With a sense of whimsy, and surreal emotionality, this oil on masonite panel painting is an otherworldly science fiction creation by the American artist, illustrator, and writer Raymond Bayless. A finely detailed piece with spectacular space exploration imagery, it presents a team of explorers in yellow space suits recently landed on an alien planet when they encounter a machine-like being already inhabiting this new world. The menacing red face and the astronaut’s apparent quick retreat make us believe this was not a friendly encounter!
This is a magnificent piece from the artist, who counted among his friends the pioneering science fiction writer Ray Bradbury. One of the artist’s paintings recently went up for auction that came from Bradbury’s estate.
Raymond Bayless passed away on June 9, 2004. His obituary from the Los Angeles Times gives a highlight of his career.
“Raymond Gordon Bayless, 84, a landscape painter whose works hang in the National Air and Space Museum and other public buildings, and author on parapsychology, died May 25 at his Los Angeles home of natural causes.
Bayless was born in Oakland and spent most of his life in Los Angeles, where he learned to paint by studying paintings in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He provided his works to the federal government, contributing scenes of ships and landscapes to the Air Force, Navy, State Department and the Pentagon.
Bayless, who also painted science fiction and fantasy scenes, created a half dozen book jackets for Arkham House Publishers Inc. Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury in 2000 called his fantasy and landscape paintings “truly excellent.”
Bayless published a half dozen books on parapsychology and collaborated on others: “The Enigma of the Poltergeist,” “Animal Ghosts,” “Experiences of a Psychical Researcher,” “The Other Side of Death,” “Apparitions and Survival of Death” and “Voices from Beyond.””