The Fire Last Time is a Suze Woolf watercolor and pyrography painting

Painting Details

Watercolor and pyrography on 550 lb Arches archival paper
29.5 x 41
The third November day I was at my Banff Centre residency I went hiking on the Stanley Glacier Trail. It had been recommended for viewing the Vermillion Pass burn, one of the many huge fires that occured in western Canada in the summer of 2003. It was bitterly cold that day, I hiked in a down parka with my camera underneath for more than 2 hours before I was warm enough to shed it. I saw no one most of the day. And the daylight hours were very few!
In this picture I wanted to try combining traditional landscape painting with the pyrography drawing I'd been testing. The scorched edges of the foreground trees are beautiful up close, but alas, from a distance, you can't tell they're burned in and not paint. But you can tell how cold and desolate it was.

As the climate warms, forest fires are becoming more frequent and catastrophic in the western United States. My deep anxiety with the impacts of climate change on wilderness are emerging in this series. Burned-over areas of forest are riveting. Unfamiliar tree forms are newly exposed. Formerly hidden terrain features become visible. Normal greens, blues and browns are transformed. All the worst fires of the last fifty years have occured in the last five years.

Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about any of my images. All represent original paintings, not reproductions. I have many more paintings than are shown on this site. And, since I frequently work in series, there may be additional views of the subjects shown here.