Sunday, August 7, 2011

My stained glass testimony of Christ's atonement

When I was going to BYU, I managed to get into the stained glass class and then continued to take it for several semesters. During one of those semesters, I also took the religion class “The Writings of Isaiah” from Victor Ludlow.

In my Isaiah class, we were given a project assignment to create a lesson or some kind of work of art relating to Isaiah. I can recall sitting there and getting the brilliant idea to create a stained glass window depicting a well-known and well-loved scripture from Isaiah. This would kill two birds with one stone by fulfilling an assignment for TWO CLASSES AT ONCE!! Yesssss! (insert triumphant fist-pump here) Here's the scripture I chose:
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
I started out with a line drawing.

Then I found I had to do some modifications to the drawing in order to account for the nature of cutting glass.

It’s the size of an 8” X 11.5” sheet of typing paper, so it has a whole bunch of small pieces—97, if I counted correctly.

Here’s how it turned out.

There are some parts of my testimony of the Atonement of Christ that are expressed in this stained glass window.

Even though the scripture of Isaiah that inspired it doesn’t say anything about Christ, it is clear to me that the only way that our scarlet sins can become white as snow is through Christ’s atoning sacrifice for us. I tried to depict that change by showing that where Christ’s blood touches the earth, the earth is purified and becomes white.

I believe that the purification of our lives is a gradual process and I tried to depict that by making it seem like that purified area on the world is something that will spread outward.

I know that Christ died for me, so I depicted His hand nailed to the cross from a perspective that would put me as a viewer (and other viewers) up close and personal, as if we were there on Calvary watching.

I know that Christ died for the whole world, so I also incorporated a cosmic perspective to show symbolically how His sacrifice affects and blesses the whole world. Superimposing Christ over the sun communicates his divine, celestial identity as the Son of God and the light of the world.

The world is held in blackness, but the rays of the sun come to embrace the world, symbolizing the love of Christ for us.

Have any of you found ways to express your testimony of Christ through any kind of art? If so, will you share on your blog and post a link?


Jocelyn Christensen said...

That is an awesome testimony and stained glass work. I have some quite a bit of stained glass myself, so I KNOW how difficult that piece is! VERY VERY NICE!

Curls said...

That is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

First of all, have you thought of submitting this in the LDS international art competition?

Second of all, yes! In fact, I have very recently begun a painting that I'm making to show my testimony of the Savior. I love making art, and for some time I've been considering making more art that reflects my feelings on the Savior, and the gospel. When I was considering the topic for this year's art competition, I was struck by the following phrase, "make known his wonderful works among the people." (D&C 65:4)

When I think of the wonderful works I've experienced, I can't think of anything more amazing than the atonement - and the way I've felt it in my life. I know that the Lord has forgiven me of my sins. He's healed me from the pain of the sins of others. He has comforted me during physical trials. Anyways...I've been amazed at the love I've felt from my Heavenly Father and Savior. It was enough for Him to forgive and heal me, but he doesn't stop there...He continues to bless me in ways that I don't deserve, but I'm grateful...

Anyways - I have a painting I'm currently working on, and I'll be posting it on my blog soon. For now, I guess you can check out my creative blog: Creative Cat (ania)
- chococatania

FelixAndAva said...

I have just about no artistic ability. :)

Do you know if they offer that Isaiah class online?

Michaela Stephens said...

FelixAndAva, it seems that BYU does offer an Isaiah class online now! (excited noises)

Here's the link:

thatgoodpart, once upon a time I thought of submitting my stained glass window to the church's international art competition, but when I look at it with an objective view, I don't think it is good enough for competition. The places were my lead-lines fall are not as artistic as they could be. I've seen at least one stained glass window that was submitted to that art competition which was fabulous in every way. Mine is amateurish in comparison. NO, I am not being modest or fishing for compliments; I know my craft is not up to the level it could be.

Michaela Stephens said...

Jocelyn, were you saying that you have stained glass or you have done stained glass (or both?)