Interior Fires




Interior Fires
Xwaaqw’um IV
oil on birch panel, 48″ x 24″

My original title for this painting was “Stolen View”, as the view through to Vancouver Island was achieved by the illicit removal of four large Douglas Firs in the riparian zone along Lee Creek (before the creation of the park in 2001). However, while working on the painting, the colours in the landscape changed, becoming ever-more intense, and I realised that this was caused, not so much by the sun being low in the summer sky, as by the warm atmospheric light that had been diffusing over Salt Spring and the rest of the west coast for several days from the massive wild fires burning in the B.C. interior.

This work presented me with more of a challenge than usual, as, due to the heightened colours and the tree-framed view, it kept tending towards romanticism. Nevertheless, I was determined to pull it off, and, after a certain amount of scraping & re-painting (hooray for wooden panels; you couldn’t do that with canvas) I did manage to capture my original vision by simplifying key elements of the composition while retaining the intensity of the hues.

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