Two women into the gallery last week on consecutive days who are artists who also teach art. Both lost everything in California wildfires last year, one in California's Big Sur, the other several hundred miles north.
Homes, studios, paintings, art libraries, sketch books. All lost.
``Thirty years of sketch books,'' said one, who has moved into a nearby town with her family.
Sketches, to artists, are visual ideas. A sketch made in 1988 might lead to an important painting in 2010.
(Turner had 300 sketch books, did 30,000 sketches; Constable would tell his wife as he left with his sketchbook, ``I'm going skying,'' and return with brilliant cloud formations.)
The other artist was looking for books to rebuild her collection; she will resume teaching this month and the books are valuable tools.
``It's difficult, looking at all these books I once had in my library and are now ashes,'' she said. ``Oh well.''
Fires are an occupartional hazard for many artists. After all, turpentine and other flamables are things they work with. Forest wildfires are a threat probably not often considered.
Still, neither artist showed a trace of self-pity; rather, a determination to continue on.
Writers keep notebooks or notes, or fragments of novels or plays or stories or poems they still have hope for, or are the beginnings of still developing ideas and themes.
We must have a pretty god idea of how those two women feel.
Causes Steve Hauk Supports
City of Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove, California; Animal Friends Rescue Project, Pacific Grove; Animal Welfare Information and Assistance,...