand the Universe as it really is than to pretend to a Universe as we might wish it to be.
Whether we will acquire the understanding and wisdom necessary to come to grips with the scientific revelations of the twentieth century will be the most profound challenge of the twenty-first."
-Carl Sagan

Magnificent Universe by Rob Rey -
Oil, 18 x 24 inches

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Interstellar Voyager

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Voyager 1 launch, the first human spacecraft to leave the solar system.

"The Voyager record would include greetings in sixty human languages and one whale language, an evolutionary audio essay, 116 pictures of life on Earth and ninety minutes of music from a glorious diversity of the world's cultures. The engineers projected a one-billion-year shelf life for the golden phonograph records.
"How long is a billion years? In a billion years the continents of Earth would be so altered that we would not recognize the surface of our own planet. One thousand million years ago, the most complex life forms on Earth were bacteria. In the midst of the nuclear arms race, our future, even in the short term seemed a dubious prospect. Those of us privileged to work on the making of the Voyager message did so with a sense of sacred purpose. It was conceivable that, Noah-like, we were assembling the ark of human culture, the only artifact that would survive into the unimaginably far distant future."
- Ann Druyan

This painting will be up on Every Day Original tomorrow morning at 10:30 eastern time.

Interstellar Voyager by Rob Rey -
Oil, 6 x 8 inches

See the photos included on Voyager's golden record below or listen to it's recordings

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Representing Textural Paintings on Screen

I wrote a blog post for the Oil Painters of America on the topic of photographing textural paintings. It was published a few weeks ago, but there were technical issues with the images that weren't fixed until now:

Harbor Sunset detail, 8 x 10 inches
(animated image flips between even and raking light photos)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bioluminescence VI

One of two new bioluminescence paintings that will be showing in Abend Gallery's next show, Variance, opening tomorrow night. Come by and see the show if you're in the Denver area!

Bioluminescence VI by Rob Rey -
Bioluminescence VI, Oil, 14 x 18 in

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Solar Eclipse

The eclipsing moon reveals the sun's glowing corona. This painting wil be up on Every Day Original on Monday, the day of the eclipse.

"Imagine it's 10,000 years ago... You're out hunting or planting seeds, or whatever, and the sun, the giver of all light and heat, turns black. You'ld probably want to figure that out."
Check out this great video from Oregon Public Broadcasting about the eclipse

"A lot of early civilizations feared eclipses. They were seen as an attack on the sun or moon by the forces of darkness, but now that we understand our place in space, eclipses are an occasion for awe and for gratitude. All over the galaxy rocks are casting shadows on other rocks, but only here, as far as we know, is there someone to notice them."
-Joss Fong (Vox)

"If you want to know when the next eclipse of the Sun will be, you might try magicians or mystics, but you'll do much better with scientists ... They can routinely predict a solar eclipse, to the minute, a millennium in advance ... Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy ... There isn't a religion on the planet that doesn't long for a comparable ability - precise, and repeatedly demonstrated before committed skeptics - to foretell future events. No other human institution comes close. Is this Worshiping at the altar of science? ... Far from idolatry, this is the means by which we can distinguish the false idols from the real thing."
-Carl Sagan
The Demon Haunted World, Science as a Candle in the Dark

Solar Eclipse by Rob Rey -
Solar Eclipse, Oil, 7x7 inches

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cassini, Final Observations

"After almost 20 years in space, NASA's Cassini spacecraft begins the final chapter of its remarkable story of exploration: its Grand Finale.

Between April and September 2017, Cassini will undertake a daring set of orbits that is, in many ways, like a whole new mission. Following a final close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan, Cassini will leap over the planet's icy rings and begin a series of 22 weekly dives between the planet and the rings."

This study will be up on Every Day Original tomorrow morning at 10:30 eastern time.

Watch this video about Cassini form NASA, or read more here.

Cassini, Final Observations (Study) by Rob Rey -
Oil Study, 6 x 8in

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Safe Distance, Study

While the vast distances of space can be frighteningly expansive as we look out from our tiny vantage point on Earth, it’s worth remembering that it’s the same great distances which statistically protect us from violent impacts and cataclysmic collisions with comets, meteors, and other objects. In fact, the distances between objects is so great that our galaxy could collide with another galaxy and the likelihood of a foreign object striking Earth would remain quite low as stars and planets slipped past each other in the spaces between.

This new study will be available on Every Day Original tomorrow morning at 10:30 eastern time for those subscribed to the EDO mailing list, 12:30 for everyone else.

A Safe Distance, Study by Rob Rey -
Oil Study, 6 x 8 inches

Saturday, May 20, 2017


This new study will be up on Every Day Original tomorrow at 11:45 am eastern time. A larger work is in progress. Tentative title: "Drift."

Drift Study by Rob Rey -
Oil Study, 6 x 8 in

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Stardust VI

This piece is currently at Haven Gallery for their Mythos show. I also documented the process of this painting for a workshop article in the current issue of ImagineFX Magazine.

“When I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us… Many people feel small… But I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars."

"There is a level of connectivity. That’s really what you want in life. You want to feel connected. You want to feel relevant. You want to feel like you’re participant in the goings on of activities and events around you. That’s precisely what we are just by being alive.”
-Neil deGrasse Tyson
Listen here

Stardust VI by Rob Rey -
Oil, 16 x 20 in

Monday, May 1, 2017

Artist's Magazine

Bioluminescence got a nice feature in The Artist's Magazine this month for being a finalist in last year's annual art competition!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Stardust Inside

This new study will be up on Every Day Original tomorrow morning at 11:45 am eastern time.

"When I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us... Many people feel small... But I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars. There is a level of connectivity. That's really what you want in life. You want to feel connected. You want to feel relevant. You want to feel like you're participant in the goings on of activities and events around you. That's precisely what we are just by being alive."
-Neil deGrasse Tyson
Watch it here.

Oil, 6 x 8 inches

Monday, March 20, 2017

Allegory of Nature

A new study coming up on Every Day Original tomorrow at 11:45 eastern time.

"I'm just looking to find out more about the world. And if it turns out that there is a simple ultimate law that explains everything, so be it. That would be very nice to discover. If it turns out it's like an onion with millions of layers and we're just sick and tired of looking at the layers, then that's the way it is. But whtaever way it comes out, nature is there and she's going to come out the way she is."
- Richard Feynman

Hear Richard talk about beauty and nature in this great video by Reid Gower

Oil Study, 6 x 8 inches

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Looking on Lightyears

The deeper we look into space, the deeper we are looking back in time! Light travels an astonishing 9.461 trillion kilometers in one Earth year. Yet the depths of visible space are so vast that we can see light arriving at earth now that left it's source 13.8 billion years ago, near the beginning of time (red shifted as it may be). All the light arriving from in between there and here is a history of the universe, waiting for us to learn from. We may not be able to change the past, but we can peer deep into it's chronology.

Looking on Lightyears by Rob Rey -
Oil, 18 x 24 inches
More on red shift.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Alla prima painting from last week.
Oil, 12 x 16 inches

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cosmic Ocean

For a theme show next month at Helikon Gallery called "The Lonely Crowd".

In the vast cosmic ocean of time and space, our current inability to travel can sometimes make it feel like we're trapped in a cosmic fishbowl, surrounded on all sides by glass of immense distance and darkness. Perhaps one day we will find that we have nieghbors in the stars and we can rejoice in our shared existence. Until then, seven billion of us will have to endure our loneliness.

"The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

"... There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

— Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
Exerpt from The Pale Blue Dot
Watch it here

Cosmic Ocean by Rob Rey -
Oil, 18 x 24 inches