The image I decided to paint was taken on the property of a close friend living on the South Coast of NSW. Being a surfer, camper and landscape painter, I’ve spent a lot of time travelling through South Coast NSW and its towns. During the fires I was sent two photographs of the same property, one of horses looking onto a burning wall of forest and one of my friend, head wrapped in towels holding a fire hose to defend his home. Thankfully, they saved their property and animals however seeing those images was really rattling. It’s deeply saddening to see what those places and people have lived through. While nothing can compensate for the loss experienced by so many and the uncertainty the future holds, what stood out to me is the kindness and generosity expressed in people’s willingness to help. It has made me hopeful for our future, and that there is real potential for a more compassionate and understanding world.