It’s day 19 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

Even two years after the Pole Creek Fire in Sisters, Oregon I was able to find a pair of burned pine cones still attached to their branch. Since moving to Oregon I’ve been able to explore different wildfire effected areas. The areas I’ve visited where a fire had occurred 8-10 years earlier have forests of silvery, naked trees and the ground is covered with a few new trees and lots of grass. The Pole Creek Area still has signs of a fresh fire with burned pine cones and tree trunks that are still charred black from the burn. At times you can even smell the coal and ash from the fire. The trees are starting to change, many of them are losing their bark, sometimes in large sheets. It’s fascinating to watch the forest slowly transition back to life. One feature that these charred forests share is the ability for the blue sky to beam through the naked trees. The painting today is a light blue to mimic the wide forest sky.

“Wild After Fire III”
6 x 6 inches
encaustic and pine cones on wood panel
Origin: Pole Creek Fire, Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon
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The Pole Creek Fire area two years later. Notice the tree bark falling off the trees and draping to the ground:

Curling tree bark two years after wildfire

This photo taken from the Pacific Crest Trail in Sisters, Oregon shows the aftermath of the B&B fire from 2003. You can see how the trees have shed all of their bark over time and the trunks have become silvery and smooth:

No tree bark 8 years after wildfire

The paintings I create during the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge will be included in my NATURE CURATED series which captures the essence of place by encapsulating carefully chosen mementos nature has seemingly left behind in a thick bed of pigmented encaustic wax. To create these paintings I explore the ocean shore and forest floor to find the perfect, unique objects (shells, pine cones, driftwood and stones) to embed in a luscious layer of wax. All of these natural objects tells the story of its origin, like the smooth edges on driftwood illustrates the journey it took undulating back and forth against the rough ocean shore. Each three-dimensional fine art painting is unique, signed by me, ready to hang and includes the place of origin.