I've been on the hunt for a way to produce new looks with gunpowder. And, I have had a desire to make a few smaller, more intimate pieces. Over the past several weeks I have been testing new papers a few new techniques. Two of them have brought great results.
The first technique was to cover and wrap the gunpowder artwork with cardboard prior to blowing it up. I used watercolor for a base color and shape. Then cut out a stencil to protect the main design from the blast. I put a layer of gunpowder on the piece and created a form by moving it into place with a small brush. Next, I covered the entire piece with cardboard and put rocks on top of it to force the blast back into the piece.
I exploded the artwork. Flames shot out the side of the cardboard. I loved what the fire and explosions left behind. The result, BUZZMAN #5, looks like the lines of an explosion imprinted on the piece with a nice gritty texture. I will continue to work in this process with both watercolor and guache.
The next experiment was using one of my classic techniques with gunpowder and high speed fuse held by rocks on a new acrylic coated paper. The fuses burn so hot and destroy most substrates. But in this case the paper chars and erupts with texture, but does not burn through. The first of these is AQUA BUZZ. Small in scale but big in impact.
I love the uncertainty of the explosions and the resulting work. Pushing to learn more techniques and tesing new substrates gives me more tools in the arsenal to create beautiful art. Boom!