Thursday, 6 November 2014


Photo: Spazuk Fire Painter
I was rather taken by this beautifully detailed drawing of what I think may be a starling living dangerously!   It comes from a series of artworks by the Quebecois artist Steve Spazuk  makes an environmentalist statement and shows images of birds juxtaposted with things designed to kill insects.  Now to me a hand grenade to dispatch a couple of pesky flies to their maker is overkill but what happens in North America never surprises me.  When I was walking the Appalachian Trail I discovered a device in the hunting section of a supermarket which was dropped in a pond.  It exploded and hey presto!  Loads of dead fish rose to the surface. Man in harmony with his environment at its very best!

The way that this has been put on paper is rather hazardous  too.  With my accident prone tendencies it's not a way of working that I'm going to try out in the motorhome at anytime soon, unless I decide to embark on an experiment around starting a life over devoid of possessions. Spazuk uses a technique called fumage, drawing with a candle or torch flame to leave sooty deposits.   He then embellishes the images with paint and gold leaf.  For those of you who've got a hankering to find out more here's how this clever artist operates.  As a safety warning, it's probably an activity to try out in the open with a fire extinguisher handy if you fancy giving it a go!

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