Saint Peter

Goodness me, we get to see such lovely things. My friend and colleague, Fábio Fonseca, has just sent me this beautiful photograph of Saint Peter (I think Fábio might be restoring it right now; his studio is in Sao Paulo, Brazil).

I could look at this photo for hours and lose myself. (I only wish I had the real thing.)

The texture of his skin, the expression in his eye, Saint Peter’s hair and beard: all completely mesmerizing. And consider the talent to paint such an image: the masterful understanding of light and dark.

Saint Peter's eye

Saint Peter’s eye

Just before I started my apprenticeship, someone asked me, “Why on earth are you throwing away your career for stained glass?” And I said, “Because it’s something I can get better at each day”.

What I meant was, the discipline and practice were good for the soul, for our sense of who we are, when so much of modern life consists in being made to sweat things which are so wretched and trivial – and yet we worry about them, which is madness, utter madness (because no one ever died saying “At least I mastered Microsoft Word”).

I’ll never paint as beautifully as this. And maybe that’s the point about glass painting in particular and craft/art in general. Real standards of excellence, skill, accomplishment.

And also beauty.

So I don’t mind when someone’s better than me. In fact, I’m proud of them – proud of their magnificent talent.

Saint Peter

Saint Peter

Absolutely gorgeous.

All the best,

Stephen Byrne