Bonnie Bews Biography

Bonnie was born in 1967 and raised in Queensland, a rural farm community in Southern Ontario, Canada.  There she developed her imagination and keen sense of observation.
 In 1988 she received her SDVA diploma for Design Arts at Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology along with a second year scholarship in Creative Arts.  During 1990 she travelled to Australia and Europe.  While sketching in a piazza in Germany, she was approached by artist, Rudolf Schmid.  This prominent Bavarian glass painter showed an interest in Bews’ style of work and offered her an apprenticeship at his studio.  Bews accepted this unique opportunity and returned to Germany in 1992 to discover a whole new medium.  During her studies, she excelled in the technique of “Hinterglas” – painting on the reverse side of glass.
In 1993 Bews held her first solo exhibition of Hinterglas paintings in Viechtachi, Germany, which was a great success.  In 1994 Bews exhibited her work in the Toronto area, which introduced the Hinterglas technique to Canadians.  Since then Bews has had many solo and group exhibitions where she has continued to put this technique to practice.  Her greatest achievement has been a collaboration of sight and sound with British mezzo soprano Tania Williams. This concert exhibition drew its inspiration from various British and American lyrical poems, which toured through Wiesbaden and Viechtach, Germany;  Laupen, Switzerland; London, England and Toronto, Canada.  Bews now lives and works out of her studio in Muskoka, Ontario.
Hinterglas is a traditional European technique in which the artist paints on the reverse side of the glass.
 The earliest examples of Hinterglas (cold painting) are from the time of Constantine, 3rd Century.  In the 13th and 14th Century (Italy and Germany) the primary use of Hinterglas was to decorate furniture.  By the 16th Century, glass painting replaced most enamelled decorations in religious and decorative objects.  Hinterglas gained popularity for its use of brilliant colours and intricate designs.  In the 18th and 19th Century, great demands for reverse glass painting opened many small outlets within the European community.  The industry continued to thrive throughout Europe until the end of the 19th Century when its demand was replaced by colour lithography and photography.