Reverse Painting

debodun

Well-known member
My mom bought this painting at a garage sale in the 1980s. She paid over $100 for it (which wold be about $300 in today's money). It is a "reverse" painting - that is the artist starts painting the foreground and works to the background. In traditional painting, the background is painted first and the artist works toward the foreground. This can only be done on glass (which this is) or other transparent material. There is some info on the Internet about reverse paintings, but I get the impression that they are on the uncommon side. This one is mounted in an ornate gilded plaster frame. I had it out for sale this spring and one man aksed me to remove the painting and he's give me $20 for the FRAME. I couldn't remove the glass - it looks like it is nailed in. Another woman said it gave her the creeps. Hey! My mom liked paintings with moonlight in them!
 

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treeguy64

Hari Om, y'all!
Location
Austin, TX.
I offer the following with love and respect. The definition of reverse painting, as above, made no sense to me, so I read up on it, on the internet. As one who made a living, for fifteen years, using my artistic skill, I am always interested in new (to me) art forms and techniques.

To wit: "Reverse painting on glass is an art form consisting of applying paint to a piece of glass and then viewing the image by turning the glass over and looking through the glass at the image."

Now, things make sense. Since the glass is flipped over, for the viewing: When doing landscapes, the foreground cannot be painted on top of the background, as it would not show up when the glass is flipped over. Very interesting.

Thank you, op, for bringing this interesting technique to my attention.
 

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Judycat

Well-known member
Location
Pennsylvania
When my kids were little, they went to a yard sale, pooled their money and bought me a print of a painting of sampans sailing near a mountain. The frame and picture looked like it spent a lot of time outside at yard sales, but I gave it a home on my living room wall. It's a peaceful scene and still hanging there today. Hope someone appreciates your mom's painting eventually.
 

debodun

Well-known member
Original Poster
Guy wanted the frame... Gah! some people.:rolleyes:
Yes, he said the painting itself is virtually worthless since it wasn't signed or done by a "known" artist. If he offered me $20, he was probably a dealer and you can at least double a dealer offer to get the true value.
 

StarSong

Well-known member
Location
Los Angeles
I was recently talking to someone who owns an estate sale company. She said that it was emotionally hard on people to hold yard or estate sales themselves because shoppers often make comments about people's possessions that the owners/heirs take personally.

She said that if you were in a department store and overheard someone remark to a friend about a mannequin, "Bleech! Look at the color of that dress!" you wouldn't think twice. But if that same situation happened at your parents' estate sale, and it was a dress that you loved seeing your mom wearing, your reaction would probably be very different.

She said the same thing happens with pricing - people think their stuff is worth a lot more than the market will fetch, and perhaps it might be to someone, somewhere. Unfortunately, that very special someone almost never shows up at that particular sale so she has to price it for what one of the masses will pay for it as an impulse buy. Otherwise she ends the sale day having sold almost nothing.

Not a profession I would choose, but she was a very interesting person to chat with for an hour.
 

debodun

Well-known member
Original Poster
Sadly, what were "hot" collectibles 40 years ago are cold turkey in today's market. That is the problem I ran into when asking estate sellers for help. They said that the items I have would be more trouble than they were worth for them to hold an estate sale for me. They want items that will sell quickly and for moderate to high prices. Depression glass, Japanese lusterware and Victorian furniture just don't make the cut nowadays. I have a Federal style Bassett dresser with a mirror that's in great condition, but heavy "brown" furniture is out. Even if people buy Victorian items, they will paint over that beautiful mahogany with chalk paint. I guess Ikea is putting antiques out to dry.
 

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StarSong

Well-known member
Location
Los Angeles
Cannot tell you how many "collectables" I've donated from my in-laws' home. Think Franklin Mint, Bradford Exchange, and the like. Can barely give that crap away, forget selling it. It's crazy how many people are taken in by those nonsensical marketing claims.
 

debodun

Well-known member
Original Poster
Yep - my mom had some of those Bradford plates including the whole "Wizard of Oz" series. She paid $25 apiece for them. I sent tem to auction thinking that would more likely fetch a higher price than at a garage sale, but the whole lot was sold for $2!
 

StarSong

Well-known member
Location
Los Angeles
Yep - my mom had some of those Bradford plates including the whole "Wizard of Oz" series. She paid $25 apiece for them. I sent them to auction thinking that would more likely fetch a higher price than at a garage sale, but the whole lot was sold for $2!
Exactly. Truly sad, isn't it?
 


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