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Artist Turns Airplane Windows Into High-Flying Masterpieces

When photos just won’t do justice, artist Jim Darling brings travelers’ bird’s-eye views back to life.

While there are some real downsides to flying, there are also some intangible perks. Passengers who have ever admired a dazzling sunset, a beguiling cloud formation or enjoyed the landscape unfolding beneath them know that these are the simple pleasures of plane travel. Pretty pictures they may make, but, once photographed, the magic doesn’t quite translate. Thankfully, one artist is using his skill to bring these bird’s-eye views to back to life.

art by jim darling (photo: huffpo)
Using an airplane window as a frame, Jim Darling takes passengers’ snapshots and turns them into vibrantly rendered landscapes. Delicately painted and highly detailed, Darling’s ethereal work couldn’t be further from the unexceptional photos taken by travelers who, ironically, are themselves attempting to capture a rather exceptional view.

But it’s these same snapshots, Darling explained to The Huffington Post, which form the basis of his work. Darling’s pictures aren’t mere reproductions of travelers’ photographs, but they do, he says, serve as a kind of guide.

Darling was first inspired to create his paintings while working with airplane windows for another project. Impressed by the versatility of these frames, the artist decided to explore their potential.

“The size and shape of the window is excellent for blocking out what is behind you. It leaves you with a concentrated view and your thoughts. The views can be choppy yet intertwined, expansive yet detailed. The grand view shrinks things and as a result you feel small and that can be humbling,” he said, explaining his choice of medium.

art by jim darling (photo: huffpo)
While some of his incredible landscapes are created from photos that he himself has taken, Darling also uses screen grabs from travelers’ Instagram accounts as references. In an ideal world, he hopes that his work will make people reconsider the artistic potential of plane windows, but for now, Darling knows that this project has at least changed his own mind about flying.

“It makes me want to travel more,” said Darling. “I believe it has made me more determined to get the window seat,” he said.


[Photos: Jim Darling via HuffPo]

Comments are Closed.
spairtray July 20, 2015

What a cool idea. The window seat is the best view in the house especially with a spAir Tray to hold your gear. Jim, where can I send you a sample? [email protected]