The Great Fire, Sketchbook by Yohanan Lakicevic
Updated: Mar 3
Just now an extraordinary work by the painter and illustrator Yohanan Lakicevic was published. You know him even if you don't, certainly if you are in my age range.
Once upon a time, in the weather forecast on the news on the one TV channel we had, they would show a watercolor painting suitable for the expected weather.
I would wait for bad weather because I liked the drawing of the palm trees in the storm the most.
Yohanan was the one who painted them.
One day I met him as part of a project I was working on, and in his studio were all these drawings and illustrations, and I suddenly realized that it was him - the guy who drew the watercolors for the forecast.
I started flipping through the paintings, probably a little too excited because he noticed and asked - what are you looking for?
The palms in the storm, I answered.
He immediately pulled it out for me. Unfortunately I didn't buy the print then, and years later I regretted missing the opportunity.
In short, a year ago I found a connection with Yohanan again, and went with a friend to visit him.
This time I came especially for that painting, here it is on the top right, on my inspiration wall in the studio:
Then he showed us, among his millions of drawings from all over the world, this sketchbook of the great fire that was in the Jerusalem mountains in the summer of 2021.
The colored chalk drawings reached the edges of the pages and we were afraid to turn the page lest we damage it.
We both stood there, turning page after page, and we couldn't breathe.
The fire reached him almost to the house, and Yochanan, like a good animator, drew the entire course of the event from the beginning, with the red glow emerging over the mountain, the inferno, the destruction left behind by the fire, and the renewal in the following months.
We told him, you must make an exhibition out of this notebook.
He replied, everyone tells me I need to do something with it.
So he did.
Now you should take a break. Make a coffee, and browse through it, slowly.
You can browse the preview, and you can purchase a copy of the book to support a veteran local craftsman.