Friday, June 27, 2014

Cuts Like a Knife

"Burnscape 10"
oil on panel, 2014
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

This a recent painting from my Burnscape series which has been dormant for a while.

Burnscape Series - Living in Southern California and seeing so many wildfires it would be easy to focus on the destruction. My attraction for the burned landscape isn't for its destruction... but instead how it modifies the landscape, turning it into a charcoal terrain... it is rebirth, the way Mother Nature intended.
It is how She manages her jurisdiction, by controlling dense undergrowth. We usually get in the way.
Man has traditionally prevented fires, the growth becoming so thick that when fire does occur it is devastating. Another topic on the Man vs Nature theme.

This one is similar to my "Burnscape #4 (Charred Pine Stand)".
Trees are meant to survive natural wildfires where the brush is low to the ground, the fire sweeping through too quickly, and frequently enough, to wipe them out. These pines were burned too much to survive.
Here I included the dirt road which stands in stark contrast to the blackened soil and slices through the landscape like a knife.286

Click the Series-Burnscape label to see them all.


  1. David, I so love the fact that you find beauty where most wouldn't dream of even looking! I am constantly amazed how you get so much wonderful art information on small surfaces! I love the dark earth tones here! I often use burnt umber as a glaze over most of my art! So keep on painting the beautiful mostly ignored subject matter buddy!
    That is one of the many reasons I am an avid Avid Art follower! Take care David!
    Michael Lover Of Burnt Umbers, Burnt Siennas, Raw Umbers and "Burnt Embers?"

  2. Hi Michael,
    Beauty is everywhere. Most don't stop and look. I have walked through burned area's and there is nothing quite like it. It is still nature so why most only see the beauty in the "unspoiled" landscape is beyond me.
    I like to show the other end of the spectrum.
    Happy you see it too.

    Ha Ha Ha! I like your Burnt Embers!
    Maybe paint manufacturers should start making Burnt Ochers, Burnt Sepia's, Burnt Yellows, Burnt greens, blues, reds, oranges, whites, grays.....

    Your Burnt Painter,
    Keep painting...

  3. I too can see beauty in a burnt landscape and I think you've done a great job here David. I don't know if it's the same for you over there, but here even bushfires (as opposed to control burns) no longer have such a necessary and benign effect on the landscape because of the ferocious heat generated by weeds that never existed before Europeans arrived. I might send some photos through to you of a burnt landscape that is beginning to renew itself - stunning architecture in trees!

  4. Hi Wendy,
    I'm sure it's a very similar situation here as there.
    Years of growth and the prevention of "natural" fires, like those from lightening, and eventually the landscape gets choked with underbrush. We get a drought season, a fire and the dense dry brush burns so hot it creates its own winds, a firestorm.

    ...and with our Fall Santa Ana Winds and chaparral its the perfect recipe for disaster.

    Keep painting...