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Artist Uses Fire To Create Art

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Source: YouTube

During the last 15 years, French-Canadian artist Steven Spazuk  has perfected a technique called fumage which allows him to create jaw-dropping paintings using flame instead of pencils. “The main challenge of painting with fire is preservation of the work,” the artist explained. “The soot is fragile and sensitive to touch. I am always holding my breath when I am working on a piece because anything that touches the surface will leave a trace.”

When asked by Bored Panda about how he came up with the idea to paint with soot, Spazuk said; “The truth is that I dreamt of it. I was in a gallery (in my dream) and was looking at that black and white landscape and I knew that it was done with fire and completely understood the technique.

In the morning when I woke up I remembered that dream and started to experiment. The first attempt at drawing with fire that I made did not work out very well. Sure enough the first paper I put the flame on caught fire. I soon realized I had to use a cardboard paper, one that was thicker and more coated than mat paper.

It was then that I immediately knew that drawing with soot would work. It was a instant love affair with the medium. All my ideas related to soot came in those first weeks [in 2001] . The imprints, the entomograms etc… I had a great field of work to explore, and I was aware of all the potential ahead of me. I never stopped since…

The biggest challenge in the beginning was to keep the drawings intact. It took me lot of testing with fixatives and spray varnish. Now I can say that I am mastering the spray varnish. You need a really fine spray and you need to shoot at a certain distance.

Fire Painting