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How to...start a blog on glass art

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

Gold paper isn’t something I would normally buy, but today I found myself cutting a large square to use for my new ‘behind glass painting’. This method of painting is new to me, just as this first attempt at blogging. There are many goals I have set myself this year, and some I will have to achieve by doing things for the first time.

Decisions have to be made: Do I write in English (not my native language), while my website is in Dutch? Yes, I might reach a larger audience and I might use this blog on Etsy as well. (Selling on Etsy is another do-it-for-the-first-time goal). Oh and what should the blog be about? Glass art of course, but what is the twist? Starting up a small business with very little money? Transforming from architect to glass artist? Well, probably a little bit of everything…

Today I wondered about the added value of behind glass painting. After all, couldn’t you just paint much easier on canvas or paper and put a sheet of glass over it when you were done? Painting with oil paint on glass isn’t exactly ideal. The surface is smooth and doesn’t absorb anything, which makes the strokes you make very visible. It is hard to soften anything.

This technique has been used a lot in medallions in 18th and 19th century furniture and in orthodox iconography. Beautiful craftsmanship in it’s time, but not exactly contemporary examples. However, thanks to the weekend of classes on behind glass painting, I started to see the light…

The fun is to layer glass with other materials to create depth. I painted some of my ‘corporate monsters’ (I’ll explain later) on one sheet of glass, together with a line of text and a coloured plain. On another sheet of glass, I painted a background. This way I created depth in a semi-abstract painting. I could even see a shadow from the painted figures and text on the back sheet that moved a little as I moved. I had painted a sun and behind it I added the gold paper, giving a little sparkle in the background. It was all a bit of an experiment, but I could see the potential!

The image I made was inspired by Hiëronymus (Jeroen) Bosch, who used monsters and fantastical images to show his view on social and political issues of his time, as well as his interpretation of biblical events. I used images of office buildings and skyscrapers and transformed them into monsters reaching for the sun like Icarus. They symbolize blind ambition and egocentric capitalism, leading to a greater gap between rich and poor and exploitation of both the environment and the common man. Not that I am a complete communist, and against any ambition (don’t be wrong, I can be very ambitious), but often enough, there is so very little time and money left for people just to live life, enjoy and play…

At the moment I am very inspired by this technique, that I have all kinds of ideas to create some abstract works. If only I had a little more time and money…..

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