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Warning/Disclaimer: This books purpose is for the educational advancement. Any lesson followed by free will does not guarantee that injury to person or property will not occur. The author and publisher shall not be held responsible and shall not accept any liability in any matter by following this lessons instruction. Please utilize common sense.
Art And Fire
Disclaimer :Please note that whilst Karen Elzinga burns artwork she will not be held for any liability claim coming from the following reading of her lesson. Please use common sense.
Environmental works for example have endless possibilities for doing just that. But is the change to do with the work itself or the words surrounding the work. The story can often be as important as the artwork.
The first art work is photographical, taken from an installation or sculptured creation. This work looks at the birth of fire through the eyes of nature.
Nature or Nurture? – Birth of a fire bug!
Ignition – The passive Fire Starter
Concept – The humble cigarette is not only lethal to humans it seems. Many a smoker disregards their used cigarette out of their car window, somehow assessing this action as not littering. So what of the consequence of this action, well ignition is. I am going to do a work based purely from the cigarettes angle, if it were alive how would it escape to the freedoms of the landscape where unknown to it, it has the power to create a new cancer to the landscape – FIRE!
Concept – to Use a camp stove to melt plastic pieces on top of chicken wire that hopefully could be moulded into an interesting fire representational form.
I knew l could do this a different way, so to the oven inside l went to try again.
Experimentation is a big part of being an Artist
It is imperative that as an Artist you explore various materials so your reference library of knowledge grows for how you can work with various materials, how far can you change their initial meaning. What is successful and unsuccessful with each material investigation.
Creating the artwork
Wisdom within the woods – A message from the nature!
Concept – Trees need us for survival under certain conditions, we need them under all conditions, without the trees our air is poison. If the trees were to give "Arsonists " a message, if they were to give developers and land clearers a message, if they were to give the average every day Joe a message, what would it be about joint survival?
Research how other artist's have portrayed the same topic, broadening your knowledge will impact how you portray your ideas.
Artists need to be continually keeping abreast of what is currently in the art world, there's is no putting your head in the sand on this one. That doesn't mean copying someone else's ideas but it does mean broadening the scope of your own ideas with informed thinking. Often looking at other artists work will trig an idea of your own completely different from what you viewed. Keeping up to date with latest trends is also a good idea, no point trying to sell something that looks like it belongs in 1970 styling, even vintage styling today has a modern day look and appeal to it.
I like trees, and l have an appreciation for their purpose and beauty, but l have to say l felt really horrible doing this work to my backyard tree, l felt like l was taking something that could never be replaced from this old tree. I felt pain with each and every rip of the bark to get to the fleshy sappy interior that l needed. It was really bad, l have never experienced such an emotional experience that tore me up before in any work l have ever done. I find it hard to look at even as l put it all together here. Wow! I hope the viewer gets half my emotions from looking at it!
This work describes the pain felt by nature at the hands of human frivolity and lack of respect.
The tree is spewing out it's internal messaging, opening it's heart in an attempt to teach human kind the importance of the very air we breath. Without the humble power of the trees, we fail to exist!
We rely on the diversity of each other, as a means to both species own survival.
Ephemeral work – “Arson results”
Concept – To mix man made material with a natural element that combine to enhance the potential of directed fire. I want the fire to go directly up the centre of the tree hollowing it out.
Materials – Paper pulp, palm frond, matches, natural setting, camera.
It's all in the camera angle, sometimes you don't have to build a giant artwork to give the appearance of it being large.
Clever camera angles can be an Artist's best friend. If you want something small to appear large photograph it from the same height, if you wish it to be bigger, photograph it from beneath it looking up at it. If you wish it to look smaller photograph it from above angles.
The voices in my head told me to do it”. (Story of a fire starter)
The material application used was fingers and pen dipped into ink, tilting and slanting the fabric and a roller. The materials used were, acrylic paint, ink, red and turquoise pen, permanent marker, and cut out paper stencil that l drew. It was done Alla prima style. I used pen and ink because l wanted it to have a real rawness about it, l did the pen work very unconsciously wanting that roughness and quick action of the pen going various directions to literally speak for itself. It also reveals a shallowness and flippancy to the work that l think works to give the feeling of a scattered and tortured mentally ill mind. I wanted to give the feeling that when a person hears voices inside their head telling them to light a fire that the mind splits as it tries to fight what is right from wrong.
To see this in more detail simply download the full version of this entire lesson at the start of it, it has complete picture steps by step images and wording.
New idea to try
Concept – The idea is the first match has been lit deliberately causing a landscape fire in the floral fields, The fire demons are joyful that such destruction has commenced and are out in numbers to investigate and make their presence felt by dancing in the naked flames as flowers wither and burn in the glowing light of the fire. Devil dancers after the first match is lit.
FIRE AND ART- It is by far not a new concept but the potential as a subject matter has a lot of weight, the topics that you as an artist can explore are numerous and vast. Just think of some topics you can explore:
1. Environment devastation
2. Lightening and fire
3. Property and fire
4. Human anguish
5. Fire by night
6. The naked flame
7. Fire causes
Let's check out the devil dancers.
Aim – To produce multi layered works using the same colours at each stage, but applied slightly differently.
Your artwork is not going to be on fire long, but it needs to be presented in way the scream interest, just because it's on fire doesn't mean your not going to see the background, so your design should be something that encapsulates the look of the flames and doesn't just look like an artwork on fire. Utilize fire colours then add some deeper colour tones to provide some depth.
Fire Experiment analysis
After the fire experiment on the painted boards, l was surprised to see little damage done to the surface of the works, the fire exhausted itself out after burning up the petrol and distinguished itself very quickly in a matter of 10-15 seconds. This allowed for repeat fires multiple times over on the same surfaces. Even after 10 times the surface looked practically intact with only very minor surface damage and alteration. I believe this type of photographical work could continue for up to 40 times on a similarly painted surface before the surface would deteriorate to a perishable state, and even then would produce maybe a more interesting fire and overall appearance to the photographical nature of this work. Overall a very successful experiment.
Creating for the purpose of burning it
ART BURNING DO's and DON'TS
If you want to set something a light, petrol is your best friend, but from a distance, don't use a cigarette lighter or matches, control your ignition with a long BBQ lighter where your hands are importantly away from harms edge.
Don't light a fire if you have petrol spilled on your hands or body. You may just end up being the artwork.
Have someone else present in case of emergency.
Have a hose pipe close by turned on
Be sensible in your burning, you don't need a towering inferno next to a dead tree.
Karen Elzinga is not responsible for your actions, you burn at your own risk.
So let's get a bit more creative with our initial artwork to burn.
This is so much fun, it is a process to get the initial artwork done, but burning it is both sad and exciting, but it is worth the end results.
Let's do just one more.
Be safe in your burning and for more information please download the full version of this lesson by heading to the top of this lesson and clicking on the download tab.