Burned at the Base


Burned at the Base is a very large Suze Woolf watercolor painting on gesso

Painting Details

Watercolor on gessoed archival paper
76 x 50

I saw several trees in the immediate vicinity with this peculiar pattern of fire scarring. I surmise that the fire traveled underground through roots and burned the tree up from the base. This tree grew near the Stanley Glacier Trail in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, and I painted it while in residence at the Banff Centre. I wanted the painting to have impact, so I made it taller than I am.

Ruth Nielsen photo of Burned at the Base in site-specific installation
Ruth Nielsen Photo


In January, I took it out to the woods to photograph it wrapped around a local tree. I would like to exhibit it on a half-round bas-relief column, emphasizing the contrast between idealized tree shape and this specific burnt specimen.