Making art from destruction is a good exercise in catharsis. People do it everyday. The form it takes depends on the physical or emotional or even metaphorical destruction involved. Sometimes all three parts get whipped up together in a single twisting strand.
Today is the third anniversary of our survival of a destructive EF4 tornado. There are a number of after-effects of that event, on any number of levels. One of them is that I don’t like revisiting it much. But when the National Weather Center announced its first Weather Art Biennale, I couldn’t not enter it. And there was only one thing I could paint.
I’m honored that my entry, “Rise”, is not only in the Biennale, but it’s the featured painting in Southwest Art Magazine’s show preview:
We wanted to see the weather depicted not just as a beautiful natural phenomenon, but also something that affects man’s experience of the world.—Alan Atkinson, curator, National Weather Center Biennale
It’s an odd but cathartic feeling to paint that appalling image on canvas (a canvas extracted from the rubble). The updraft of colored paper commemorates artworks gone with the storm, but also, in my own way, a rising sense of whimsy, and a little movement up, out, and onward.
10 thoughts on “Friday Figures- How to paint a tornado”
Just great. I remember well the photos you posted at the time. And those figure drawings are fabulous!
I love the geometry of the books floating on the left side … or are they greeting cards? … or, just something? Anyway, it draws my eye into motion.
They’re kind of whatever you’d like them to be, Tim. Thanks!
I love this Debby! You managed to give a terrible life experience a “lift” of color and hope. In spite of the destruction, I sense the joy of unexpected flight in those sheets of paper… though I at first took them for books: Look at us! we’re flying!
Thank you, Linda. Isn’t that a line from Peter Pan? Perfect.
Yes, I remember reading, here and on-line news feeds, the horrors of that.
I’d say your depiction is a powerful statement.I like the metaphorical onward and upward bright colour swatches.
I love the figure drawings – delightful style. ‘Rise’ has a wonderful atmosphere. Congratulations.
Wonderful work inspired by real life events. Making lemon champagne out of lemons.
A very moving painting Debby – I saw it in person last Thursday at the NWC It was one of the best in the show. Congrats again.
What a beautiful painting! Very well deserved feature in the Southwest Art Magazine. I love your sketches too.