Fire Power

By Aideen O'Flaherty

AN ARTIST who creates paintings using unique fire techniques, and who uses art to help him to cope with a chronic pain condition, will have his work on display at the Art Source art fair in the RDS this weekend.

Rathfarnham man Peter Homan stumbled on fire painting by accident, when over 14 years ago he left a candle too close to one of his canvases and it created a slightly melted, textured effect.

Peter Homan pic

Peter Homan

Peter said: “I paint with oil paint and fire. After setting the canvas on fire to achieve the texture and ground colour I need, I then let it cool before adding even more paint and fire to create my paintings.”

He added: “You can’t really control fire but it’s all about timing and understanding and learning to work with it.

“You can never perfect it, only tame it. It is fire, one of the elements, and you must have respect for it.  You can only manipulate it to a certain extent.”

This style of painting isn’t without its pitfalls, as one misstep can effectively see a carefully painted canvas go up in flames.

Peter explained: “I have lost many a canvas to a ‘bad day’s work’ in the early days of perfecting the right mix of mediums and heat.”

Now, Peter is a skilled fire painter, and has created a number of interesting pieces, both with fire painting and also through a variety of painting techniques and mixed media on canvas.

One of the artist’s series of paintings, called Saints and Sinners, consisted of visages of some gay Irish men and women, including Senator David Norris and Graham Norton, and placed them in religious poses based on paintings by Caravaggio.

Peter’s passion for art also gives him a release from a chronic pain condition that he has had for several years.

Peter said: “I have a degenerative spine disorder and I find that painting takes me away from the pain and helps me to focus.”

Peter’s painting will be showcased at Art Source, which will take place in the RDS this weekend from Friday, November 9 to Sunday, November 11.

Admission is €10 for adults, €8 for OAP’s, while children under 16 are free only if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

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