View Full Version : Red Suspenders

Rob't Emmet
07-07-2013, 06:11 PM

Why do Firefighters wear red suspenders? To keep their pants up! I can't believe my spouse had never heard that terrible old joke...30" x 48" acrylic on canvas. I learned this simple warm palette from WC forum member Karen Lynn Ingalls ( www.karenlynningalls.com (http://www.karenlynningalls.com) ) and dedicate the painting to the nineteen firefighters who recently lost their lives in action, and another hero, WC forum member Annie Murphy Springer ( www.anniemurphyspringer.com (http://www.anniemurphyspringer.com) ). Annie is the retired fire chief of Bodega, CA., the town featured in Hitchcock's 'Birds,' starring Tippy Hedron. Annie teaches a watercolor series on PBS. She is a tremendous advocate for the arts, emergency services and female firefighters.

I have posted here at the request of administrator, Jon. He felt I would benefit from your critique. While painting it, there was, for me, tremendous tension between the warm colors of the background leaping off the canvas at me past the cooler colors in the shadows of the FF in the foreground. Another tension exists for me in the composition, the life of FF and the vegetation behind the firefighter versus the destructive nature of the fire itself. Please tell me what you think...

07-07-2013, 06:27 PM
Thank you for sharing this with us, I thought the regulars in Ab/Con would enjoy it as much as I did when I first saw it, I think this is beautiful!
I like how you have the cooler colors behind him as he faces the incredible heat in front of him. In some instances having such a spray as the water from the hose shooting off the canvas might not work, but the twisting flames amid the intense colors keep the eye returning to the work. Well done!

07-07-2013, 06:40 PM
Wonderful. Just wonderful. Thanks for bringing it over!

07-08-2013, 12:38 AM
Initial reaction: sadness. the recent tragedy is still fresh, and I sensed that one or more of the great artists would be paying tribute to those brave souls.

I think this captures so much, yet it is simple><complex all at the same time.

Stunning visual force
color choices are intuitive and spot-on

thanxs so much for sharing this with us


07-08-2013, 09:24 AM
I commented over on your other post, but again, this is great! So hot :)

07-08-2013, 11:55 AM
I like how the fire shapes are echoed in other parts of the painting. A very powerful scene and very good tribute to the fallen firefighters. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Katie Black
07-08-2013, 01:15 PM
Very well done!...the flames are amazing!

Rob't Emmet
07-10-2013, 09:49 AM
Thank you, ~Jon, fiddleplayer, birdhs, alangraham, davefriend, and Katie, these folks who show up at zero-dark thirty to help all of us out, saving lives and property, ameliorating pain and suffering, and preventing disability are truly inspiring.

While this painting depicts a structural response which has it's own hazards, the recent tragic story from Prescott that resulted in the deaths of 19 hot-shot crew members paints it own picture. Can you imagine going out ahead of a wildland fire, which creates it's own weather patterns, working all day long, cutting trees, removing brush, scraping the ground into firebreaks then collapsing in place as the sun sets on the 'operational period,' then getting up the next morning to start all over again? Sleeping bags? No. A hot meal or a shower? Not until you get back to the fire base camp. The hot-shot crews will do this for days. They are the best of the best.

07-10-2013, 11:35 AM
Amazing story I thought they came out each day replaced by another crew, the bravey and stamina these men have! Your painting of this man and the fire he is fighting is so intense!!!! Its also reassuring to me, I know he's there and you have his posture so confident.

Rob't Emmet
07-10-2013, 11:59 AM
Thank you, but please, lets not forget the incredibly valiant women that are also firefighters. I have seen them giving 150% effort (if such a thing is possible), to be grudgingly acknowledged as being 'as good as' their male counterparts. If you want to meet some of the finest citizens you will ever know, make an effort to meet the female firefighters in your community that volunteer or are paid professionals, they are exceptional folks.

Rob't Emmet
07-10-2013, 01:07 PM
Most wildland crews, strike teams and structure protection task force crews spend their nights at base camps awaiting the next operational period. Hot-shots sometimes employ the tactic of "coyoteing," generously defined as 'remote base camps,' (ie: a bunch of folks sleeping on the ground, in place for more work the next day).