Corsican Wild Fires is actually my painted version of a photo that we were never able to take on a family holiday to Corsica in 2006. That year I went on holiday with my parents and my sister and on one of the days we had been out for hours at the beach and were driving back to the hotel when we noticed the cars in front of us were turning around and going back the other way. We were just the other side of a large tree-lined ridge from the hotel and the road we were on ran along the bottom of the valley. When we got closer we suddenly saw that a wall of flames was raging through the trees along the top of the ridge between us and our hotel. As we watched, a number of different planes dived down low over the flames and covered them with colourful fire retardant. It was terrifyingly beautiful and we did try to take a photo of these incrediable fire fighters in action but our camera had run out of battery earlier on that day so we couldn’t.
We obviously couldn’t continue along that road back to the hotel so we did a u-turn and went on a massive diversion round the fire to a town on the other side of the hotel for some tea before returning to the hotel later on that evening. The whole time we could see giant plumes of smoke in the distance so we were quite concerned about going back, but when we did we heard that the flames hadn’t actually reached the hotel and no one was harmed or buildings damaged. I have done some Googling since and luckily that seems to be true.
Although we never had any photos, that image never left my mind so I decided I had to paint it. I know the whole thing is a bit stylised, but this is how I remember it…so it can’t be wrong?!?
I’m not going to put ideas in your mind but a couple of my (rather mean) friends who have seen this painting have rudely renamed this painting and have been a bit critical of my choice of colour for the fire retardant. After years of defending my colour choice I was thrilled when my girls were watching Planes 2 Fire And Rescue and saw that those planes used red fire retardant too! Here’s a pic of Blade in the film alongside my painting as proof for all the haters!! ?