March 14, 2017

"Dark Forest"

"Dark Forest", acrylic paint and chalk on recycled paper, 15" x 22".

In December of last year (2016), there was a terrible fire in Oakland, California at a warehouse known as the Ghost Ship. It was home to an artist collective, which is probably one of the reasons why I felt so heartbroken reading through each of the 36 bios of the people who had burned to death in the blaze. Any of those people could have been my good friends or even me. Descriptions of the warehouse, the party, and the victims seemed so familiar to me. So I painted the fire. You can see it in some of the first layers of the finished painting here. The pink bits remaining here are part of that original painting.
After three months of sitting in the corner of the studio, this painting appeared back on my desk. I revisited it without knowing what was going to happen.
This finished painting is a much more subtle take on the fear and beauty that I feel for life, and it gives me a way to honor those people.
Friends! Be safe, clean the lint out of your fans, and put fresh batteries in your smoke detectors. Remind your loved ones to do the same! Life can be hard.

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