When people see my work, the first question I am typically asked is, why a lighter? I use a lighter as a replacement for a standard drawing tool because of its unique texture and line quality that I can achieve. This process stems from experimenting with the effects of dragging a lit flame across paper. Over time I began to utilize the flame to my advantage, such as altering the shade of the burning based on proximity to the paper. As I gained control over use of the flame, I expanded my burnings from blocks of shaded color to figurative representations with refined line techniques. I further improved my technique by taping the paper to the ceiling and standing on a small ladder. This allowed me to utilize the natural flow of the flame, rather than try to manipulate its direction.
As I continue to create burnings, I continue to refine my technique and ability to use a lighter as a mechanism for creating realistic representations.