Australian Bushfire Painting
Australia is no stranger to bush fires… however 2019–20 Australian bushfire season, also known as the ‘Black Summer’ was one us Australians will never forget. Skies turned red by smoke, families sheltering on boats to escape the blazing shore, and over a billion animals being wiped out. As a Melbourne artist, I decided to create an Australian Bushfire Painting in memory of the tragic bush fires.
It was hard to think about celebrating New Years when our fellow Australians were in grave danger. On the first day of 2020, I prepared my painting studio for work as per usual. I was in the middle of completing a Paris commission for one of my clients.
However it didn’t feel right painting Paris, so I put my commission on hold to begin doing a new oil painting to help raise funds for the bush fires. Normally my paintings take a week or two to properly plan, however this one was unplanned and truly from the heart.
I wasn’t sure how it was going to come out, but I hoped it would be striking enough for somebody to want to proudly display in their home!
With Fire Comes Rebirth
I wanted to create a piece that symbolised the tragedy of the fires but also the comfort we find in each other when all else is destroyed. That is the Aussie spirit that can never be lost.
I chose to work in oil paints as I feel I could reach a greater depth of field and rich, deep colours to portray the extreme heat sensation of the fire. I chose to paint the iconic Australian birds ‘Rosellas’ to be the centre of this oil painting. I used one of my most intense oil colours being; ‘Quinacridone Maroon’, a deep and vibrant red.
Even though this painting is striking, beautiful and harmonious, the true meaning behind it is solemn. I aimed to acknowledge the extreme loss of wildlife and how they would have felt being trapped amongst the merciless flames. It represents that in times of destruction, we all band together and stay strong. I couldn’t help but adding in a burnt branch oddly shaped as a ‘heart’ to represent the love we have for our wildlife.
Once the painting was finished, I asked my supporters on Facebook and Instagram to help me name it. I would like to thank Zaff Siatos for coming up with the name of this painting ‘Twin Flame’. I instantly fell in love with this name and thought it was perfection! The definition of ‘Twin Flame’ is as follows;
“A twin flame relationship is when two people are perfect matches as a result of shared pain or another difficulty.”
I am so pleased to let you know, that the final bid was $4,600!
To a cause close to all our hearts, I decided to auction this artwork with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the bush fire appeal.
Twin Flame’s new home
I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect home for Twin Flame even if I tried. The highest bidder being the lovely Nicky Stafford, director and financial planner at ‘Your Money Matters’, wanted to display the painting in her office which was a recycled timber, Balinese style house. She also has 3 small parrots flying around the house!
“I can see the position of death and destruction being held in the same place as life and hope, & I think that’s why it resonated so much with me.” Nicky Stafford.
It never ceases to amaze me that every piece I create is created for a particular space without me even knowing it. I was truly blown away with what a perfect atmosphere this painting ended up in.
I am going to miss this beautiful piece but am so happy to see it in it’s new home.
Our prayers go out to all those who have personally been affected by the tragic bushfires, and we hope to have helped in a small way.
Much Love, Bella