Sarah Britten Art

Paintings in lipstick

Trying something new

I’ve always fantasised about burning my own work. Call it the prerogative of the artist to destroy his or her own creations. I had every intention of burning a painting of a bateleur eagle created a couple of years ago. I valued the image so little that I had even reused the cardboard for a client project.

Here it is:


It’s filled with the names of people who made my life a misery. Burning it seemed a logical way to move on. And yet when I looked at the image, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Somehow, the scratches and nicks made it more interesting. Now it wasn’t just a two dimensional object; it also bore the marks of time. What if, by burning it, I made it even more three dimensional?

I started by holding the edge of the board in the hardekool fire (which was incredibly hot) and letting it catch alight.

It was tricky to control the flames without letting them get too big and completely destroy the image.

This is the other side of the image:

This is how it looks now:

I like the added texture and interest, and the story behind its creation. I’m thinking of how to preserve it; ideally I’d like to frame it in perspex so that both sides can be seen.

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