Fire

By forces seemingly antagonistic and destructive, Nature accomplishes her beneficiant designs – now a flood of fire …again in the fullness of time an outburst of organic life.

John Muir, Biologist, Naturalist

Burnt forest, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, California

Burnt forest, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, California

 

Camp fire Forest fire, northeastern Wyoming Forest fire, northeastern Wyoming Forest fire, northeastern Wyoming Forest fire, Oak, Yosemite National Park, CA
Forest fire, Yosemite National Park, CA Smouldering Redwoods and Sequoias, Sequoia National Forest, CA Smouldering Sequoias, Sequoia National Forest, CA Smouldering Sequoias, Sequoia National Forest, CA Mariposa Grove, Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Smouldering Sequoia stump, Kings Canyon National Park, CA Charred Sequoia stump, Kings Canyon National Park, CA Charred remnants, Yosemite National Park, CA Odd natural beauty, Sequoia National Forest, CA Forest ghosts, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Forest fire, Beerwah, Queensland, Australia 1984 fire - forest renewal, Adelaide, South Australia 1984 fire - forest renewal, Adelaide, South Australia 1984 fire - forest renewal, Adelaide, South Australia Rogers Pass, Hwy 1, BC, Canada
Arbutus, Victoria Park, Vancouver Island, BC Arbutus renewal, Victoria, BC, Canada Giant Redwood tree fire resistance, CA, USA Giant Sequoia bark has fire resistance qualities Giant Sequoia fire, Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Charred Mexican Pine, Sierra Madres Mtns, Mexico Charred Mexican Pine, Sierra Madres Mtns, Mexico Charred Mexican Pine, Sierra Madres Mtns, Mexico Charred Sequoia, central California Charred Sugar Pine, central California
Natural sculpture, Mariposa Grove, Sequoia National Forest, CA Carbon Footprint, Sequoia National Forest, CA Natural sculpture, Mariposa Grove, Sequoia National Forest, CA Grand Canyon National Park area Grand Canyon National Park area, AZ
Grand Canyon National Park area, AZ Grand Canyon National Park area, AZ Grand Canyon National Park area, AZ Ponderosa Pine survivor, Yosemite National Park, CA Ponderosa Pine cone, Yosemite National Park, CA

 

Featured Art and its inspiration

Paint Arson, 11 x 11 x 3 inches acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted. (Most of the Magic Square series are signed on the side, so in this view the signature is superimposed.)

Paint Arson, 11 x 11 x 3 inches acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted

Buying a new jar of Cadmium Red medium hue was just the thing to reboot, then re-route some old habits I was falling back into, like over-working paintings. Here I began with a lush Redwood forest in mind, thinking I could safely stir up some inspiration with the hot scarlet under my usual cool green palette… I did not intend to start a fire!
A new color invigorates the work process like nothing else can, and adds renewed life to your results as well. Incorporated as a base, straight out of the tube or mixed with your usual palette, a new color changes everything. Here now, as the painting is seen in the second thumbnail, there’s nothing I can do except follow it and see where it leads. The strength and intensity of this color as a base is dictating a whole other unintended but interesting direction, and it’s in charge for a while. I hope I can manage it.
Painting, whatever the subject may be, is a journey through all kinds of unanticipated thoughts and associations; some are short and sweet, ending within 1 – 6 hours and not much more than a visual, but some are packed full of adventure that isn’t even realized until surfacing from a few hours of work.

The forest fires were still-smoldering when we walked through the Californian Redwood and Sequoia forests last November, and my memory lapses into romanticized imagery of smoky rays of light in the sunset. It’s perplexing that the effects of forest devastation could be so pretty when the fact is that just the week before, a raging fire was the cause of all that beauty, and not just the smoky sunset, but fire enables the entire forest to flourish. As I’m painting this I’m thinking about all kinds of how fire is a naturally occurring event like rain and snow, and is an essential part of forest cycles…and of how fire is destructive but supports renewal and re-creation as well.
Fire opens pine cones to disperse their seeds, controls pests and disease. By burning weeds and weaker trees that rob sunlight and nutrients from healthier trees and plants, it also clears the way for new seeds to sprout. Ash aerates, and contains properties that determine the quality of soil and what is able to grow there. Realizing that certain trees only regenerate with the aid of fire, like the giant Sequoia cones only release seeds through fire, today’s standard fire management practice is to allow naturally occurring forest fires to burn, still with a mind to sensibly control it.
So what element does it take to open a painter’s eyes to new possibilities? A jar of Cadmium Red medium hue!

Paint Arson

     
  11 x 11 x 3 inches acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted. $250.00
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