Abstract painting in orange and violet resembling fire

“Ignition”, 22×30″ Acrylic on paper. Available

Fire seems to be my theme of the season. Here in Canada, we had some terrible fires earlier in the year. The city of Fort McMurray, in Alberta, was very nearly wiped out in a fire. It started in early May, and burned for nearly 2 months. There are areas here in Canada that are prone to fire… I really had no idea, until I met someone who travelled north every summer to help fight them. And it’s not just here. Just last week, a friend in Spain posted photos of her home town burning. It looked horrible. I can’t even imagine how awful it must feel to be standing there, helpless, watching everything burn.

At the same time, fire is often the impetus for renewal. The burned forest decays into the forest floor, nourishing the new growth. Fire can be part of our traditions… like a campfire on a summer evening, everyone sitting around telling stories in the night. Or the candles on a birthday cake. We are drawn to it, even while we fear it’s destructive power.

This painting feels like fire to me. I have notes from a critique on how to rework this piece, to make it better. I decided not to change it. The dark corner in the bottom is apparently a problem. But to me, this feels like throwing something into the fire that unexpectedly ignites. The heaviness at the bottom anchors it. The orange travelling up to the top are the unexpected consequences. Kind of like in life, when you do something that sets off a chain of events you had no way of foreseeing. Sometimes things blow up in your face, but if you are anchored, you can survive the destruction.

I’m doing a lot better this week… I’ve been going to physio, which is torture, but really seems to be helping me. I have almost full movement in my arm again. I guess that’ll teach me to ignore those new little aches and pains. My shoulder has been bugging me since last winter, but as is my way, I ignored it until I couldn’t use my arm. Apparently the problem originates in my neck. As all that stuff is connected, eventually I could feel it down to my fingertips. If I’d have dealt with it right away, she probably could have fixed me up with one visit. Instead of this prolonged torture I’m going through now. You’d think at my age I’d have learned that lesson already.