Artist “Paints” with Gunpowder and Finishes His Work by Setting It on Fire

Artist Danny Shervin spends an incredible amount of time perfecting his nature-inspired imagery only to set it on fire once he’s done. For a conventional work of art, this would probably be the end, but it’s the contrary for Shervin—the flames bring his pieces to life.

Working under the name Paint With Gunpowder, Shervin meticulously assembles ammunition on wood and canvas. It portrays animal portraits, like the creatures that live around the Grand Tetons where he grew up and still resides. Once the dust-like particles are arranged into owls, moose, and elk, Shervin takes a flame to one corner of a piece. From there, it erupts into a small but manageable fire and travels throughout the entire composition, burning the image into the surface.

Once the artwork is lit, it quickly burns:

The results, which showcase a stipple-like effect, are then burned into the surface:

Through Facebook and YouTube, Shervin shares videos that demonstrate the entire ignition process.

Painting with Gunpowder: Website | Youtube | Facbeook

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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