by Lisa Bartley
Since 1979 Lisa Bartley has been creating some type of art. Known for over 20 years as "The Cake Lady", Lisa designed unique, delicious Sugar art items such as Wedding cakes and special occasion cakes as well as Gum Paste flowers and chocolate accent bows. Wildlife paintings of Elk often adorned the top of the groom's cake.
Living in the Ruidoso, New Mexico area with her husband and children, Lisa found all types of natural beauty to inspire her creativity. It was a new form of inspiration that of wild land fires that really grabbed Lisa's interest. So in May 2000 she joined the volunteer fire department and began the new adventure of learning about fire! It wasn't long before Lisa was totally head over heels crazy about wild land fire fighting.
Her husband built two Type 6 engines for her and soon the world of wedding cakes and sugar art became a thing of the past.
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Fighting wild fires has taken the Bartley Enterprises Crews into Arizona, California, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington and Wyoming, and of course, New Mexico.
Loving the arduous work of being a fire fighter was invigorating to Lisa but finding the down time on the fire line could take a toll on her spirit. She found a way to express her creativity with Pastels and Watercolors. The very fires that she fought became her inspiration. She also found subject matter in the Air Tankers and Helicopters fighting fire along side the ground fire fighters to be intriguing.
A special interest evolved from working with the different aircraft, depicting their important role in the fire world. Lisa has created special tributes to aircrafts and their crews that have perished while fighting fire.