Tag: ‘bob moody’

Archival NASA photo

Monday, November 28th, 2016
Great archival NASA photo find by Hilary Ross, in her mother*s art studio, showing the NASA conceptual art team. Left to right: Birmingham watercolor artist Bob Moody, Harry Lange who was nominated for an academy award for Art Direction for 2001 A Space Odyssey, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Lange_(film_designer)  artist Mary Ann Howard, and Gerd DeBeek, ( http://www.astronautix.com/d/debeek.html ) head of the NASA conceptual art department and one of the original 1956 German team members.
NASA photo

Watercolor show is installed! See you Sunday!

Friday, April 29th, 2016


Bob’s work at NASA with Werner von Braun

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Nice article about Wernher von Braun and the space race including Bob Moody and friends in the art department of NASA! To view original pdf file, please click von Braun’s – art of the image or view slide show below and see page 8.
[portfolio_slideshow id=2556]


Over the Mountain Journal – November 13th, 2012

Sunday, November 25th, 2012


A Brush with History

(Click to view original article)


 From Over the Mountain Journal, November 13, 2012

Keysha Drexel
Journal Editor

Bob Moody in his Mountain Brook art studio.

Bob Moody in his Mountain Brook art studio.

In his 81 years, Bob Moody of Mountain Brook says he has done a little bit of everything. Through it all, he has always considered himself first and foremost a painter.

Bob has worked as a graphic designer, an architect, an artist for NASA and has served on the Mountain Brook City Council, but he said watercolor painting is still his true passion.

“Every day, I still feel the desire to create, and when I sit down with the watercolors, I still get that rush of adrenaline,” he said.

Bob will be the featured artist on Nov. 19 at the Mountain Brook Art Association’s holiday art show at Brookwood Mall. The show runs through Dec. 1, with a different artist featured each day.

Bob said his path to being a featured artist in the show started out in an unlikely place.

“I grew up in Boaz, and it was a very rural area back then. I grew up on the farm, picking cotton and never dreaming I would earn a living in art,” he said.

Bob said he started sketching when he was in high school as “an excuse to get out of going to church” and said he was blessed with supportive parents.

“Both of my parents were very supportive and encouraged me to pursue art. They didn’t try to dissuade me or talk me into doing something just for money. They both wanted me to follow my passion,” he said.

So Bob graduated from high school and set off for Auburn University to study architecture.

“Here I was, this kid from the country who had never had a formal art class in his life, and I was down at Auburn with all these kids who had taken tons of arts classes. It was a little overwhelming,” he said.

But Bob continued to follow his artistic passions and graduated from Auburn with a degree in architecture, specializing in interior design.

After graduating, Bob said he went into commercial art to support his young family and worked for R.G. LeTourneau in Dallas.

From there, Bob found himself taking part in history as an artist for NASA in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

“I worked on what was called future projects. I was working with all these artists from Disney to illustrate the Apollo flight. We also illustrated the moon flight and landing with 65 slides that were presented in Washington (D.C.),” he said.

Bob left NASA in 1965, and by the time the moon landing took place in 1969, the event was somewhat anticlimactic for him, he said.

“We had illustrated that moon trip scenario so many times before the landing that I felt like I’d been to the moon and back 1,000 times. Looking back, I realize I was a part of history, but at the time I didn’t think anything about it. Now, my children and grandchildren think it’s pretty neat,” he said.

Bob’s work for NASA was published in Time, Life and Paris Match.

He also had a chance to work with Wernher von Braun, the German-American rocket scientist who was the director of the Marshall Space Flight Center and the chief architect of the Saturn V, which propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the moon.

“He was one of the most gracious people I’ve ever met,” Bob said. “If you stayed up all night working on a presentation for him, he would write you a thank-you note.”

After seven years at NASA, Bob said he decided it was time to work in his field of training. He spent the next seven years working at an architectural firm in Birmingham.

After that, Bob opened his own architectural firm, Moody and Associates, in the building that today is the home of Highlands Bar and Grill.

Bob retired from his firm in 2002 but said he has never really retired from art.

“I didn’t really retire, I just came here to my home studio and started working again,” he said. “My wife and I did a couple of watercolor books. One was on churches in Alabama, and then we did one on English churches.”

The book on the English churches, “The Church Triumphant,” found a royal audience when Bob was asked to personally present it to Queen Elizabeth and the Archbishop of Canterbury at the 50th celebration of the Historic Churches Preservation Trust at St. Bartholomew’s Church in 2003.

Bob said he had been painting and exhibiting watercolors for 60 years when he decided to participate in an early Mountain Brook Art Association show.

“It’s a great organization with hardworking people,” he said.

Bob said the holiday art show is a great way for people to support local artists.

“Artists need people to see their work. It’s about more than money, it’s about an affirmation of your work,” he said.

Bob said he feels blessed that he has been able to get affirmation for his work and continue to create.

“It’s still a lot of fun for me, and sometimes I wonder how a man at my age can still get so excited about pigment floating around in water,” he said.

For more on the Mountain Brook Art Association’s holiday art show, visit www.MountainBrookArtAssociation.com.


Capturing “Light” in Watercolor

Friday, July 1st, 2011

This is a series of paintings Bob completed recently in which he made an attempt to paint light in transparent watercolor.  It’s one of the most challenging and elusive parts of watercolor painting and the reason he loves it!  It’s the very essence of watercolor!  “Cathedral interiors are the most fun to paint because they were designed to capture light through clerestory windows and stained glass – both  intended to create an ethereal illusion suggesting the light coming from heaven.”   Please also refer to:  Capturing Light in Watercolor by Marilyn Simande

St. Bartholomew's London

St. Bartholomew the Great, London


St. Paul's Cathedral, London

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

St. Mary's Entry, Oxford

St. Mary's Entry, Oxford, England


York Minster

York Minster, England



Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral, England




Can the Lyric Theater be saved?

Friday, July 1st, 2011

I’m always overwhelmed by the underdeveloped potential in Birmingham, and never more so than yesterday when Bob and I toured the Lyric Theater.  As Glenny Brock, the Lyric’s strongest advocate, proclaimed, “With the Alabama Theater, The Lyric Theater (across the street), the McWane Science Center, The Pizitz Building, Carver Theater,  (and other downtown landmarks) along with Mayor William Bell’s strong support, we already HAVE an entertainment district downtown.”

Certainly, we have the amazing historic structures, but Birmingham’s landmarks need financial support if they are to remain.  Remember the fate of Birmingham’s Terminal Station….And since 2009, The Lyric’s been among buildings listed on Alabama Historical Commission’s “Places in Peril”.

To those who might claim that it would draw business away from the Alabama Theater (now booked 325 days a year), Glenny counters, “The Alabama Theater was built for ‘moving pictures’ with 2200 seats, and The Lyric Theater was built for live performances with 1200 seats and 12 dressing rooms.  It’s much better suited for some of the small, live performances now booked for the Alabama.  And Willie Nelson has been turned away twice because of scheduling difficulties.  The theaters would actually complement each other and attract even more business.”

Glenny says that the original interior floor plan and finishes were almost identical to the now vibrant and completely restored Wells Theater in Norfolk, VA.  (Photos HERE)  It’s comparable to some of the best theater venues that New York has to offer.  The Story of the restoration of the Wells Theater in Norfolk, VA.

We can have that right here in Birmingham!  Years before Cecil Whitmire died, he asked Bob to render in watercolor what the Lyric could look like to solicit support (while insisting upon blue seating when the original seating was red!)  Here’s the watercolor below.  And Glenny has picked up the legacy left by Cecil Whitmire to solicit support  for the Lyric with passion and commitment.  But even the strongest advocates need the help and enthusiasm of others.  Glenny says that at one point in his life, even Cecil was frustrated and tired and ready to quit trying.  The Lyric and Glenny need our help.  If you have a group of fans, contact the Lyric for a tour.  And then, please  do what you can…   Can you help?

Lyric Theater Rendering


Can a fire at #Bham’s Powell School result in a #FOODREVOLUTION Phoenix? (watercolor)

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Another iconic structure in Birmingham is about to be torn down – Powell School.  And a last ditch effort is underway to restore it for a new use.  I hope you saw this article in the Birmingham News on May 31st, 2011  “Historic preservationists deserve a chance to see if they can restore Powell School, which was damaged by fire in January”  Ironically, Bob had recently completed the watercolor (below) that was to be used to attract attention and perhaps funding and redevelopment for the school before it burned.

So what now?  Here’s the remaining shell below.  We drove by again this morning and the damage is extensive and heartbreaking.  Obviously the roof is gone, and the upper floor has collapsed.  The $500,000 in insurance mentioned in the article above is just a drop in the bucket for restoration.  In order to save Powell School, this project will need a purpose and benevolent committed patrons who believe in that purpose with deep pockets.


So we’ve been thinking…   What’s a long-term issue supported nationally that will benefit Birmingham?  Well, we’ve decided that it could be the Food Revolution spearheaded by Jamie Oliver.  In Jamie Oliver’s words


“We’re losing the war against obesity in the US. It’s sad, but true. Our kids are growing up overweight and malnourished from a diet of processed foods, and today’s children will be the first generation ever to live shorter lives than their parents. It’s time for change. It’s time for a Food Revolution.

“Since I’ve been working in America, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have come out to support the Food Revolution. More than 630,000 people have signed the petition, over 300,000 of you subscribe to our newsletter and thousands of you have written to me. The only message I keep hearing is that you believe your kids need better food, and that you want help to keep cooking skills alive. That’s why this Food Revolution matters.”  ~ Jamie Oliver

“The problem stems from the loss of cooking skills at home and the availability of processed foods at every turn, from the school cafeteria to church function halls, factories and offices. This Food Revolution is about saving lives by inspiring everyone: moms, dads, kids, teens and cafeteria workers to get back to basics and start cooking good food from scratch.”


If you haven’t seen the popular show, here’s the link.  Thanks to dedicated volunteers, Birmingham already has an edible garden for kids close by with Jones Valley Urban Farm.


So, Birmingham has Sam Frazier, a local historian who’s spearheading the movement to save the school.  It has Mayor Bell’s encouragement.  It has Frank Stitt, and Chris Hastings – both award-winning chefs who support the movement.  It has Whole Foods.  It has the new FoodBlogSouth and lots of food editors spawned by Southern Living.  Birmingham is really a food town and we should be leaders in this movement.  But sadly, Alabama ranks #2 of the fattest states 2011, and Birmingham ranks #10 among the fattest cities 2011 in America.   Our legacy can be better!


And back to Powell School…It’s got classrooms, a cafeteria, meeting areas, and history.  It’s near Jones Valley Urban Farm, and hundreds in our city know and love it.  The Food Revolution has the support of the nation, and the backing of First Lady Michelle Obama, along with lots of stars including Paul McCartney, Justin Bieber, P Diddy, Jennifer Anniston – well, read the names for yourself here.

There are nearly a million people (and the numbers are growing every day) who’ve signed a petition in support of the Food Revolution.

It could be SUCH A POSITIVE THING FOR BIRMINGHAM!  Is it possible to hope that THE FOOD REVOLUTION could save Powell School, too?