The discovery and development of my Vere’ / Eglomise’ w Reflective Elements style has more than a decade of experience. Creating two dimensional objects of art with plate glass mirror has satisfied a strong desire for my artistic expression, discovery of the never before realized object, new unique ideas for art and design! Gleaning techniques from experience in furniture restoration, decorative painting, hot glass techniques gleaned from the Pilchuck Glass School and while attending UAB completing an art studio degree a 30 + year effort as a working artist. This time has given way to a degree the self confidence to continue until for some unforeseen reason, I must leave the studio? I consider most of my recent work an abstract narrative style although, some might reflect on this idea in a different light?
Jean-Baptiste Glomy (1711-1786) first initiated the technique of reverse painting on glass, incorporating gold and silver leaf, this was certainly an original genre of art leading to the intricate Vere’ Eglomise’ designs of English artist Thomas Pelletier during the first half of the 20th century. Recent 21st c. examples are in a reference to work by Car Guo-Qiang / China who presented his “Non-Brand”, Gun powder, glass and mirror piece during an exhibition at the Guginheim, NY,NY in 2019.
My style of reverse painting on plate glass mirror began in 2005 when I developed a unique process for creating the look of antique mirror using new plate glass mirror.
Utilizing the silver reflective coating as a design element combined with color was an adaptation of these styles by Glomy & Pelletier and where my work may be considered a unique adaptive style of artistic expression? My efforts expanded in 2011, developing new techniques for this medium of plate glass with a silver coating and began to emerge where I explored new ways of narrative and abstract expression! Today I steady on, continuing to place objects of reverse painted plate glass mirror in private homes and corporate venues! However, there is a problem of perception for my work, where a plate glass mirror is considered a utilitarian object, as a bolt of cotton canvas stretched onto a frame waiting to be transformed by painting the blank canvas, my blank canvas is the reflective coating applied to the clear glass!
My paintings are difficult to describe unless experienced in real time? A normal first reaction to the work, these objects of glass, color and reflection might be… ‘What’ is it, how do you do this and how long does it take?” My answer begins with: “I use plate glass mirror, removing portions of the reflective coating from the back side of the mirror with an alkyd chemical exposing clear glass against the remaining reflective coating exposing clear glass and then paint” & about “25” years to develop these techniques and realize new ideas”! With most first time encounters this description is accepted leading to my question to the viewer…“So, what do you see in this piece?” My work is abstraction, organic, it reflects light by varying degrees depending on the percentage of reflective material remaining in the composition, reflecting ambient light in and around the observed object! I do not paint ducks or, exact representations of the human form or, giraffe’s and as such, although one may perceive any of these or other living / inanimate forms in my compositions. Art is subjective to one’s personal perception and experience, thought and emotion give rise to another where interpretation meets.
One of the most unique aspects of my work, the reflective elements that remain facilitating a physical reflection of light, that my give way to a moment of philosophical reflection. The human sight mechanism, electrons bouncing off the silver behind clear glass projecting the viewers form and objects around them. My work, these objects of reverse painted plate glass mirror also possess the ability to bring memories to the forefront, projected back and then forward again to the present moment, creating an intimate cognitive transcendental “through the looking glass” experience!
Recently while presenting my work in the Gallery of the Dallas Market. Susan and Leslie, a mother and daughter design team from Oklahoma City, acquired two of my pieces, “ Angles Quilt” & “ That Look In Your Eye”! I contacted Susan a couple of weeks after to know if they were enjoying the work and promptly received this note from Susan:
“Good evening Timothy!!” Yes, I’m totally in love with my art. It is absolutely beautiful !!! I kept “That Look In Your Eye” and Leslie took “Angles Quilt”. Both have complimented our home and will do so for many years to come. As a matter of fact, I have determined where I could use another!!” Hopefully, I will meet up with you again either at Round Top or Dallas. Meeting you was special and owning a piece of your talent will always hold cherished memories for us both. I have attached some pictures ( none do justice). We will see you again! Susan and Leslie…
I was grateful for this warm response from Susan and Leslie, although they did not express the what their perception or, what they preceived, what it meant to them or, what they saw in the work? I will need to ask them later? However, the note from Susan is the sum of my desires for my efforts, the why I do what I do! I am a working artist, this is my job, my purpose, and my mission! In the studio, I find the zone, a place between intention and spontaneous action! I create for myself although and ultimately the effort is intended for the viewer and those who might choose to adopt and live with and reflect on and with these objects of art!
The painterly techniques included in my current style of painting with mirror / Vere’ / Eglomise’ w Reflective Elements developed during the time of Mirrortique’, the antique mirror business I initiated in 2005. Decorative painting techniques and my studies in Art Studio at UAB during the 90’s lent itself to the discovery of new ways for affecting the silver reflective coating on the back of a new “clear” mirror. During the process of adding new designs for Antique Mirror that progressed for nearly 6 yrs, I desperately wanted to return to my studio full time, the coal testing lab at the dormant Republic Steel facility within the confines of Wade Sand & Gravel. In 2012 this desire became a reality when my business partner Jamie Jaffe purchased my shares in Mirrortique. I moved back into my steel mill studio full time and began to further development objects of reflection, form & color. While immersed in the creative process, these objects of art with mirror, I focused on discovering new techniques for blending color, form and reflection into a balanced cohesive composition, waiting to see a finishing point for a particular piece and determining what the composition had to say then finally naming and signing the piece. The ideas generated by way of my processes were then as now linear and or fluid forms following a referenced thought or emotion generated by our every day lives, past present and future, events happening in present time or having previously happened around us. My work then as now could be categorized as several styles including landscape, abstract expressionism, modernism, cubism and or perhaps another style yet to be named? Art will in all ways have a reference to previous or existing forms in nature and or established movements or styles! At this time I am developing a new painterly style in the medium of Vere’ / Eglomise’ w Reflective Elements that reference “Things I Have Misplaced, an image of this piece is included in the “recent work” section on this site and on my instagram page timothypoe23.
The following collage of images are examples of my primary mediums and styles produced between 1994 and 2005.Some of these objects are student work and others were produced between 1996 – 2005 in my studio, the coal testing lab and shed of the former Republic Steel Works in the confines of Wade Sand & Gravel here in Birmingham, Alabama . I initiated this effort on June 6 th 1996, restoring and building a studio included a gas fired glass melter, glory hole for reheating blown glass objects, annealing ovens, burn out oven and a gas fired metal furnace. Examples of my work that followed mediums of glass, metal and wood were chosen and set forth. I will offer additional comments about the intention inspiration and experience of working in this environment and through the various mediums mentioned, commentary will be presented in my blog on this site.
Life is after all about change… My carrier as artist at large has turned into uncharted waters when in search of the never before experience of art! The time period for these changes would be counted in decades, a shift in my aesthetic reasoning, once every ten years. In early spring of 2005 I got a call from a designer whom I had worked with during my decorative painting years, she asked if I could antique a large mirror for her? My reply: “ Well Betty, I’ve never tried this but for you, I will give it a shot”! The process for “antiqued mirror” was known at this time and in 2005 “antiqued / distressed mirror” was becoming very popular incorporated into interior design schemes. Not to drag the details… I worked out a new process for distressed mirror by way of discovering a way to convert sulfated potash / liver of sulfur into a stable gel form. With an extended shelf life and where the gel could be measured incrementally for controlled results while etching the silver coating on the reverse side of a new plate glass mirror. From this discovery came Mirrortique, a new small business for antiquing / distressing plate glass mirror. The images in this section were the beginnings of techniques and process with mirror that to my knowledge were unique in design. I left Mirrortique in 2013 and where techniques for my current style of Vere’ / Eglomise’ w Reflective Elements were discovered.