Local Artist Uses Embers from Waldo Canyon Fire to Create Art

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The images in the mind of artist Steve Weed come to life on canvas.

"I'm an image maker so whatever I see or do I make images of it," said Weed.

Artist or not, the images of the Waldo Canyon fire are tough to erase from memory.

Images like the one Weed snapped as he evacuated- an image of the "monster cloud" descending on his neighborhood.

"I told my wife this is not good," said Weed.

Weed returned home to Mountain Shadows grateful that firefighters saved his home, but heartbroken at the devastation less than a block away. He picked up charred embers and had an idea.

"We were walking around the neighborhood and I was like... 'I can make art from this'," said Weed.

"I said, 'I could draw 3000 paintings with what is in here'," said Weed.
In no time Weed had created two paintings with the embers.

"This is the monster coming over this hill," said Weed at his pointed to one of his paintings.

One painting shows the ominous cloud of smoke over his neighborhood, the other shows a firefighter at work.

11 News Anchor Dianne Derby asked Weed if the painting of the firefighter was someone he saw during the fight to put out the flames.

"It's pretty much made up," he said, "but I looked at a lot of images online and there's not a lot of the firefighters but I found a few then made it up."

Weed said one of the things that inspires him the most when painting is thinking about a video he saw. The video was taken by a firefighter whose job it was to record the fire.

"If I had half the courage these guys had I'd be a happy guy," said Weed. "I can't imagine what they were going through."

It's that kind of courage that inspired Weed to do something to help.

He said he wants to donate nearly all of the proceeds except the cost of the supplies to the Waldo Canyon Fire Victim Assistance Fund.

"It's a way to give back so hopefully we can make a little money and help those people that don't have anything left," said Weed.

Nothing left but the charred embers - that, for this artist, may be a way to help those who have lost so much.