Jesusita Fire Seeds of Inspiration

The Jesusita Fire burned for nearly a week in the foothills of Santa Barbara in May of 2009. Our home sits in the middle of the burn area, adjacent to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The Garden suffered a tremendous amount of damage as a result of this major fire event. We were incredibly lucky due the heroic firefighters defense our hill which resulted in ours and our neighbors homes being saved. In all, about 80 homes were destroyed. Mission Canyon, was hardly recognizable. It was depressing to see the colorful wilderness reduced to a monochromatic sepia. I was so heartbroken for those who lost everything.
Last spring, I took a walk up to the upper meadow of the Garden. Expecting to see the blackened stumps and virtual wasteland I had grown accustomed to. I was unprepared for the phenomenal burst of color that had sprouted just one short year after the fire. The upper meadow, properly called the Porter Trail, was alive with color. I quickly rearranged my schedule, grabbed my painting gear, asked permission at the Garden kiosk, and set out to record the breathtaking sight.
I've recently learned that a Garden staffer is responsible for the wildflowers that bloomed last spring. His devotion to the Garden turned into an awesome show of color that will likely never be repeated. The natural flora is coming back quickly and will edge out the wildflowers and block the ocean view. For his love and effort I call this painting "Thanks Dave" (11 x 14", currently on reserve for a buyer).