I’d never heard of the Art technique “Fumage”, or even thought there was such a thing, until I came across the work of Steven Spazuk.
W.O.W. Soots you, Sir! 😉
Here is the link to Steven Spazuk’s website, where you can marvel at more of his wonderful creations:
This is Steven’s Artist Statement, taken verbatim from his website above:
For the past 14 years, Spazuk has perfected a technique called fumage, that allows him to use the flame of a candle or the flame of a torch as a pencil to create his paintings with trails of soot. Using various tools, he intuitively sculpt the plumes of soot left behind in response to the shapes that appear on the canvas.
Spontaneity and chance are the heart and soul of his creative process. He does not censor. He does not direct. Spazuk opens himself to the experience. This in-the-moment creative practice coupled with the fluidity of the soot, creates a torrent of images, shadows and light. Fuelled by the quest of a perfect shape that has yet to materialize, he concentrate in a meditative act and surrender to capture the immediacy of the moment on canvas.
The human body fascinates him. Bodies in a perpetual metamorphosis are the language with which he express his thoughts on the human condition: emotions, opinions, stories that are born of his uncensored psyche. Spazuk often works piece by piece, collecting a multitude of unique elements that he assembles into mosaics. Entities that, once grouped together, afford a different meaning and provide a new perspective that is both novel and complementary. He sees fragments of things, events, people, as a powerful metaphor of modern life and, even more so, of the way we perceive things through our senses and our minds. His work expresses how every one of us is a constituent fragment of the human community.
Steven Spazuk isn’t shy about sharing his unique techniques with the rest of the world. He has a YouTube channel, where he demonstrates how he creates his images. Anyone can try their hand at Fumage, but for those at home, please be mindful of the dangers of fire, especially around drapes and paper. Whilst Steven Spazuk has taken his artform to a higher level in the modern world, we must also pause to reflect that in reality the art of Fumage goes back to the dawn of Mankind, to the original soot paintings on the walls of prehistoric caves. And thus, when we view any of Spazuk’s works with this in mind, we can then fully appreciate the beautiful folding of Time.
Here’s my favourite video of Steven Spazuk at work, titled “Fire Painter“.