The image on the left is a completed version of the Icon we are writing. After two days, mine is on the right. There's a long way to go, but can you see how far we've already come? Ignore the bright red background, that will be covered by gold leaf, as will the blue halos. The backgrounds are painted so that in the event that any of the leaf comes off, there will be color beneath it, rather than the white canvas on which we began.
Yesterday's lesson had to do with the sublety of applying color, as well as learning the trick of mastering paint. I confess I didn't do so well on the mastering part. Blending color isn't the challenge, but thinning it sufficiently and having the right amount of paint loaded on the brush is where I am doing my own version of crash and burn. I've never really learned how to paint (except for the interior kind on houses--this is waaaayyyy different) and it shows. I also confess that I was a bit distracted by the need to take care of a personal errand. Tsk, tsk! Focus is key, as is prayer.
We begin each day reading a prayer together that is addressed to the apostle Luke, as well as to Mary and Jesus. Did you know that Luke was the first iconographer? He was both a physician and an artist (and Mom, I most certainly thought of Jara!). Well, heck, why doesn't the church make more of a deal about that latter part? Just think of the artistry that would be welcomed and celebrated if that little tidbit was embraced by the institution! That's a post for another time...
Anyway, I've never been a "Mary person" in my devotional life, but yesterday I found myself praying to her for guidance as I painted. Funny how this stuff works on you. It is truly a holy endeavor, and I am so incredibly grateful for the gift of this workshop. I can't wait to get there today and begin work on the next segment of this creation.
And here's another little Icon tidbit to leave with you before I dash to my breakfast and head out the door. What we think of as "perspective" in art, lines vanishing to a point in the distance, is reversed in iconography. The idea is for the perspective to point to the viewer, so that as you look through the pane of the icon to the divine, the divine is directed toward you. Is that cool, or what?
Have a great hump day.