Stained glass is not a medium that lends itself easily to realism. I mean, I can make a panel that depicts something specific – a rose, for example – but even if I attempt to make it look realistic, you aren’t likely to view it and be led to believe that you are seeing an actual rose.
Even from a distance. In the dark. With one eye closed.
I really like that, because it lets me off the hook. I don’t feel compelled to portray images in perfect proportion or according to scale. Which is good, because I don’t think I could do it if I tried.
A lot of artistic people are blessed with multiple creative talents. They can paint and draw and sculpt, or whatever. Their artistic abilities just splash all over the place, like an overfilled cup of coffee. Me, not so much.
I can design a stained glass panel to my liking, but if you ask me to make a drawing of the same subject, the outcome would be pretty dismal. That’s why God invented abstract art… for people like me. And Picasso.
The only time I attempted realism in a panel was with a commissioned piece for a church. The window had to “match” or compliment the already existing windows in the structure, which were of a realistic nature.
And so I took on Jesus. Of course, we don’t really know what Jesus looked like, so I pretty much took my cue from the drawings I’d seen throughout my stint in Sunday school. And in those pictures, Jesus is a pretty proportionate fellow.
I will never be satisfied with the results (which you can see pictured here). Does it look like his left forearm is raised higher than the right (hint: it’s supposed to), or does it look like his left arm is shorter than the right (hint: that would be bad)? There are other areas that do not seem made to scale (depending on how you interpret body placement), but I’ll give myself (and Jesus) a break and not pick him totally apart.
So here’s my life analogy: things don’t always have to be according to scale. People talk about wanting to live “balanced” lives, and that’s great. But sometimes it’s okay to let one arm hang a little lower than the other.
Yeah, well, analogies aren’t my strong suit, either.
The Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Scale