I love the way Elise Mahan describes the motivation behind her painting-a-day series -- as a means to get closer to a much beloved subject:
My current project is a painting a day series titled "The Neptune Collective" which is a continuously evolving visual narrative that spans one year and is devoted to my love of research and exploration into the study of astronomy and cosmology. The act of creating a painting every single day allows me to research and explore the vast and complex universe through a collection of visual studies.See the complete series at The Neptune Collective website (complete with a bibliography!).
From the top: Jellyfish Nebula; Voyage of a Pink Moon; Construction of a Nebula; View from Neptune; Constellations on Tatiana.