As Above, So Be Low

Do you ever look at the stars?

People have been trying to figure out the stars for thousands of years. Some of humanity’s earliest stories tell of the heros they saw in the stars. As humanity has advanced, our stories changed. Now we look right up to the big bang, trying to explain our world.

And even on a personal level, stars are part of our lives. Knowing your star sign, wishing on a shooting star, searching the sky with a backyard telescope. Everyone has some kind of relationship with the stars. They resonate with humans in a fundamental way.

As Above, So Be Low, mixed media. Sam Laughlin, September 2022

Humanity’s latest leap forward in stargazing is the James Webb Space Telescope. This is an amazing upgrade to our current telescopes. We have seen some amazing images start to come out, and that is just the beginning. Soon we will be able to see more than was ever possible before.

I’ve drawn stars before, but these are my brightest yet

I was actually lucky enough to see the JWST in person. My sister’s friend is an engineer, and he got us access to see the project before it was finished. The mirror array was partially unfolded, and we could see the telescope as it would look in space. The whole thing was suspended in a giant clean room, with engineers on catwalks surrounding it. It was extremely impressive.

The telescope recently came into position, and started sending back amazing pictures. They show a never before seen level of detail. It shows the color of the stars, how the galaxies are shaped, and exotic wonders like Einstein rings. Who knows what they will see next?

Each star has planets, and each planet is different. What’s going on out there?

I’m proud of the method I used to make these effects. I have honed my stars over many years, and they keep getting brighter. The method uses acrylic, spray paint, model paint, and oils. The exact process is a trade secret!

When I came up with the layout, there was room for words. I chose the words “As above so be low”. Maybe it’s nonsense, maybe it means something to somebody. Let the critics figure it out if they want.

Since I put it up on the wall, I’ve been staring at it. I’ve started translating the ‘AS’ as ‘awesome shit’. Which kind of makes it advice: ‘Awesome shit above, so be low’. Almost sounds like something that makes sense.

I used a 5 canvasses total. Here’s hoping the glue holds and it doesn’t all fall apart! 🤞

Thanks for reading. If you have any ideas for what I should do next, let me know in the comments. I want to do more in this series. Maybe constellations next, or galaxies.

Keep watching the stars. And be low.