Art meets Reverse

When it can't go forward, art goes backward.
I found my way back to reverse glass painting in honor of a former teacher. Joze Ciuha is a Slovenian artist of international acclaim who is known for his provocative, politcal and exquisite work in this technique. I remember studying in Salzburg with him in 1974, doing days and months of figural studies, while his show of impressively large oil & glass panels hung in one of the city's prestigious galleries. His topic was "generals" before the fall of Tito, when Yugoslavia was a still a Soviet satellite. The immense portraits featured chimpanzee faces in generals' attire with cyrillic inquiries, commanding and unforgettable.

When Art Media, Portland's cherished art supply store, announced a workshop, I lept at the chance to join Karin Boe-Hadley and immerse myself. Work is planned and executed in reverse, beginning with highlights and ending with background, which is often goldleaf (or similar metal leaf). It provides complete respite from other thoughts.

Fall has started off with this tiny portrait and relief to have another opportunity to reclaim glass, images, ideas, and fond memories of sketching with Joze at the Salzburg Zoo where a particularly clever monkey tricked me out of my pencil when I mistakenly thought he was aiming for my figs. Art can still trick me like that monkey. Sometimes I have to turn back, to move ahead. What reversals have brought unexpected gifts in your life?