My Heights of Obsession

During the process of my home renovation, I went crazy! No kidding!

More so, at the time of the balcony door installation. Seeing so many glass panes lying around got me excited and had me jumping in glee, well, almost! For the uninitiated, I love creating stain glass art projects and until that point, my love was contained, and restricted to drawing and painting on OHP sheets and glass bottles.

More on how I started my tryst with stain glass art here.

I had never been super fond of the grills obstructing the view of my stain glass birds, butterfly and flowers I brought to life as I was converting one window after another into canvases for my OHP sheet art work. So the possibility of having a unhindered view of stain glass painted Nature without grills, made me almost jump in joy when the balcony door was getting installed.

As the workers were busy installing the glass doors, unmindful of my new found enthusiasm, I interrupted them with a request for additional two panes of 5 feet long glasses. It was more of a demand really, which left them rather dazed and taken aback. They still complied and got me the needed two 5ft X 2ft glasses. I told them I intended to install them at the entrance of my new home, once I am done painting on them. They nodded, but gave me doubtful looks, I am sure they were too polite to comment anything about this super crazy expedition I was embarking upon.

  • First off, unlike the OHP sheets and the glass bottles I had worked on until then, these long glass panes cannot be placed on my desk; and they were heavy as hell, even to lift them a tiny to place the outlines of drawings beneath them, required quite an effort.
  • Secondly, these glasses had sharp edges, which could leave deep, bloody scratches and wounds, even upon the slightest touch.
  • And thirdly, there was always the huge risk of the glass cracking under even a slight pressure. Be it while working on it, or while transporting it, or even while installing it. Hence there was always the possibility of all my hard work and dreams getting shattered.

These WIP glass panes images would give an idea on how challenging the process really was;

Honestly, when I was deeply involved in drawing and painting my favorite birds, and innovative butterflies and flowers, I did not allow my mind to ponder over such dooms-worthy thoughts, nor did the physical pain I endured, due to constantly being bent down and due to the scratches in my hands, really bother me. Let’s just say, this art made me forget myself as I was engaged in it. And before I knew it, I was done painting on the first glass pane.

On seeing the outcome, complete with the reflections the birds and flowers were leaving behind, I was motivated enough to complete the second one too.

The Completed Second Pane of Glass

The second pane had more of my favorite birds like Purple-Rumped Sunbird, Peacock, a Rose-Ringed Parakeet peeking out of her home and eyeing her boy-friend, Oriental Dwarf Kingifisher and what not.

And yes, when I was done done and when I saw all my hard work bear fruition like this in one view, I knew this was worth all the trouble.

My Paintings in One View

It lay in my home like this for several days, for it took a while to get the workers freed up for this “tiny” work of getting them installed and for the Management Committee of my apartment complex to give me written permission to install this on my doorway, which is apparently part of the common area! As a matter of fact, it took longer to get them installed than to even paint on them. Finally, one fine day the wait was over! Phew!

My Doorway With My Paintings Installed

Today, my paintings are a source of joy to me, my guests and to anyone who makes time to notice them, not just because of the objects in there but also because of the reflections those objects leave behind, sometimes in gargantuan proportions that light up the entire building.

Seeing them today, for the way they have turned out, my heart swells up with immense gratitude towards everyone who helped me make this happen – towards my maid for maneuvering around the WIP paintings and taking extra care to not risk getting any closer, lest there is a slight misstep that might break it; towards my neighbors for constantly encouraging me from day 1 of me embarking upon this crazy challenge; towards the painters and other workers who carefully moved this painting up and down and from one room to another, without complaining and with a lot of care and mindfulness; AND towards all the bird photographers I am connected with on Instagram, who cheered me on as I was sharing the WIP paintings online and for letting me use some of their bird photos as inspiration to get these stain glass birds as close to reality as possible!

What next now? I am contemplating conducting workshops to teach stain glass painting on medium sized (2ft X 2ft) Acrylic sheets, which resemble glass sheets but are lighter and unbreakable, hence easier to handle. And during the workshop, I am also planning to take the participants out on a couple of bird watching tours just so that they can see out of their own eyes that the Nature around is as beautiful as (if not more than) the paintings that would be made of Her. I hope I would be at the very least, conduct a bottle painting workshop, because stain glass colors make even small outcomes magical.

The bottles I painted using stain glass colors and lit up using fairy lights 🙂

As I became a more avid bird watcher, I became better at art, and today, thanks to the endless bird photographs I share and thanks to the paintings outside my door, I am known in my circle as a bird photographer and also as an artist . But without Mother Nature, and the inspiration that ensued, I would be neither. So if, through my workshops (whenever they happen), I am able to turn even one otherwise indifferent person into a more mindful Nature observer, I would consider my workshops to be a grand success. For it’s not just the Art I want to teach, it’s also my love for Mother Nature I want to share! Like how the idea of these paintings sounded before I started on them, this workshop idea seems crazy too, given my workload and all, but when it happens (if at all it does) I hope it’d be worth the shot, the way the sight of my paintings feel today.


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