Bonnie Bews was born in 1967 and raised in Queensville, a rural farm community in Southern Ontario, Canada. There she developed her imagination and keen sense of observation. During 1986 -1988 Bonnie attended Georgian College of applied Arts and Technology, Barrie, Ontario. She graduated recieving a 2nd year scholarship in creative arts. In 1990 Bonnie backpacked to Austrialia and througout 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 www.glaeserne-scheune.de  Bonnie accepted this unique opportunity and returned to Germany in 1992 to discover a whole new medium including Hinterglas. Bonnie now reside in Muskoka, Ontario.  

MUSKOKA – etched in time was launched in 2019.  Please click on that tab for more about it.

SILENT HERO  2020, a visual biography of a heroic man, my father, Bruce William Bews. 7 glass panels depicting his life’s story are on display in an outdoor pergola surrounded by gardens. 

After creating my first large installation in my studio gallery, Muskoka-Etched in time,  ideas continued to flow leading me to the subject I eventually chose, my father, a silent hero.

For Bruce William Bews…..I always knew he was a great man, He did not brag about what he did – he did however love telling life stories. My father was a full-time Fire Fighter in Toronto for 25 years saving lives and homes. But thats not where the hero part only lies. It wasn’t until his death and during the celebration of life did I hear stories from his friends and co-workers of his past – what he did behind the scene. My father had strong values and believed you need to work hard for what you get – he was a hard worker! Many times some of his friends and co-workers needed financial help and would come to my father – he wouldn’t just loan them money, he would give them a job.. . . I always wondered why he had side businesses when he all-ready had a full time job. (Farm, Antenna, Fencing, then owner of Gullwing Lake Park in Torrance, Muskoka for 14 years after retiring from TFD).
I thought my father was hard on me when I wanted to pursue a career in art. But in actual fact, he was just trying to make me a stronger person and taught me to work hard, do the best a could and persevere the hard times. I suppose that is why I have become (what I think) a successful artist.
The Cancer that took his life was primarily from him being a firefighter, Mesothelioma. He told me he had no regrets – did not blame his profession for this and said if he had a choice, he would do it again even though it meant his life was shortened. The one thing that worried him was he felt he did not do enough in this world, he did not make a big enough mark to be remembered…. So, this visual biography is to give him a placement – People will come and see his story. A boy, A Man, A Husband, Father, Grandfather, Hard worker, Lover of Life and – A Hero in his daughters eyes.
I think its important to remember History but even more important our own history – I wonder if the youth today take the time to listen to their parents / grandparents stories. Perhaps having my story told in a visual setting will help encourage the youth to take time, ask question, listen and keep previous memories alive.
Please click on this link to see a short video  silent hero 720  tuned to one of my fathers favourite songs

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Hinterglas or reverse glass painting 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 centuryh 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 businesses 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. Artist Bonnie Bews uses a method that allows the application of graphite and watercolour to the glass (developed by Rudolf Schmid/Germany).Her soft whimsical touch allows her to create paintings with delicate lines and translucent colours. The placement of a white backing or a second piece of glass against the image completes the process.

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