October 08, 2015 3 min read
We are reprinting Dale Laitinen's email sent today. We invite everyone in the Creative Catalyst Community to lend a hand, in whatever way they can.
The Butte Fire Inferno that started on September 9 swept through Calaveras County destroying hundreds of homes including our home and studio. On that day I was in Mendocino, California participating in a plein air painting event. Late on that day I was informed that there was a fifty acre grass fire near Jackson California, five driving miles away from our home. Concerned but not alarmed I went to bed content that all was well at home. By Midday on the tenth, the fire had jumped the Mokelumne River Canyon and was sweeping into Calaveras County, heading directly toward Mountain Ranch and our home and studio.
Our Home Vineyard and Orchard in better days.
After a six hour drive, I arrived in time to save our pet cats Erin and Isis. Smoke, ash, and embers swirled in the darkening day. A red glow to the north lit the evening sky. Into the truck went the cats, computers, clothes, and photos. For the last time, I drove away from an intact home. Donna and Frida the Art Dog were already safe visiting her son in the bay area.
Waiting is the worst It was not until a week later that I was able to return to what was once our home but now was a mound of ash cradled in the concrete foundation. Our car, tractor, and trailers, and outbuildings nothing but a burned out hulk.
We had lived here since 1994 building our dreams, now it is time to rebuild. We will start by putting the first brushstroke on the painting of our new life.
Insurance is never enough, my family has begun a fund to help us rebuild and help us make our future brighter. My art business and its contents were not covered as the coverage had been dropped by the insurer earlier in the year.
How You Can Help
The big thing I have learned about this tragedy is to be open to accepting help.
You can help by contributing to our GoFundMe site. Please feel free to share this link with your friends. Your funds will go along way to ease our pain of loss.
It would be so easy to give up, and wallow in the valley of despair, Donna and I are not built that way, we are climbing our to a sunnier future.
We are overwhelmed by all the help we have received so far. There has been so much from so many during this ordeal. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. I hope to thank all of you in a more personal way. but for now we are so grateful for all you have done.
Life goes on, my workshop schedule is below and I will keep my commitments to all who want to join me in a great learning experience.
Blue Shadow Country, The Paintings of Dale Laitinen
My first book has been out since the first of the year and has had a great reception. Inside you will find full color photos of my paintings that range from natural landscapes to my Engineered Landscape series. With each painting there is information about its inspiration and process. It is not a how to book but more of a collection of my past work.
To buy the book at Blurb.com follow this link. http://blur.by/1zKK3Ql. I will also have them available at my workshops and demos. You can always email me and I will send you an autographed copy with a Dale Laitinen drawing. $65.00
Petroglyphe Gallery is hosting my November workshop in historic Mokelumne Hill, California. The theme is "Painting the High Sierra." This indoor studio workshop will cover sketching, composing, and painting the rocks, lakes and streams of this "Range of Light". It will be a unique opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts of mountain landscape painting.
Comments will be approved before showing up.