Art Diaries

Memories of Christmas: “An Illuminated Window” by Trudi Murray

An Illuminated Window

Trudi Murray

I have the great good fortune of a beautiful, large open plan loft space in which to have my studio. It has big windows at the front, looking down onto the street below and the treetops outside. I’ve got my painting easel and my desk under the windows, and a cosy computer work station nestled next to it in the eaves of the roof. It’s a very pleasant place to work!

Trudi Murray - Juliet Mckee Photography-1

Trudi Murray - Juliet Mckee Photography-40

Last year, on something of a creative whim, I decided to make an enormous paper cut design for the studio windows, to celebrate Christmas. I glued tissue paper on the back of the paper cut so that when the lights were shining on it from the back, at night, it would shine like a stained glass window. It worked! It was so popular among local people, they have been asking me for a few months to make another one for this year.

There were a few teething problems with last year’s design that I had to iron out for this year. First, it kept on falling down! I made it in three large sections last time, and they were so large that their own weight kept pulling them down. So I resolved this year to make it in 9 sections (matching them all up was a tricky procedure, I can tell you!). Last year was in three colours. This year I wanted it a little brighter. Last year the words were not quite bold enough. The constant drive for improvement is always pushing me forward!

Bearing all that in mind, I got to work. It took 3 days to painstakingly cut the design from black paper with a very sharp knife. Then a day of sticking tissue paper on the back. Then a further day’s work to fine tune and assemble it onto the windows. It’s taped on to the window frames with parcel tape, and so far, it hasn’t fallen down quite so easily. When the dusk falls, each day, I turn on the lamps and the studio lights, and from the street it really does look like a stained glass window.

I hope everyone likes it! My motivation in making it is to express so much joy, creativity and enthusiasm to the world. Maybe also to express what the meaning of Christmas is for me – something more than the presents and the food (although I get ridiculously excited about those too). The whole window project is definitely a labour of love, from which I really want nothing back but to know that people have looked up and enjoyed my gift to them this Christmas.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 18.49.54

Words and Artwork by Trudi Murray

Photographs of Trudi by Juliet Mckee

Photograph of Artwork by Derek Winterburn

Twitter: @trudilula

Read more by Trudi Murray…

The Song of the Crane Fly

Divine Bodies – the Discipline and Beauty of Life Drawing

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