Artist Uses Sunlight to Create Amazing Art Pieces

Meet Michael Papadakis, a Colorado-based artist specializing in a unique form of storytelling. He is not your typical artist. He doesn’t paint in a confined studio.





As a matter of fact, he neither uses paints nor brushes. Instead, Michael uses mirrors and lenses to focus the sun's powerful rays into wooden panels to create amazing art pieces.

Back in 1816, Frenchman Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made two wood cassettes fitted with a microscope lens. He invented the photographic process coined heliography around 1826 to make the earliest known surviving photograph from nature, View from the Window at Le Gras.

The process used bitumen of Judea, a naturally occurring asphalt, as a coating on glass or metal. It hardened in proportion to its exposure to light. When the plate was washed with oil of lavender, only the hardened areas remained.



At present, heliography refers to painting using refracted and reflected sunlight.

During his trip along the Silk Road from Asia to Europe, Michael discovered the magnifying glass as an ingenious tool to create artwork. From then on, his new venture in arts has begun.

Holding a magnifying glass a few feet away from his canvas, Michael harnesses the sun's rays on a small, focused point. Then, he meticulously burns his intricate designs onto the wooden panels.

Luckily, Michael's hometown gets around 300 days of sun yearly so he had plenty of time to practice all throughout the last 5 years.

Michael has already showcased this art form and his amazing set of skills for numerous clients and during live events across US and abroad.



Some of the big brands he has worked with include GoPro, The Balvenie, RJ Reynolds, and Ripley's Believe It or Not to name a few.

Surprisingly, Papadakis is not the sole sun painter in the world. An artist from the Philippines, Jordan Mang-osan, also creates designs on wooden canvases with the use of magnifying glasses.



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