Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Want to paint an Icon?

You will need to study first - then pray.  To paint (or more accurately, 'write') an icon is a spiritual undertaking.

One of the leading exponents in the UK is Sr Petra Clare of the Sancti Angeli Benedictine Skete in Scotland.

To see some examples of her fabulous work, go here.

She is just launching an online iconography course.  Here is an extract from her wwwsite:

Part A: Roots of Iconography.
The first part of the course starts from the pre-Christian artwork of the great civilisations of the time of Christ, and the techniques which were taken over from them and transformed to convey the new revelation of the Incarnate God.
As the four Apostolic patriarchates - Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch and Alexandria - were formed, the Christians developed a new artistic language.
Iconography exercises include positive and negative space, calligraphic brushstroke, the Sinai Christ, ‘the pilgrim icon.’

Part B: Studying Scripture through Icons.
from 2012
The second part of the course looks at icons as Biblical exegesis. Starting with the Old testament precursors, moving through the Gospel narrative and completing with St. Paul, we see how a visual language was developed which parallels and depends on the Scriptural exegesis of the Church Fathers. Special attention is given to Gregory of Sinai’s exegesis of the Transfiguration.
Iconography exercises include composition, the ‘spiritual flow’ diagram and tonal exercises ‘from darkness to light.’

Part C: Iconography of the Councils.
from 2013
The third part of the course explores how icons became associated with the liturgy. We study icons which transmit the teaching of the Church Councils - Nicea I and the ‘Trinity;’ Ephesus and the Icons of the Mother of God; Chalcedon and the dialogue of colour and form reflecting the two natures; and the effects on iconography of inter-church conflict, the Celtic question and the rise of Islam.
Iconography exercises focus on writing the icon to convey the teaching of the Church through composition and colour

Part D: The 7th Ecumenical & the Iconographical Canons.
from 2013
The fourth part of the course covers the important doctrinal controversy of iconoclasm, in which the theological principles of Church art were clarified and the first canons of Christian art formulated. This covers Nicea II, the western response and ends with the Baptism of the Rus,’ and the association of the Sinai tradition of ‘prayer of the heart ‘ with the luminous Russian icons.

H/t Fr Brown at Forest Murmurs.  Fr Brown has commissioned numerous icons from St Petra Clare, so visit his Churches (current or previous) for a real visual treat!

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