Fire Painting, don’t try this at home!

My name is Peter Homan and I am an artist from Dublin, living in Dublin and painting from my wee studio in the front room of my house in Rathfarnham.

I have been painting ‘professionally’ since I left school in 2001. I entered Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology where I studied Fine Art TILL 2004. I would mainly say I am a self-taught artist. I learnt most of techniques from other established artists or through trial and error of my own, such as my Fire Painting.

Fire Painting

It happened accidentally!…. While I was on a Residency in Noelle Campbell – Sharps artist village in Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry in 2005 for 2 weeks.

When I arrived there, there was Kerry Mist everywhere. You couldn’t see beyond your arm when held out at length. It was like this for a solid three days. Being a city boy I was not used to the deafening silence, lack of phone reception, T.V. radio, etc… I went slightly mad.

I tried desperately to paint what I went down there to paint which was the scenery. After 3 days of greyness and complete madness nothing happened. I was worried so I thought, “let lose Peter just vomit (artistically) onto a canvas and see what happens.” NOTHING!! On the fourth day that all changed… The sun finally broke through and showed me my surroundings, my little piece of heaven, County Kerry #heaven.

I was in awe of the 360* complete beauty. I was suddenly inspired; I grabbed my canvas, applied oil paints and other mediums to it. I was hoping to combine the colours by combining it all with my trustee hot air gun, but instead the whole thing went alight. In a complete state of panic, while losing my entire arm hair, I blew it out and saw what I had accidently created. The #FirePainting


After 10 years of Fire Painting I have learned to realise one can never perfect it only tame it. It is fire, one of the elements, you must have respect for it. One can only manipulate fire to a certain extent.

I have lost many a canvas to a ‘bad days’ work in the early days of perfecting the right mix of mediums and heat. I originally based the paintings on landscapes, seascapes or the weather were I created abstract pieces.


One day after applying only Titanium White paint to the canvas and setting a light to it, the results where brilliant. There were amazing shades of blacks and browns were the heat got so intense it bought out the chemical elements in the paint itself. (In the olden days when paint was ‘bone black’ let’s say, it was literally that, bones burnt to a certain heat and then grounded to a fine consistency where egg tempera or oils would have been added, now a days the cheaper paints are chemically formed)

The texture and colours on the canvas reminded me of the stone ceilings of the Lascaux Cave Paintings in France. From then on I started to do a series of Cave Paintings through fire, which now has lead me to creating grounds for paintings to create textures. The textures that the heat gives you are phenomenal.

A friend of mine called into the studio a few weeks ago, I asked her to call in and view a piece as I am my own worst critic (I hold her opinion highly). I was in stress mode meeting a deadline for an exhibition in Sligo and I wanted her to give me her painfully honest opinion, she loved it but pointed out the texture in the back ground which reminded her of the moons surface.


Fire painting is the way forward. It is different and unusual. What I create is unique and no one else knows how to do it. (Well as far I know they haven’t as I haven’t taught anyone). Not only is this way of painting different and a talking point in itself, it also adds a central point to your room.

When hung, the painting (framed or unframed) is a little piece of magic hanging there on your wall. It changes with the light throughout the day or artificially. Every time you look at it you see something new, a colour you never noticed, or a form or shape that wasn’t there before.

Visit/contact me on my Website or through Facebook.