Fire Paints The Country Black

2003  86 x 139 cms NFS

During 2003 the desert regions were subject to vast fires, mostly to the west. Some had such fronts that it was futile to fight them. The species loss, plant and animal has yet to be estimated, perhaps extinctions too.

Around town, spot fires occurred, some deliberately torched. I'd plonk Anjou in her car seat and take her for an afternoon cruise along close-by tracks. She'd predictably nod off within a few minutes of negotiating the rolling dirt roads. But one afternoon, on passing a burnt patch she remarked, 'Fire paint the country black, dad'. I'd long wanted to paint her and this motivated the idea for this painting with Gaston Hayes, her sometimes playmate from Whitegate. Though I'd pictured her as one of Velasquez's dark-eyed child beauties, my favoured depictions, it was this exclamation of 3 year-old Anjou that moved me on from his tragic babes.