Painting on Glass
My signature, as painted in reverse, on a work in progress.
I begin by signing my name backwards on a clean piece of glass.
From there each detail is painted in, foreground added before background with time for each layer to dry before the next is added. Drying times between layers vary according to the colour of paint used - usually its three to five days, but some colours can take up to three weeks to dry.
I generally work from a paper sketch that lies under the glass, but as I work each painting evolves so that the finished work is always more so and slightly other than what I had originally planned. The unexpected, and often unpredictable, nature of these digressions is one of the reasons I delight in this technique.
Unlike more familiar painting approaches, the background is the very last thing I add to a work. As the oil paint is so slippery, I have learned to let this layer dry before I turn the glass to see the final work. This leaves a period of time in which the painting is finished, but even I don't know exactly what it looks like. Turning over a completed painting for the first time is one of the most heart stopping moments of my practice as hours, weeks, months and sometimes years of work still can't prepare me for the final effect.
Once dry and turned around I let the painting live in the studio for several weeks before I take it to the framer. I use this time to get reaquainted with the work from the 'front' side of the glass, rediscovering details I had long since forgotten painting in and eventually settling on a title after months of indecision.