Fire can ruin everything.
Fire = fail
Or it might be able to make everything better.
Looks like it’s time to burn my house down.
But in the case of 55-year-old Canadian artist Steven Spazuk, fire is used to make masterpieces.
Spazuk practices the ancient technique of fumage or using a kerosene lamp or candle to make smoke impressions.
“I started to work with fire in 2001,” Spazuk tells BuzzFeed Life. “The marks I leave on the paper are actually traces of soot.”
And his process is totally mesmerizing to watch.
“I never burn the paper because the flame doesn’t stay in one spot long enough for it to catch on fire,” he says.
Spazuk works on thick acid-free paper and uses various brushes to add detail to his work. “The soot is extremely fragile—when I decide the painting is finished, I spray a varnish on the canvas to preserve it.”
And the resulting portraits are mind-blowing.
Smoke > pencil
“When I put the flame to paper, I don’t know what I’m going to get and that’s the pure joy of working with soot.”
“I just wait for a figurative revelation like a child looking up at the clouds,” Spazuk says.
Watch the full video of Spazuk’s magical fire art here.