Redefining Retirement: Discovering a New Medium

Redefining Retirement
Bonnie Glassner with some of her works

For most of her 35-year career with CPS, Bonnie Glassner taught students with disabilities, incorporating visual art work into her lessons whenever possible in order to combine her two loves of teaching and art. Retiring from teaching in 2012 provided more time to focus on her art, so Bonnie began crafting and creating mixed media pieces. This eventually led to her discovery of alcohol ink—an acid-free and highly-pigmented substance that creates vibrantly-colored works—and she knew she had found her medium.

Being a relatively new product, there initially wasn’t a lot of information available about working with alcohol ink, so Bonnie began to experiment and self-teach, creating bold and colorful works inspired by her travels to Southeast Asia, Mexico, and all over the U.S. Eventually, online videos and courses on alcohol ink began to surface and she was able to learn more and start refining her craft.

As her collection of works grew, Bonnie had to overcome her biggest challenge yet; accepting herself as an artist. With the help and support of her friends, she began to bring her pieces to art galleries and retail stores, and in 2014 had some works accepted by a gallery in Edgebrook. Since then she has expanded to be included in two Chicagoland galleries, as well as launching her own website and Facebook page, called Waiting for the Ink to Dry, where her pieces are available for purchase.

Still finding inspiration in the natural world around her, Bonnie continues to experiment with alcohol ink, mixing it with different mediums and using unusual painting tools like canned air and expired credit cards. Recently featured in an online article on Voyage Chicago, she expresses her joy at finding her niche in the art world and turning her favorite hobby into a new career.

Visit her website to learn more about Bonnie’s art, view her online gallery, and connect with her via email or social media.


Are you Redefining Retirement? CTPF wants to know! Email us what you’ve been up to at socialmedia@ctpf.org and we may contact you for a feature.