Author Archives: Diana Hartel

Mini paintings, nuclear tests

These images are from the series of 228 paintings of US atmospheric nuclear tests exposing the public to radiation from 1945 to 1963. American atmospheric tests ended with a test ban treat. However, some countries did not sign the treaty and continued atmospheric tests until 1980, after which time all tests have been underground up to the present. The painting just below is based on a radiograph of the first nuclear test at Alamogordo, NM in July 1945 preceding the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the following month. These paintings are part of work on an article about our exposures to ionizing radiation in the nuclear age as seen from the upper and middle Rio Grande watershed.

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Byrdcliffe

Byrdcliffe Art Colony cabin in Woodstock, NY

Byrdcliffe cabin in Woodstock, NY

Byrdcliffe Art Colony has been around since 1902 and so is the cabin I am living in at the moment. The trees in the woods surrounding the cabin are leafing out, blue sky at the treetops this morning seen through the skylights on the north side of the front room where I write and paint. This residency is for May through September every year for five years and I hope to make the best of this time for writing my rivers book project with illustrations and paintings to accompany it. The drawing below is one of those I have been doing as illustration for an essay on nuclear weapons created in New Mexico’s Los Alamos in the Rio Grande watershed, delivered to Nagasaki, Japan in 1945 killing over 80,000 people in a blinding instant.

Drawing of bomb created at Los Alamos, dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

Drawing of bomb created at Los Alamos, dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.