Our little corner of Texas is prone to all the things. Flood? We have that, twice a year, Spring and Fall. Fire? We get that, too, although not nearly to the extent other areas of the country do. There was a big fire here the Summer before we moved down, so I can see the scars of it, but the area is recovering, and it is filled with hope. October 2015 was filled with nightmares for a lot of people when the area lit up with flames again. I met a family whose homes were destroyed in the 2011 fire, the Memorial Day floods of 2015, and then again in the 2015 October fire. They’re praising God that they still have their lives and realize it’s all just stuff. The Summer of 2020 had a lot of people on edge because it reminded people of 2011. Needless to say, there is a huge appreciation for our first responders, especially our fire fighters, many of whom are volunteers in the rural counties.
I really wanted to paint something to express my appreciation for these hard workers. This is one of those things where the idea in my head didn’t really translate to paper well.
In the first draft, I started with a “stormy seas” tutorial that covered the whole page. I had the thought to add the flames to the side instead of behind after I had painted the waves, so the placement looks really awkward. I immediately looked for inspiration on how to paint waves and flames and attempted a second draft.
The second one I ultimately had custom matted with a light blue mat cut in a circle, and it is hanging in the entrance hall to our dining room. At some point last year though, the Let’s Make Art fan group on Facebook was going through a phase of revisiting first paintings and redoing them now that your skills have improved. So I took up the challenge with this one.
I absolutely love how the new version came out. The silhouette could use some work, but the flames are just so alive. The lower wave is a little high and could have come down some, but the texture and color is wonderful. My lettering has improved, and it shows.
When you cross through the waters, I will be with you. When you cross the rivers, they will not sweep you away. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, and the flame will not set you on fire. Isaiah 43: 2 (EHV)