Last night I turned on the TV to “breaking news.” It’s kind of meaningless the way every story is now “breaking news.” They really should save the hype for things like alien landings and packs of escaped circus elephants. But I digress. The breaking news was a grass fire out in Tracy. Those are the sorts of images that get me glued to the TV.
There is something oddly beautiful about a grass fire. The golden hillside juxtaposed with the blackened hillside, the line of flames and the smoke. I am not the only artist who has been compelled to render these images into paintings. I know the danger of these fires and how they can turn massive. Yet when it is a grass fire in Tracy, it seems like part of a normal California summer. Yesterday’s fire was the result of an out of control a car fire, but fires in the hills are part of the natural cycle of things as well. And, before the arrival of Europeans, Californians were controlling and managing the landscape with fire to facilitate the growth of oaks and their nutritious acorns.
This piece is also featured on a print/poster available from Society6.