Memories of Magenta Artist Statement 
In this series of acrylic paintings I am re-creating my memory of the presence of Fireweed growing among the ashes of a forest fire. Working in Fort McMurray provided many opportunities to drive on Highway 63, which is usually a very scenic trip until you come to the sections scorched by fire. One day while traveling on a bus through this particular bleak section of the highway, the traffic came to a stand still for over an hour due to a forest fire a few miles ahead of us. At first glance it was a pretty dismal sight of burnt tree trunks leaning against each other. As I looked through the bus window, I noticed the most brilliant colors of plants growing in spite of the charred surroundings. Wonderful hues of greens and magentas scattered through out the forest floor. It was an incredibly beautiful sight and a true sign of hope.
Color and line can express and highlight many different feelings and emotions. My use of “soft edges”, isolated oil pastel line drawings and layering of glazes attempt to capture the essence of that memory of the fireweed spilling over the forest floor. I hope to convey a note of optimism to an otherwise bleak landscape.
The Fireweed is a weed that is probably the most colorful wildflower to grow in ditches along the Alberta highways and is usually the first sign of life to grow in the forest shortly after the devastation of a forest fire. You have to admire its determination and persistence. This memory of the Fireweed has stayed with me all these years waiting for me to recreate it and share the message of hope with others.