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The Fire Painter

by Mehluli Mzizi
(Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)

I use a tachnique called "Fire Painting"

A:What is fire painting?

*Fire painting is a technique that incorporates drawing and painting images on paper using fire and other compatible tools. It is a technique that I have mastered over.

B:How did the idea first come up?

*I remember the day I discovered this new technique as if it was yesterday. I quickly named it, “Fire Painting”. I was seated at home one evening, and there was no electricity. I had a candle on and burning incense (mosquito repellent). Then, my artistic intuition told me I could do something with these two. I took the burning incense and a paper and started drawing on it using the incense. I kept on trying and eventually I realised this could work. I thought I knew exactly what to do, and to some degree I did, but I quickly realised it was going to take some trial and error to get to the process and finished product, just right. The first times I tried it, the paper would actually catch fire, along the way. I learnt many lessons, and each one brought me closer to my art. From there, I started developing the technique until today.
From the moment I started, I knew drawing and painting with fire on paper was going to work and I was determined to get it right. I had a great field of work to explore, and I was aware of all the potential and challenges ahead of me. I have spent four years perfecting this method and I cannot say it is an easy art form.

However, through some research, I have realised that there are a number of fire painters around the world. But we all use fire differently.

C:How is fire painting done?

*Nothing more than burning logs, Sugar solution and other compatible tools can be used to make some seriously awesome art! Instead of using traditional pencils, or paints, I use fire on paper in order to create incredible designs. I only use a pencil to sketch, then use a combination of burning logs and any other compatible tool that can be used to complete the art.
D: What kind of Paintings do I do?

* So far I have been creating images that incorporate wild life, landscapes and humans caught in a moment that explains so much more than what appears on the surface,as well as abstract paintings.

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