Meet Danny Shervin of Painting With Gunpowder who has found an amazing method to commemorate his love of nature.
BD:Where do you live?
Shervin:I was born and raised in Jackson, Wyoming.
BD:What form does your art take?
Shervin:I have always had a love for the outdoors. I was fortunate enough to grow up in place that afforded every opportunity to get outside, whether it be hunting, fishing, going on pack trips or any other outdoor activity for that matter. Because of this, I have always had an affinity and great respect for wildlife and the places they call home and my art is reflective of that.
BD:What are your other hobbies, and are they related to your artwork?
Shervin:My hobbies include fishing, hunting, playing golf, skiing and being outdoors as much as possible. Countless trips on the water fishing, and hunting season each year have given me inspiration for the subjects I burn onto my canvas. I live in an incredibly beautiful part of the country and it is easy to find inspiration all around.
BD:How did you get started and what was the evolution of your style?
Shervin:I stumbled upon it in college during some late night shenanigans with my buddies. I spilled a bunch of gunpowder on our kitchen table so I laid it out in the shape of a tree and decided to light it up to see what would happen. That was almost 14 years ago. Years of experimentation has now evolved into my own style of painting with gunpowder.
BD:What goals do you have for your artwork, what does the future hold?
Shervin:I want my artwork to inspire people to think outside the box and look at art in different ways. My process and style all evolved from what I would call a happy accident but also a recognition that art comes in many forms, you just have to take the time to notice. Because of those that have supported my work I have had great success in the personal art world and also have had opportunities to work with some great people at the corporate level. I just want that to continue. I want my art and process to make people happy and perhaps introduce them to something they haven’t really seen and the more exposure the better.
BD:Is there a message or theme behind your artwork?
Shervin:I certainly have more of a theme to my artwork. I usually prefer to paint animals and nature scenes but I do like to challenge myself and have taken on a few projects that deviate from that, such as some corporate marketing projects. I have been asked in the past if there is deeper meaning in my chosen medium. I haven’t put a ton of thought into it, but I suppose there could be. Gunpowder has and always will be a tool used to take life, and I like to think that through my work I am using it to create life on a canvas. Plus it is just plain fun to light a canvas on fire.
BD:What or who inspires you?
Shervin:Being outdoors is what always rejuvenates me. I always feel better and more refreshed after being outdoors for an afternoon or for a few days camping. Must be all that fresh mountain air that clears my head. There are several artists that inspire me as well but I get a lot of inspiration from my family. In an effort to not leave anyone out, I will just say that, in my humble opinion, I have an extremely talented and artistic family all of which in one way another inspire me to do what I do and do it as best I can.
BD:What has been the hardest project, or what is the hardest aspect of you art?
Shervin:Due to the fact that I do not glue anything down or draw anything out on the canvas as a guideline things are very temperamental in this style of artwork. The slightest movement or smallest of bug on the canvas can ruin all my time and effort getting each piece of gunpowder where I want it. The hardest project so far has been a recent commission piece of a label for a liquor company. The amount of detail on the label and bottle gave me some real challenges. The different fonts coupled with Chinese symbols proved to be a challenge all on its own.
BD:What brings you the most satisfaction or sense of accomplishment?
Shervin:The most satisfying aspect of what I do has to be watching the canvas burn. The amount of hours, patience, and stress put in to getting a piece to that point makes it all worth it. A massive amount a weight is lifted off when I don’t have to worry about the piece sitting around in the studio just waiting for something bad to happen. My greatest sense of accomplishment comes from the folks that enjoy my art. I am fortunate enough to be able to do what I do and it is because of the support from those folks.