I’ve long been a fan of Coarsegold painter Anita Stoll, who is known for her sumptuous pastels of the foothills of eastern Madera County. The Junction fire — which is 0% contained as I write this — has troubled (and scared) her deeply, of course. It’s the desecration of her sanctuary, so to speak.

This morning, in just a few hours, Stoll painted the emotional work above. There’s a sense to the painting of smoky menace, of terrain that’s in a sort of no-man’s-land limbo, yet there’s also a tough, rugged resilience. She writes on Facebook:

Untitled, 9 x 11, pastel. I had to express myself through my art on what’s going on hère in the foothills of Yosemite more specifically the area in and around Oakhurst. Words just wouldn’t come. So I expressed myself as an artist.Too emotional for me to talk about.

We’re rooting for those gorgeous foothills.

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Meanwhile, social media is changing the way people help out those impacted by natural disasters. Also on Facebook, I came across this gofundme.com page set up by Oakhurst movie guy Matt Sconce raising money for James Mierkey and his parents, Pat and MaryHelen Mierkey, whose houses burned down Monday night. (“They escaped with only the clothes on their back,” Sconce writes.) As of 4:15 p.m. today, 68 people had donated $3,970. I’m sure other such pages and worthwhile causes have popped up. Here’s a view of the Mierkey property:

Donald Munro

Donald Munro

Donald Munro is The Bee's arts and culture critic. He currently has the opening song to "Galavant" stuck in his head and doesn't know if he can ever get it out.
Donald Munro

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