Tuesday, June 15, 2010

day two--filling in

This is our fabulous instructor, iconographer Teresa Harrison. She is such a gentle and patient spirit, and encourages us in our work no matter how far we might miss the mark of intended brush strokes. That story in a minute.

Monday we concluded with the nimbus/halo and outer nimbus rim. Tuesday morning I took a picture of that first thing so you could see the progression. I was reminded that morning as we spent some time learning about icons and the art of writing them, that the creative process of icon-writing is a full, dedicated, holy, and prayerful act. Concentration becomes a matter of fact without realizing it, and sure enough, I get so engrossed in what I am doing that I forget to stop after each segment to document it. I admit to feeling gratification that I'm doing something right here!

It is understood that the iconographer is free to be creative with his or her work. I've seen some extraordinary icons that depart from the typical, traditional look of monastic icons while maintaining the spirit and order of the art form. And then there is what I did at the close of the first day.

 Icon in progress, end of day one
If you look at the original icon its age and some degradation is apparent in what appears to be flaking. This is due to the material used to write the icon, which contains wax. If one attempts to recreate the look of aging and one is using paint, well, good luck! With skill and practice I suppose it can be accomplished. If I have the skill, which remains to be seen, I sure as heck didn't have time to practice the technique of dry-brush stippling today. What I produced instead gives the icon the appearance of having some serious issues with mildew. I don't really want you to enlarge the photo to see for yourself, but you might need to do that to see what I mean. I leave that up to you. I tried to diminish the mold-effect on Tuesday

 Icon in progress, end of day two.
After "aging" our SCP (Sinai Christ Pantocrator--Sinai because it was created in a monastery in the Sinai Desert, distinguished in some particular details from the non-Sinai Christ Pantocrator; Pantocrator means Ruler of All) we took on the background and the book cover, neither of which are finished. As Ruler of All the lower portion of the background is intended to represent a throne (I initially thought they were ornamental buildings). I spent some serious time getting just the right grunge look on my buildings, and I have to say that the left side, particularly, is pretty good. What might be considered sky is another matter, but you know the saying, it ain't over til the fat lady sings.

Wednesday we work on the face, and additionally I will return to the collection of small white orbs on the cover of the book that look like moth balls. Their color, as you will observe by noting the original on the left, is more muted, looking considerably more like lemon sour-balls.

Come back tomorrow if you dare. At least by then Jesus should have a face, and that is where the real spiritual wonder begins.


The Bug said...

This is definitely interesting - I'm enjoying seeing the progress!

Mompriest said...

I love the art of writing icons...and I love icons. Looking forward to seeing how yours progresses...or uhm, is revealed.


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