Many of the elements of art are readily observable in Tim Davis’s painting. Most notable are line, color, shape, form, space, and texture.
In Controlled Burn, line and form are especially apparent in the trees and smoke. The strong, straight vertical lines of the growing trees draw the eye into the background and upward, while the fallen tree anchors the foreground and moves the eye across the space. To this horizontal line is added a strong diagonal created by the arc of the smoke as it billows from lower left to upper right. This cone of smoke creates the primary movement within the work. The straight, thin forms of the trees contrast with the amply billowing smoke.
Color and space are also closely interrelated. The main colors that Davis uses are dark brown, green, and grayish white, with a bold accent of orange-red. The green forest occupies the upper two-thirds of the work, while the variegated browns and black of the ground take up the lower third. The smoke is composed of light gray tones that fade to white; this color is echoed by the smoky sky in the upper left corner and the water in the immediate foreground. The bright triangle of fire in the lowest left has colors ranging from yellow to red, with bits of those hues reflected on the tree trunks lying across the ground.
Texture is important primarily in the tree’s leaves and hanging moss, the materials lying on the ground, and the light, airy the smoke wafting across the front.