"Fumage is the technique of drawing with smoke. With my work I layer the natural mark of the flame with my backward script, in pencil or other media, to create a reflective space and depth in my compositions. I have worked with fumage techniques for over 25 years, and while it is a tricky medium to work with, the subtleties cannot be achieved any other way." 

Karoline Schleh's drawings, paintings, and prints are rendered with a distinct atmospheric quality and longhand backwards script. Her compositions are inspired by the contemplation of handwriting, landscape, animal & human form, songs, and stories we choose to tell.

Schleh’s reversed handwriting developed from her training as a print maker initially out of necessity. Schleh began writing backwards onto her copper etching plates in order for the words to print forwards in the final print. Eventually, the print plates were abandoned and the handwriting reversals began to stand on their own in her drawings and paintings. While the words can (for the most part) be deciphered in a mirror, it is not important to the final work to know what is written. The intention is to convey the reflective mindset that comes from writing, and how words, information, and styles are impermanent and shift through time.

See all of Karoline's work on our website.