27 December 2017


Watercolor woodblock (moku hanga)
11 x 17 inches (28 x 43 cm)
Made from 5 blocks, 9 hand-rubbed applications of color
Edition of 8 on Yukimi paper
Shapes derived from four video stills of a California wildfire.

2017 has been a remarkable year for the United States of America for many reasons, including the record-setting wildfires in California and other parts of the western USA. This year is the most expensive firefighting year on record for the US Forest Service with over $2 billion spent. Climate change deniers continue to argue that we've always had fires and weather is just weather and it's those people's fault for building there anyhow; the Trump administration continues to dismantle federal actions that address both the causes and the effects of climate change (can we at the very least respond to the effects, please?); but meanwhile the Thomas Fire north of Los Angeles has been burning for 23 days and still rages as I type this post. Fires have also erupted in Europe this year and, perhaps most alarmingly, wildfires have begun to occur farther north than ever before. In August of this year, "unusual and possibly unprecedented" multiple fires broke out in melted peat bogs in Greenland.

This print is dedicated to all those who have lost homes to the fires, including my friend Laury and her family, who lost their home to the Sonoma County fires in October. ♥

Here are some photos of the print in progress.

A small bright spot created by wiping away pigment on the first layer.
Shapes from first video still added.
Wiping is needed to keep the shapes from the first layers visible as the pigment builds up.
One more set of shapes in a darker shade, still wiping to keep visibility of the layers below. I like the "steamy" effect created by the wiping.
This is the fifth block. The photo was taken after printing, which is why it's stained with color. You can see that the block contains another set of fire shapes (a fourth video still) in the sky area plus trees that were in the video foreground. I worked the two areas separately for the most part and printed five or six different times before I was satisfied with the color balance.