The recent wildfire that roared through rural Vacaville, reaching the outer edges of the city, seared the souls of the victims but what's happening now is warming their hearts.
A Vacaville-based artist and philanthropist has turned a catastrophe into creativity: she is creating paintings as a way to provide financial assistance to the fire victims.
Shortly after the August fire, Lisa Rico founded the Vacaville Fire Art Project and recruited 10 fellow artists to join her team. Already they have raised $13,000 of the $20,000 goal. Every single dollar goes to the fire victims.
Their themes include pigs, ducks, cows, chickens, goats, donkeys, horses, rabbits, birds, bees and butterflies. The fire injured or killed many of their subjects. Clay Ford of Clay's Bees (Pleasants Valley Honey Company), Caroline Yelle of Pope Canyon Bees, and her business partner, Rick Schubert are among those who lost most of their bees.
Lisa describes the project on her Facebook page: "An art project to benefit locals affected from the recent LNU fire. Hundreds of homes and farms were destroyed. I will paint one painting a day selling them for $300 each. All proceeds will go to the fire victims. A few of my art colleagues have offered to help as well."
Lisa likes the "immediacy of the medium and richness of the color possibilities." She especially enjoys painting the "faces of people from other cultures and countries" and "local flora and fauna." Her husband, Richard, former editor and publisher of The Reporter, Vacaville, and himself an artist, is a contributor to the Vacaville Fire Art Project.
The couple evacuated from their home as the fire threatened their neighborhood. Sadly, friends lost their homes in Pleasants Valley, Gates Canyon and beyond.
Unknown to many, for the past three years Lisa has challenged herself to "paint one a day" every September. This year the deadly fire turned her commitment to philanthropy. She has created 25 paintings--or one a day--of the 50 pieces submitted in the Vacaville Fire Art Project.
Prospective buyers can access the Facebook page to see and purchase a painting. The artists usually announce beforehand what day or time they will post an image of their work, and the price. It's first-come, first-served. Some are sold within minutes.
Since this is a bug blog, we're sharing some of the amazing insect art that Rico created. One a day...every day...for the past 25 days...
(Note: See the Facebook page for the other incredible art. You'll love those adorable farm animals!)
Author - Communications specialist
Artist Lisa Rico painted this photo of lavender and bees for the Vacaville Fire Art Project she founded. It's titled "Making Honey" and was purchased by Andrea Hofmann-Miller. Among fire victims were beekeepers and Girl on the Hill Boutique Vineyard and Lavender.
A honey bee buzzes over a sunflower in this painting, "Sun-Bee" by Lisa Rico for the Vacaville Fire Art Project. This one was purchased by Tiffany Murdaca.
A lady beetle, aka ladybug, climbs the stalk of a sunflower in this painting by Lisa Rico, founder of the Vacaville Fire Art Project. It's titled "Sun's Going to Shine Again" and was purchased by Aumrey Moland.
Honey bees forage in a field of lavender in this painting, titled "Honey Makers," by Lisa Rico. It was sold to Joie Moralde, with proceeds benefitting fire victims.
A monarch butterfly flutters through a field of lavender. Painting by Lisa Rico. This one is titled "Monarch Muse."