The artist Julie Bender uses the ancient craft of wood burning, or pyrography, and creates the most beautiful portraits of nature and animals. In traditional terms, pyrography is the art of drawing with fire, using a heated tip or wire to burn or scorch designs onto natural surfaces such as wood and leather. The artist creates these amazing works in a gorgeous sepia color, infusing the heat on a smooth wooden surface.
As I ‘paint with heat,’ I feel a certain parallel between the wild and natural spirits that embody my subjects and the organic and distinctively unforgiving nature of my medium.
This unusual medium still has me marveling over the fact that my subjects may be brought to life solely by applying heat to wood.
Julie’s award-winning art is displayed in museums with invitational exhibitions, represented in select galleries throughout the United States, featured in various books, catalogs and publications, and is in private collections, including that of Jack Hanna. As a Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists and Artists for Conservation, she is delighted that her portraits can be channeled toward endangered animal awareness and conservation, while just as importantly advocating pyrography’s place in the world of fine art.
(All images via Julie Bender)